WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Millions of people travel to The Big E every year which generates millions of dollars for the local community but, that won’t be happening this year.
Fair organizers made the announcement that the Covid-19 pandemic gave them no choice but to cancel New England’s great state fair this September. This decision comes after weeks of back and forth between the town and fair officials on whether it was safe to hold the fair.
Gene Cassidy, president and CEO of the Eastern States Exposition said, “This decision was difficult and complex but we all know in our hearts this is the right thing to do for the health and safety of the 1.6 million people who support us each year.”
Millions of dollars are generated each year which helps not only The Big E but all aspects of the local economy, from the local hospitality industry to vendors to local organizations that use The Big E as a fundraiser for crucial funds.
West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt told 22News, “Something to kind of build the excitement so people have something to do. People obviously want to come here as we saw this past weekend but in the traditional way and traditional fair we just don’t see how we can do it safely so we will have to look for alternatives to the kind of keep the tradition alive but also bring some economy back to the area.”
Last weekend, thousands of people traveled to the fairgrounds for the Taste of the Big E drive-through event. Some waited almost four to five hours in the car line to get their favorite food.
Mayor Reichelt added that drive-thru events like that one will be explored to help generate money.