Massachusetts Day at The Big E; Governor Baker visits fair, pays tribute to Andy Yee

Hampden County

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and other state officials were in western Massachusetts Thursday, as the Big E celebrates Massachusetts Day.

Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides kicked-off their visit to western Massachusetts with a trip to the fair at 10:30 a.m. Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin also attended the Big E for Massachusetts Day Thursday. He spoke with state residents about the benefits of refinancing outside the Massachusetts Building.

Walking behind officers with the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, a procession with Governor Baker was led to the Wurst Haus booth, one of Andy Yee’s establishments.

On Thursday, they unveiled a plaque in his memory. The Governor spoke in front of Yee’s family and colleagues about his legacy, “I am so grateful that I got to know this guy over the course of my time here on earth. He’s really special.”

Governor Baker then raised a glass for Andy Yee. Baker also stopped by the Massachusetts building for Massachusetts Day, talking to farmers and business owners.

Massachusetts Day at The Big E

From food, to agriculture, to local business, the state building is celebrating all the things that make up Massachusetts.

“We have pride. The Big E is in Massachusetts and Massachusetts Day means we’re it,” said Deb Goodrich, Manager of Mass State Grange Chowder Booth. Deb is a Massachusetts native. She said she and the other volunteers got up early to set up the Chowder Booth for Massachusetts Day offering clam chowder and lobster right here at The Big E.

“It’s a New England tradition. You can’t get New England Clam Chowder but anywhere in New England. And I think Massachusetts makes a really great clam chowder,” said Goodrich.

Cranberries, whoopie pies and more, all represented inside the Massachusetts building. Commissioner John Lebeaux of Department of Agricultural Resources said this gives people a chance to experience all that the state has to offer, “We have over 7,200 farms doing business on about 500,000 acres of land and doing a little bit less than a half a billion dollars worth of business every year.”

Whether it’s by land or by sea, the Commissioner said that the work that our farmers do as well as our fishermen is what helps make the Massachusetts table so unique.

“For people to understand where their food comes from then makes them much more aware,” said Lebeaux.

The state days continue this week. Friday is New Hampshire Day and and Saturday will be Vermont Day.

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