WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – This weekend is your last chance to visit The Big E before it closes for the season.
Officials say attendance has been really strong and better than anticipated; a total of 113,827 attendees were at the fairgrounds Friday, according to an Eastern States Exposition spokesperson. It is still going to take some time to make up for the lost revenue of 2020.
This year’s Big E was highly anticipated, after returning from a one-year hiatus. So far, well over 1 million people have visited the fairgrounds.
“We went into this knowing that some people were going to be shy to be out in public but frankly we opened very strongly,” said Gene Cassidy, president, and CEO of Eastern States Exposition.
Some were skeptical about just how many people would attend this year because of the threat of COVID, but the first Tuesday and the second Sunday of The Big E set all-time attendance records for those specific days.
It drew 137,000 people on Sunday.
“I was freaked out by the numbers straight up like oh no that’s a lot of people there were a couple of records right,” said Michelle Manafy of Connecticut. “Yeah, it freaked me out but at the same time, it’s amazing because it’s The Big E.
While the fair was successful, the Eastern States Exposition says it will take years to make up for the lost revenue of 2020.
“The devastation of 2020 is going to take our organization 4 to 5 years to recover from,” said Cassidy.
Operations at The Big E will stay the course. Cassidy said they have no plans to shorten the duration of the fair like their counterparts in New York did with their state fair.