WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The first few days of The Big E have produced some remarkable attendance figures indicating how pleased people are returning to the fairgrounds.
Since The Big E opened on Friday to substantial attendance, large crowds under bright skies have continued. But it wasn’t until Big E President Gene Cassidy checked the numbers Tuesday did he realize how many people have visited the fair since opening day.
“Our attendance this morning is up over six percent over the record setting year in 2019. However the weather has been truly fabulous and we’ve got a long way to go. But people are happy, extraordinarily positive, best I’ve ever seen, this is my 28th fair.” Gene Cassidy
Diane Peloquin of Spencer was among the fairgoers catching Gene Cassidy’s ear about how good is it to get back to The Big E. “Oh god, it’s wonderful, I came here years and years ago and we came here, it was wonderful then, it’s better now.”
With that brand of positive feedback, it’s easy to see why The Big E officials are filled with optimism. But as Gene Cassidy reminds us, it’s a bit early to be predicting final figures for the 17 day run but among the many fairgoers 22News has spoken with since last Friday they’re so glad to be back and delighted to pass it along.
When is my state/town day at The Big E?
Each day at the Big E honors something specific. For example, Friday is Military Appreciation Day at the Big E. Veterans, active duty military and their dependents all get in free. Here are all the special and state days this year:
- Tuesday, September 21 – Rhode Island Day/Salute to Holyoke
- Wednesday, September 22 – Connecticut Day
- Thursday, September 23 – Massachusetts Day
- Friday, September 24 – New Hampshire Day
- Saturday, September 25 – Vermont Day
- Sunday, September 26 – Grange Day
- Monday, September 27 – Salute to Springfield
- Tuesday, September 28 – Salute to Chicopee, sponsored by Westfield Bank
- Wednesday, September 29 – Salute to Agawam
- Thursday, September 30 – Salute to Westfield, sponsored by Westfield Bank
- Friday, October 1 – Harvest New England Day
- Saturday, October 2 – October Fun Day
- Sunday, October 3 – Salute to Special Olympics
Live Music at The Big E
There will be 80-plus live bands throughout the 17 day fair, starting with Machine Gun Kelly to kick things off with a sold out concert at the Big E Arena at 7:30 p.m. Here is the full list of live music this year:
The Big E Arena, all shows take place at 7:30 p.m. and Doors open at 5:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted:
- Sept. 25: Flo Rida with Ying Yang Twins
- Sept. 26: Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo (doors open at 6pm)
- Oct. 1: Goo Goo Dolls
- Oct. 2: A Day to Remember with Asking Alexandria & Point North (7pm showtime)
- Oct. 3: Styx
Court of Honor Stage, all concerts are free with fair admission:
- Sept. 17-26: Tom Franek, 11am, 1 & 6pm
- Sept. 20-21: Raniere Martin in the Donna Summer Experience, 3pm
- Sept. 20-21: The Yardbirds, 8pm
- Sept. 22-23: Exile, 3pm
- Sept. 22: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, 8pm
- Sept. 23: 10,000 Maniacs, 8pm
- Sept. 24-26: The Bar-Kays, 3pm
- Sept. 25: Plain White T’s, 8pm
- Sept. 26: Don McLean, 8pm
- Sept. 27-28: The Outlaws, 8pm
- Sept. 27-Oct. 3: The Everly Set, 11am, 1 & 6pm
- Sept. 29-30: Big Brother and the Holding Company, 3pm
- Sept. 29: Lisa Lisa, 8pm
- Sept. 30: Ripe, 8pm
- Oct. 1: Kashmir: The Live Led Zeppelin Show, 8pm
- Oct. 1-3: Tribute to The King performed by Taylor Rodriguez, 3pm
- Oct. 2: Hoobastank, 8pm
- Oct. 3: Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of RUN DMC, 8pm
The E Stage:
Showtimes are: Monday – Thursday from 4:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Friday & Saturday from 3, 6 & 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 3 & 6 p.m.
- Eavesdrop, Sept. 22
- Choco Band, Sept. 24
- Amber Eyes, Oct. 1
- Otan Vargas with special guest Ted Lewis (10/2)
Parking and shuttles available at The Big E
During the next 17 days, The Big E will attract visitors from all over the Northeast and it gets busy in the area.
The Big E has parking at Gate 9, that’s at the intersection of Memorial Avenue and Circuit Avenue. Just a heads up, parking there is cash only. Give yourself some extra time if you’re driving to the fair. Thousands of cars come to West Springfield during the fair.
The fair is encouraging people to use the King Gray shuttles to get to the Big E. On Saturdays and Sundays, a free shuttle is offered from Union Station in Springfield. It departs from Gate 24 at Union Station.
There is also a shuttle from Enfield Square Mall that also operates on weekends. It costs $5 to ride the shuttle. Buses there leave every 30 minutes beginning at 9:00 a.m. the morning from the former Macy’s department store.
If you do plan to shuttle over, you will need to wear a mask on that shuttle.
Tickets can be purchased at the gates, or can be purchased online at thebige.com – In addition to single-day tickets, the Big E is also offering a 17-day value pass, which is valid for entry throughout the fair. Tickets for concerts at the Big E Arena are not included in the price of admission, and must be purchased separately.
The gates at the Big E open at 8 A.M. every day. Buildings, exhibits, and the Craft Common open up at 10 A.M. The Midway is open Sunday through Thursday 11 A.M. to 10 P.M., and on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 A.M. to 11 P.M.
West Springfield Mask mandate
Remember to bring a mask with you to The Big E this year. You’ll need it to get inside buildings on the fairgrounds. The West Springfield Board of Health voted Wednesday to mandate wearing a mask when inside public and private buildings where people are allowed inside.
For The Big E fairgrounds, it is required to wear a mask inside the state buildings, all craft buildings and the Mallary Complex. You do not need to wear a mask when inside a tent or barn. According to Eastern States Exposition President Gene Cassidy, indoors counts as any building with four solid walls.
The fair runs through October 3rd.