WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A fair favorite at The Big E isn’t available this year. The owner of the baked potato stand at the Connecticut building passed away earlier this year.

People at The Big E were shocked to hear that Little Taste of Texas Smokehouse Grill is not serving up their famous baked potatoes this year. The line for baked potatoes at the Connecticut building usually extends all the way down the walkway.

The owner, Danny Bell, passed away unexpectedly this past June, according to his obituary. His baked potatoes were a staple at The Big E for the last two decades, becoming a tradition for many families. This year, the stand is closed with a large memorial of Danny placed over the area.

“I came up to do The Big E and Danny’s one of the first places I stop to get a baked potato, and say hello to him and his crew. This is a shock,” said vendor Joe Guyette.

“My father-in-law passed away one year ago today. We were hoping to have our potato today and remember him, but it’s okay. We will make the best of it,” said Diane Hall.

So many people took a moment to stop and pay tribute to Bell and his baked potatoes Tuesday.

“I’m very shocked. It was a tradition for my daughter and myself. Every year we would come here and have to get his potato.”

“They were just creamy and the size and the quality, they were fantastic.”

“Huge! We could definitely share it.”

“It was an amazing potato. it’s the best down here at the fair.”

“We come here literally every year because we really like the hog dog with the cole slaw on it.”

Bell also owned a restaurant in South Windsor, Connecticut called Little Taste of Texas.

If you can’t leave The Big E without getting a baked potato, there are some other options such as inside the Maine building and at Billie’s Baked Potatoes on Commonwealth Avenue or New England Avenue.

The Big E Fair

September 15 to October 1

Taylor Knight is a morning anchor and I-Team reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2018. Follow Taylor on X @TaylorKNews and view her bio to see more of her work.