WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – In less than 24 hours, the gates open for The Big E in West Springfield and this year is the return of the Dingle Pavilion!

The Big E fairgrounds was alive with activity on Thursday. Electricians, landscapers, bakers who make the cream puffs… they were there working hard to get everything ready for opening day Friday.

President and CEO of the Eastern States Exposition Gene Cassidy said that some vendors have just gotten to the grounds Thursday and it’s amazing what they can do in just a few short hours. Cassidy says he’s looking ahead to a festive start to the fair Friday and is pleased to announce the Irish pavilion is back.

“The Irish pavilion is open and as a tribute to them we are starting the fair off with halfway to St. Patrick’s Day, so Drop Kick Murphys will open the fair tomorrow night and then the following night we have a U2 tribute band will be at the arena stage, but halfway to the St. Patrick’s Day, it’ll be fabulous, a great celebration for sure,” said Cassidy.

Cassidy is reminding fairgoers to check out thebige.com to get acquainted with the fair schedule and map so you can make sure you take in everything during your visit.