WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – This is the first weekend of the Big E at the Eastern States Exposition, bringing people from all over New England to West Springfield. 22News is working for you on what the first weekend-day at the Big E will bring.
The first Saturday of this year’s 106th Big E season is expected to be a busy one. Saturday is Maine Day at the Big E, along with 4-H Day. 4-H is a youth-development organization that allows young people to take on critical issues, like those pertaining to agriculture. Agriculture is a huge part of the Big E’s legacy, and on Saturday, youth will be able to participate in programs and contests with dairy, beef cattle, dairy goats, sheep, dogs and horses.
Anne Trenholm is the manager of the Maine Building and was also part of a 4-H program growing up, showcasing the same skills that kids at the Big E were doing. She says i’ts important to remind the public about the roots of community health, “Roots is really a good metaphor for how we think about our past and where our future is going,” said Trenholm, “If you don’t have support for agricultural infrastructure along with events like fairs that help people explore and learn about agriculture, then you lose that connection.”
The day is expected to draw big lines at the Maine building, where visitors can see all that the state has to offer, including the fan-favorite; baked-potato bar. Last year, the first Saturday of the Big E saw over 103,000 visitors enter through the gates.
“We’re really focusing on local, fresh products, consumable products that start with food grown in New England, food grown in Maine,” expressed Trenholm, “We’re pretty proud of that.”
22News also spoke with agricultural expert Nancy McBrady. McBrady is on the Bureau of Agriculture for Food and Rural Resources of Maine. She echoed that sentiment, “The Big E celebrates agriculture at its roots, and it allows the New England states to celebrate the hard-working folks from all of these states who love what they do and feed their communities, and our nation.”
In addition to agriculture and a wide-variety of food, the Big E also offers live entertainment, rides, like the new Super Wheel, games and more. Gates open at 8a.m. Saturday morning, and admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 6-12.