WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Tuesday is the one-month mark until the first day of The Big E!

The Big E is an annual event that begins on the second Friday after Labor Day, September 15, and runs for 17 days, according to their website. The home of the fair is the Eastern States Exposition, and they are organized as a not-for-profit, educational institution under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

The Big E is best known for its fair foods, arts and crafts, state buildings, Mardi Gras floats parade, rides, agricultural events, and music performances!

Here is what you need to know about The Big E Fair:

What time do the gates and buildings open?

  • The gates open at 8:00 a.m. every day.
  • The Big E Bakery is open from 9:00 a.m. until 10:30 p.m.
  • The Buildings and Craft Common is open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • The Avenue of States and Storrowton Village Museum & Shops is open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • The New England Center is open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • The Midway is open Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

What is the cost of admission?

The Big E offers a full season pass that you could purchase, which costs $70 for adults, and for children ages 6-12 costs $35. If you purchase tickets at the gate, it costs $20 for adults, $12 for children 6-12, and admission is free for children five and under.

There are some days during the fair that offers discounted tickets. Opening day is Be A Kid For A Day, which means that admission costs $12 for everyone. Military Appreciation Day is also opening day, and free admission is provided with a veteran or military ID to:

  • Active duty and retired military personnel
  • Dependents of active duty military personnel
  • Veterans (no dependents)

There is also Eleven-After-Five, which means that tickets cost $11 after 5:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

Senior Days are Sunday through Thursday and tickets will cost $16 for anyone 60 years old and over.

What are this year’s Special and State Days?

Walk through one of the State Buildings and visit their exhibits or watch the Daily Parade, which honors each day in a special way. 

The 2023 special and state days are as follows:

  • Friday, September 15 – Be A Kid For A Day/Military Appreciation Day
  • Saturday, September 16 – 4-H & FFA Day/Maine Day
  • Sunday, September 17 – Storrowton Day
  • Monday, September 18 – Salute to West Springfield
  • Tuesday, September 19 – Rhode Island Day/Salute to Holyoke
  • Wednesday, September 20 – Connecticut Day
  • Thursday, September 21 – Massachusetts Day
  • Friday, September 22 – New Hampshire Day
  • Saturday, September 23 – Vermont Day
  • Sunday, September 24 – Grange Day
  • Monday, September 25 – Salute to Springfield
  • Tuesday, September 26 – Salute to Chicopee
  • Wednesday, September 27 – Salute to Agawam
  • Thursday, September 28- Salute to Westfield
  • Friday, September 29 – Harvest New England Day
  • Saturday, September 30 – Hooplandia Day
  • Sunday, October 1 – Salute to Special Olympics

How much does parking cost?

There is on-site parking that is available for $10 (cash only) in Lot 9. Motorcycles can park in Lot 9 for $5 (cash only), and bicycles and bird scooters can park for free at 915 Memorial Avenue. 

The Gate 9A area is available for drop-off/pick-up of passengers and has a large canvas tent with benches.

Is there handicapped parking?

The Big E provides 580 handicapped accessible parking spaces on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Live Music at The Big E

This year’s music lineup for The Big E Arena and the Court of Honor stage has some iconic bands, performers, and musicians that are known across the country.

Here are all the performances scheduled this year:

The Big E Arena: (all shows take place at 7:30 p.m.)

Court of Honor Stage: (All concerts are free with fair admission; time of performances can be found on The Big E website)

  • September 15-20- Street Drum Corps
  • September 15-17- Celtic Angels
  • September 15- Molly Hatchet
  • September 16- Gaelic Storm
  • September 17- Vertical Horizon
  • September 18-19- Humble Pie Legacy
  • September 18-19- O-Town
  • September 20-21- Robert Davi
  • September 20- Dokken
  • September 21- Megan Moroney
  • September 22-24- The Little Mermen
  • September 22- The Verve Pipe
  • September 24- Mike Delguidice
  • September 26-October 1- The Edge Effect
  • September 27-28- Jose Feliciano
  • September 27- Ginuwine
  • September 28- Dire Straits Legacy
  • September 29- October 1- Motown & More
  • September 29- Puddle of Mudd
  • September 30- Nicky Youre
  • October 1- Lonestar

There will also be nearly 50 performances on The E Stage throughout the two weeks. The Big E will be open this year from September 15 to October 1.

The Big E Fair

September 15 – October 1

WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting in March 1953 providing local news, network, syndicated, and local programming to western Massachusetts. Follow 22News on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.