WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — The remnants of what was once a tropical storm by the name of Ophelia made it’s presence felt in western Massachusetts this weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday saw a fair share of drizzle as the storm fizzled it’s way up the East Coast.
Despite the wet weather, people still turned out for New England’s Largest Fair, The Big E. Although, many were in hoodies and hats to protect themselves from the cool drizzle. While the weather didn’t prevent people from waiting in line for the Ferris wheel, some food vendors did notice a drop in the number of customers on what is usually the fair’s biggest weekend.
“A seventeen day fair, you expect some of them to be rained out and you just hope it’s not the big days like it was this year, but you take what you can get,” expressed Owner of Pig Park BBQ, Tim Barbiasz.
Gene Cassidy, the President and CEO of The Big E, said that the dreary weather this past weekend caused a dip in attendance, saying that they are 17 percent behind from where they were last year. On Saturday, The Big E had a little over 69,000 guests, while on Sunday
they had about 70,000 guests.
“It’s exciting as a fair manager to talk about record days but your not always going to have a record day. And the most important thing for us ultimately is that everybody has a great time,” said Cassidy.
Cassidy said they haven’t had less than 300,000 people on middle weekend in 17 or 18 years. Overall, 656,000 people have attended the fair since opening day so they are hoping to make up for lost time this weekend.