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A Message From Gene Cassidy

What a way to celebrate Eastern States Exposition's 100th anniversary. Mr. Brooks would have been proud.

I am very pleased by the way everyone stepped up to assist with the production of this milestone event. From the cooperation of our gate personnel to don the 1916-themed attire, to the Centennial themed food, drink and products from our exhibitors, and the participation from our media partners, all efforts were greatly appreciated.

This Fair was three years in the making and it went off without a hitch. We could not be happier with the end result...1,418,042 guests!

The effort invested into this year from our employees was remarkable. Many haven't taken a day off in well over a month. Thank you for your dedication!

As we move forward to Big E 101, we count on your continued support, enthusiasm for the job and your love of the Eastern States! Each and every one of you is integral to our success!
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1,418,042 Attended Our Centennial

The Big E welcomed 1,418,042 visitors to enjoy the Fair's entertainment, agriculture and food.
The Big E welcomed 1,418,042 visitors to enjoy the Fair's entertainment, agriculture and food. 
The 2016 Big E was the third most attended Fair to date and set five daily records: Opening Day with 86,204 visitors; Sept. 17 with 116,602 guests; Sept. 20 with 56,424 visitors; Sept. 25 with 132,041 visitors; and Sept. 29 with 84,111 guests. The Fair began with hot and humid summer weather but by the end of the 17 days, the brisk autumn air took over. Regardless of the few rainy days, the centennial was a huge success!

There was entertainment for the whole family every day of the Fair. Kicking off the centennial at The Big E Bash on Opening Night, Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra set the stage for amazing concerts to follow, and Electric Equinox presented by Morgan Page closed out the Fair. Big name performers like X Ambassadors, Elle King, Lee Brice and Maren Morris took the xfinity arena stage and wowed the crowds. Mike Brewer returned for the second Collector Car Experience. The Big E Circus Spectacular and the White Hut Cheeseburg Eating World Championship rounded out the entertainment.

The Big E debuted CoffeE with JuliE, a Facebook Livestream series that highlighted the day’s events and took viewers behind the scenes of The Big E. The daily videos were a hit and The Big E’s Facebook page had more than 200,000 likes by the end of the Fair. On Instagram, there were more than 10,000 followers and on Twitter, more than 10,500. #BigEMoments continued to be widely used on social media and the new #BigE100 was also popular.

Eastern States Exposition Centennial: “A Century of Greatness” Exhibit featured ESE memorabilia from 1916 to now, telling our story through photographs, artifacts, hanging panels and video pieces. There were specific displays of the former racetrack with a restored winning race car from 1966, actual hockey equipment used in the Coliseum decades ago, and a five-foot tall decorated birthday cake from Pete’s Sweets.

The Wurst Haus and the Deep South Food Company, two new food spots on the grounds, debuted authentic food and drink. New foods like the Cowboy Nachos from Ultimate BBQ, the Mac & Cheese Burger from the Sam Adams Beer Garden, Moolicious’ Blueberry Pierogi Sundae and Anna’s Fried DoughCo became fairgoer favorites.

Thousands of exhibitors competed in youth, open, 4-H and FFA competitions during the course of the Fair. Winners of the eleventh annual Big E Northeast Gold Wine Competition and the eighth annual Big E Gold Medal Cheese Competition were on display and sold in the Wine and Cheese Barn. A new record of 1,677 lbs. was set in the Giant Pumpkin contest and the 4-H Beef Grand Champion Steer was purchased by ESE Chairman of the Board Donald R. Chase, at the Fair’s auction for $9/lb. The steer was raised from birth by Olivia Oatley, of Exeter, Rhode Island.

The Coliseum hosted the ESE Horse Show, now designated a Heritage event, and the ESE Equestrian Hall of Fame Induction ceremony which honored the late James LaHood, longtime ESE horse show manager.

Many thanks to our employees, volunteers, concessionaires, exhibitors and every person who helped The Big E achieve a huge, safe and fun Fair for our guests.

Visit TheBigE.com for details as plans begin to take shape for Big E 101, September 15-October 1, 2017.
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Puzzle Aficionado

Stanley Wosko created a commemorative fair-themed puzzle in honor of The Big E's 100th anniversary.
Stanley Wosko created a commemorative fair-themed puzzle in honor of The Big E's 100th anniversary.  
Now, that's a puzzle! Stanley Wosko, of Chicopee, Mass., presented Gene Cassidy with a commemorative fair-themed puzzle in honor of The Big E’s 100th anniversary. Stanley, who works in the Coliseum as a "Red Coat" usher during the Fair and at year-round events as a parker at ESE, selected the mural of a cotton candy concession stand as the image for the 1,000 piece puzzle. Thanks, Stanley!
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Fairgoer Favorite

The winner of the Big Eats Awards Fairgoer Favorites is Fried Butter Balls by Marion's Fried Dough.
The winner of the Big Eats Awards Fairgoer Favorites is Fried Butter Balls by Marion's Fried Dough.  
It’s official! The winner of the Big Eats Awards Fairgoer Favorite is Fried Butter Balls by Marion’s Fried Dough! Owner, Paula Cushing-Pote, was presented her award by Mr. BiggiE, the Mardi Gras Showgirls and ESE’s Sales department. The sweet frozen butter, wrapped in homemade dough and deep fried, was selected by Facebook users who voted for ten Fairgoer Favorite finalists throughout the 17-days of the Fair.
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The Fiber Festival

Visit ESE's Fiber Festival Nov. 5 & 6 for a fleece sale, fiber fashion show, workshops, sheep shearing demonstrations and more!
Visit ESE's Fiber Festival Nov. 5 & 6 for a fleece sale, fiber fashion show, workshops, sheep shearing demonstrations and more! 
The Fiber Festival is back and just in time for the winter months! Eastern States Exposition and the New England Sheep and Wool Growers are proud to present the premier event for Fiber lovers, Nov. 5 & 6!

If you've never joined us for Fiber Fest, imagine the Fiber Nook taking over the entire Mallary Complex. The show will feature more than 200 booths offering everything from raw fleeces and yarn to patterns, kits, beads, clothing, supplies and spinning wheels.

Let's not forget the popular Fleece Sale, workshops, sheep shearing demonstrations, Make It With Wool Competition and live animals.

A Fiber Fashion Show, featuring handmade clothing and items made from natural fiber, will take place Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1:45pm. If you have a fiber-made accessory or garment made out of wool, mohair, alpaca or angora, this is a great time to showcase it at this fun event.

Admission is $7 for adults and free for children under 12. For more information on tickets and how to sign up for workshops, please visit FiberFestival.org.

See you at The Fiber Festival! It's a great place to get all your holiday shopping done!
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Masters of Music

The Kings won the 2016 Masters of Music competition and performed on The Big E's Court of Honor Stage.
The Kings won the 2016 Masters of Music competition and performed on The Big E's Court of Honor Stage. 
We hope you caught a glimpse of The Kings' killer set at the Court of Honor Stage the middle Saturday of The Big E this year!

The band is a two-time Masters of Music participant, finishing second last year and winning the competition for 2016. In addition to the prestige and cash prize, we took two members of the band to Nashville for the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA) Conference last weekend.

We are pleased to announce that the Masters of Music program is coming back for 2017! The battle of the bands style competition offers up-and-coming musicians the opportunity to perform at the CityBlock Summer Concert Series and compete for the chance to win a gig at The Big E, a $1,000 cash prize and more.

Musicians can apply for the Masters of Music competition May 1 through June 5 via TheBigE.com/Masters of Music. The competition is open to all musicians who wish to participate. Let's see what you've got!

Be on the lookout! If you see any great emerging talent performing in the community, be sure to tell them about this opportunity!
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Lost & Found

It’s the last day of The Big E! Per usual, we have a lot of lost belongings we’re looking to return to the rightful owners. There were a total of 642 found items as of yesterday afternoon, and only 100 have been claimed.

If you are missing something, or are looking to turn in a found item, report to the Lost People Center. You may drop them off or call ext. 5164 for pick-up service.
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Military Appreciation Day

The VA Information Center on Opening Day provides veterans with national and state veteran resources.
The VA Information Center on Opening Day provides veterans with national and state veteran resources. 
Here at The Big E we like to honor all our Armed Forces members, past and present.

One way we do that is by celebrating Military Appreciation Day, which will be held on Opening Day of next year’s Fair, Sept. 15, 2017.

All active duty and retired military personnel, dependents of active duty military personnel and military veterans (no dependents) will be welcomed back for a free day of fun at The Big E.

Military Appreciation Day is The Big E’s way of saying “thank you” to those who are currently serving or have served in the United States Armed Forces.

The VA Information Center located on the Avenue of States that day will provide information on both national and state veteran resources, including the opportunity to sign up for VA Healthcare or to file a service connected disability claim.

The Big E is proud to extend awareness about VA benefits and services as a thank you to all of our military personnel and veterans. See you next year!
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Fiber Festival of New England

The Fiber Festival of New England is a great opportunity for buying unique, handmade holiday gifts!
The Fiber Festival of New England is a great opportunity for buying unique, handmade holiday gifts! 
Just because The Big E is coming to a close doesn’t mean the fun stops! Get ready for the Fiber Festival of New England, right here in the Mallary Complex, Nov. 5 & 6.

The seventh annual show, co-produced by the New England Sheep and Wool Growers Association, will feature more than 150 New England exhibitors showcasing clothing, quilts, blankets, rugs, looms, spinning wheels and more.

Fiber Fest is a great educational experience for the whole family with live displays of llamas, alpacas, sheep and rabbits, plus workshops on felting, spinning, punch needle, Tunisian crochet, rug hooking and more.

It’s never too early to start your holiday shopping and nothing compares to handmade gifts.

Admission to the Fiber Festival of New England is $7 for adults and free for children 12 and under. For more info, visit FiberFestival.org.
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New England Scare Fest

Visit ESE's Scare Fest this October for a Halloween adventure.
Visit ESE's Scare Fest this October for a Halloween adventure. 
You’ve probably seen the viral ads online and the booth on the Avenue of States, but if you haven’t heard, DementedFX will host the first haunted house, scare attraction and Halloween festival on the grounds of Eastern States this fall...introducing New England Scare Fest!

The Scare Fest is open every Thursday through Sunday in October, starting October 13.

This outdoor Halloween festival is guaranteed to thrill, scare and bring a good time.

Be sure to also join us for Storrowton’s “Tales from Haunted New England,” Oct. 21 at 7pm. Visit StorrowtonVillage.com for more information!
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North American Belgian Championship 8

The NABC8 features the best of the Belgian Draft Horse breed.
The NABC8 features the best of the Belgian Draft Horse breed. 
Just like the Olympics, the prestigious North American Belgian Championships (NABC8) only happen once every four years.

Eastern States Exposition has been selected to host this year’s NABC 8, Oct. 10-15. The event will feature the best of the best Belgian Draft Horses. Competitions include 6-horse, 4-horse and team hitches, halter competitions and more.
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Electric Equinox

The Big E is proud to welcome an EDM concert into the fair industry.
The Big E is proud to welcome an EDM concert into the fair industry. 
It goes without saying that The Big E has an extremely diverse audience. On the entertainment spectrum, our goal is to fill our 17-day roster with acts of a variety of genres that appeal to everyone’s tastes.

There is a growing EDM following in this area and for the past few years, we have been working toward producing a creditable EDM concert – starting to introduce the genre to our patrons with celebrity artists like DJ Pauly D and Paris Hilton.

EDM is still relatively new to the fair industry, and it took a great deal of effort on our end to find agents that would buy into The Big E and consider us a credible venue to host their artists.

We were fortunate to build a relationship with Morgan Page, a Vermont native, at the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA) Conference last October. Page is a popular EDM artist, songwriter, and host of the Sirius XM radio show, “In The Air.”

His team was very enthusiastic about The Big E and receptive to the idea of bringing EDM into the fair industry. They secured two other national touring artists, CAZZETTE and JAYCEEOH, to support Page and create the atmosphere of a small-scale EDM festival within The Big E – Morgan Page presents Electric Equinox.

So far, we’ve received a lot of positive feedback about Electric Equinox and comments from fans of the genre who are pleasantly surprised that The Big E has produced a show of this caliber.

This event could be a springboard for other fairs to recognize the importance of including EDM music in their lineups.
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Scared out of Her Shoes

The "Mechanical Man" has performed all around The Big E grounds and amazed fairgoers for 25 years.
The "Mechanical Man" has performed all around The Big E grounds and amazed fairgoers for 25 years.  
After 38 years appearing as the “Mechanical Man,” (25 years at The Big E), Randy Burns finally scared a fairgoer out of her shoes – literally!

While performing in the Young Building, near a Big E Souvenir location, Randy heard some banter among three women about whether he was real or not. Moving swiftly toward the woman, Randy put his hand up to greet the fairgoer. She jumped back, leaving her shoes on the ground. Her reaction was so hilarious, Randy broke character to not only laugh, but to assure the woman he was real, indeed!
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Lee Brice Recap

Country star Lee Brice gave one heck of a performance Friday night! Brice thanked our local heroes including those who keep The Big E safe.
Country star Lee Brice gave one heck of a performance Friday night! Brice thanked our local heroes including those who keep The Big E safe.  
Country music fans are hardy! Despite the constant drizzle and chilly temperature, there was a packed house for Lee Brice’s show, Friday night at the xfinity arena! Lee gave a touching salute to our men and women of the US Armed Forces and thanked our local heroes - police, fire, security and everyone who keeps the Fair safe. There was a little love in the air too, as two couples got engaged during Lee’s romantic hit, “I Don’t Dance.” Watch the video of one of the proposals on The Big E’s Facebook page.
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Salute to Special Olympics

Today is Special Olympics Day! The Big E welcomes all athletes from throughout the Bay State. The day’s festivities begin at 10am with Opening Ceremonies on the Flag Plaza and a torch run from Gate 1, followed by events on the Storrowton Village Green. The evening will conclude with participation in The Big E Grande Mardi Gras Parade.

Events on Storrowton Village Green
  • Young Athletes Exhibition, 1pm
  • Unified Cheerleading Exhibition, 2pm
  • Unified Sports: Bocce, 3:30pm
  • Parade, 5pm
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Dennis Fraleigh "Friend of the Big E"

Dennis Fraleigh, owner of F&W Concessions, Inc., was recognized as a "Friend of The Big E" for his continual support of ESE and his Butcher Boy float.
Dennis Fraleigh, owner of F&W Concessions, Inc., was recognized as a "Friend of The Big E" for his continual support of ESE and his Butcher Boy float. 
Congratulations to Dennis Fraleigh, owner of F&W Concessions, Inc., who was honored with the “Friend of The Big E” award during a reception in the Brooks Building. Dennis was recognized for his continual support of Eastern States Exposition all year long and his willingness to go above and beyond. In honor of the Exposition’s 100th anniversary, Dennis commissioned a Butcher Boy float and has invited different people to ride on it every day. Stop by his location inside Gate 5 and congratulate him on receiving this honor.
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Bud Light Party

Do you remember the fun #BigEUpForWhatever contest we ran with Williams Distributing last year? Well, we have something new for 2016!

Move over Seth Rogan and Amy Schumer, The Big E is taking over the Bud Light Party!...Even more appropriate, because ironically, Amy was in Springfield last night!

Visit the Bud Light Beer Garden, located at the Court of Honor, from 1-3pm today and Sunday to participate!
You will be instructed to put your name on a ballot and slip it in the Bud Light Party ballot box. At 2:30pm on both days, the team will draw the winning ballot.

The winner and the Bud Light procession will head to the Giant Slide for a free ride, over to the Granville Country Store, in the Better Living Center, for a cheesy meal and, of course, they will receive a Bud Light!
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Oktoberfest!

The Wurst Haus is just one of the many places at The Big E to celebrate Oktoberfest.
The Wurst Haus is just one of the many places at The Big E to celebrate Oktoberfest. 
It’s October...which means, it’s time to celebrate Oktoberfest! Get festive and enjoy the traditional autumn festival right here at The Big E!

The fairgrounds offer plenty of authentic German drinking and merrymaking that will make you feel like you’re in Munich.

The Hofbrauhaus Oktoberfest Bier Garten located in the Food Court offers potato pancakes, Goulash stew and grilled reubens, to name a few.

There’s also the brand new Wurst Haus which offers guests an authentic German experience. Among the “German Giant” (an 18-inch brat on a bun), the Munich corn dogs or the huge Bavarian Pretzels, the Wurst Haus is the place to be. While you’re there, don’t forget to raise your giant “boot” of beer to the beat of Oom-pah music and festive cheer.

Have a beer!
  • The Sam Adams Brew Garden
  • The Deep South Food Company
  • Long Trail Brewing Company
  • New England Craft Beer Pub
  • Opa-Opa Saloon
  • Spencer Trappist Beer Bar & Experience
  • Storrowton Tavern Terrace
  • Yuengling Cafe
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Hallamore Clydesdales

The Hallamore Clydesdales, the image of the Hallamore Corporation, are celebrating 40 years at The Big E.
The Hallamore Clydesdales, the image of the Hallamore Corporation, are celebrating 40 years at The Big E. 
The Hallamore Clydesdales and their 8-horse-hitch have been strutting through The Big E Parade for 40 years now.

The Clydesdales are a part of the Hallamore Corporation which is based out of Lakeville, Mass. It is the largest firm in New England specializing in heavy hauling, rigging and cranes up to 400 tons.

The Clydesdale breed, original to Scotland, is known for its power and strength. Ned Niemic, manager of the Clydesdales for 26 years, enjoys sharing the horses with the public. “Where else could we have so many people see them in just 17 days?” Ned said.

With their commanding presence and stylish look, the Clydsedales are a sight to see. Catch them in the Stroh Building or in the Daily Parade and help celebrate 40 years of Hallamore at The Big E!
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50 Years at The Big E

Congratulations to the Better Living Center’s Manager John Kaboray as he celebrates 50 years at The Big E! John first started working at the Fair in 1966, thanks to New York Style Pizza owner and a 2016 Host of the Day, Art Pokorny.

John was a member of the Neighborhood House in West Springfield, which later became the Boys and Girls Club, where Art was the director. Still in high school at the time, John would come to the Fair after school and work as a member of the cleanup crew.

Fast forward 50 years and John just can’t get enough of the Fair. “It’s just a part of you, it gets in your blood” he said. “I love the people I work with, they are family.”

As a member of the Exposition’s fairtime Sales department, John has done a terrific job keeping fairgoers happy. Thank you for 50 great years!
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Jewelry Shoppin'

Mark Billman has been creating custom jewelry for fairgoers at The Big E since 1984.
Mark Billman has been creating custom jewelry for fairgoers at The Big E since 1984. 
Mark Billman recently calculated how much time he has spent at The Big E...turns out, it has been about a year and a half of his life.

Since 1984, Jewelry by Mark Billman has been a staple in Craft Common. Selling earrings, rings, toe rings, and the most popular, ear cuffs, Mark also has music from his personal album playing in the background while he creates custom jewelry for fairgoers.

Perhaps most unique about the custom jewelry, is the Niobium pieces that have a beautiful rainbow tint that shines through the metal. According to Mark, sending electricity through the metal while in salt water produces this distinct look.

Making the trip every year from Gainesville, Fla., Mark says, “I love being in the fall weather, and coming up here is like a reunion.”

Mark has met plenty of Big E friends over the years, some of those who have evolved into loyal customers and helpful assistants.

For stunning jewelry designed and handmade by Mark, stop by his booth in Craft Common.
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Harvest New England Day

Harvest New England Day offered natural, tasty treats from throughout the region on Fri., Sept. 30 at The Big E.
Harvest New England Day offered natural, tasty treats from throughout the region on Fri., Sept. 30 at The Big E. 
It’s time to celebrate fall in New England! Today is Harvest New England Day and the participating states are offering unique foods and specialty products on the Avenue from 10am to 7pm. Natural is the name of the game for today. From Vermont jams to Massachusetts raspberries, fairgoers are in for a treat while vendors promote their industries. Harvest New England Day is just like one of the state’s days at The Big E, but a compilation of them all! There’s also a chance to win awesome prizes.

Play the “Passport” game while you explore the buildings and get your book stamped along the way. Get your Passport from 10am to 4pm at the Massachusetts and New Hampshire State buildings on the Avenue. Once you have a stamp from each of the six states, bring it back to the registration tent before 5pm and you might just be a lucky winner!
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Designs by Diana

Diana Snee burns into driftwood outside her Designs by Diana booth on Hampden Avenue.
Diana Snee burns into driftwood outside her Designs by Diana booth on Hampden Avenue.  
What started off as an evening project for Diana Snee has turned into a successful business for her and her husband Gary.

A florist for 37 years, Diana became involved in wood burning, also known as pyrography, 27 years ago. Today, Designs by Diana combines her floral and wood burning talents to create remarkable, personalized home décor. After gathering roughly 300-year-old Cedar driftwood from throughout Maine, Diana free-hands various designs including landscapes, phrases, or anything requested. All year Diana and Gary travel to antique shops and flea markets searching for their next piece of art. Diana’s work naturally refurbishes forgotten antiques by securing them to crafted pieces of driftwood and decorating them with beautiful floral arrangements.

Traveling to more than 30 fairs and craft shows each year, Gary and Diana agreed that their best show is always The Big E.

The Snees, of Raymond, Maine, have been coming to the Fair for the past five years and are happy to see the wonderful crowds of The Big E from their location on Hampden Avenue.
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Say Cheese!

The Granville Country Store offers packaged cheese along with ready-to-eat grilled cheese sandwiches in the Better Living Center.
The Granville Country Store offers packaged cheese along with ready-to-eat grilled cheese sandwiches in the Better Living Center. 
It’s all about the cheese! John Mountain and his wife Tracy are back at The Big E for their sixth year with their famous cheese melts. Located in the Better Living Center this year, and operating out of a booth from 1851, the Granville Country Store offers packaged blocks of aged cheese, along with delicious mac & cheese and ready-to-eat sandwiches like The Big E Special: a Cheddar, American, Mac and Cheese melt. Other sandwiches are made with Feta or Horseradish cheese and topped with ingredients like tomatoes, bacon, jalapeños and pickles. The high quality cheeses are aged in one of the three aging rooms at the Granville Country Store’s permanent location in Granville, Mass.
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A Piece of Maine

Richard Carney of Old Bottle Sea Glass of Maine turns his underwater finds into pieces of art.
Richard Carney of Old Bottle Sea Glass of Maine turns his underwater finds into pieces of art. 
Nestled within the hustle and bustle of the Maine Building is a one-of-a-kind find.

Richard Carney, the self-declared treasure diver become artist, pieces together underwater artifacts from his dives, into framed works of art. Old Bottle Sea Glass of Maine, Richard’s business based out of Brunswick, Maine, has proven to be quite lucrative at The Big E. The treasure diver finds anything from a penguin statue, to a single key, and everything in between during his underwater adventures.

“Everything everyone ever had is still here,” said Richard who dives at steamboat landings and hotel docks, among other places, along the coast of Maine.

In addition to the outdated Razor cell phone piece titled “He Said He’d Call” or the broken elephant trinket framed in stained glass titled “Holey Elephant Batman,” Richard also sells various sea glass items.

Stop by this unique booth and bring home a piece of Maine!
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Sweet Like Maple Syrup

The Massachusetts Maple Syrup Dessert contest took place Sept. 27 in the New England Center. Pictured above are: Danielle Place (2nd), Steve Tessier (3rd) and Samantha Drake (1st).
The Massachusetts Maple Syrup Dessert contest took place Sept. 27 in the New England Center. Pictured above are: Danielle Place (2nd), Steve Tessier (3rd) and Samantha Drake (1st).  
The Maple Syrup & Bacon Fried Dough from Pop N Fresh wasn’t the only maple smothered treat on the grounds this past week!

The results are in for this year’s Mass. Maple Syrup Dessert Contest! With 11 entries, there was a new record set in the New England Center on Tue., Sept. 27. Big E friends and owners of Partners Restaurant and Catering in Agawam, Mark and Sue Tansey, were the judges, basing their decisions on 80 percent taste and 20 percent appearance.

First place winner, Samantha Drake, of South Easton, Mass., baked a fabulous bourbon tiramisu. In second place was Danielle Place, of Waterbury, Conn., with a pumpkin maple cheesecake. Steve Tessier, of East Hartford, Conn., won third place with his decadent trifle dessert. Each recipe needed to include Mass. maple syrup, but the rest was up to the baker.

Like baking? Check out the Domino Sugar Cupcake Contest in the New England Center today. Judging begins at 10am.
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4-H Beef Sale

ESE Chairman of the Board, Donald R. Chase, purchased the Grand Champion steer at the annual 4-H Beef Sale.
ESE Chairman of the Board, Donald R. Chase, purchased the Grand Champion steer at the annual 4-H Beef Sale. 
A good time was had by all at the annual 4-H Beef Sale on Monday night in the Mallary Complex. 4-H youth from the Market Animal Sale Program showcased their beautiful steer to prospective buyers. A total of 24 animals were auctioned over the course of the evening.

Right off the bat, ESE Chairman of the Board, Don Chase, and Gene Cassidy got in a bidding war over the 1,335lb. Grand Champion steer, raised by Olivia Oatley of Exeter, Rhode Island. The numbers quickly surpassed last year’s $6.50/lb. high bid and went all the way to $9/lb. Don Chase emerged victorious, winning the angus cross breed.

Gene ended up purchasing Olivia’s third place Highly Commended Maine Anjou steer for $4.50/lb for the Eastern States Exposition Foundation. The Reserve Grand Champion went to ESE Treasurer, Bill Wagner, president of Chicopee Savings Bank, for $4.25/lb.
Our pals at North American Midway also went home with a steer.

The grain-fed steer are raised from birth by 4-Hers who purchase them and carefully record every aspect of their growth. Money raised at the auction goes directly to the participating 4-H youth, many of whom use the funds for their college education or to purchase another steer for next year’s program.
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Home Cooking

There’s no denying the greatness of The Big E’s food. But then again, there’s nothing like a classic, home-cooked meal like those prepared daily by the West Springfield United Methodist Church in the Moses Building.

For the past 97 years, the Church, formerly known as the Mittineague Methodist Church, has been serving breakfast, lunch and supper to hundreds of 4-Hers who participate in the Fair.

4-H is a youth agriculture organization and members from throughout the region come to The Big E as guests with the opportunity to participate in shows, contests and interact with fellow 4-Hers.

For the first time ever, the Church is offering their famous chicken pot pies, beef noodle soups and pork roast dinners to all Big E fairgoers, employees, volunteers and exhibitors.

Larry Pelland, the head chef of nearly 25 years, and his three helpers are the only paid personnel serving about 8,000 meals throughout the 17 days. The rest of the assembly line-style cafeteria is supported by roughly 100 local volunteers.The space is designed to serve 600 people passing through in 25 minutes.

Among the long, wooden dinner tables, stacks of bread, the 4-H pledge and the original 1916 aluminum serving trays, is Volunteer Coordinator Gail Barnes. Gail has been a volunteer for 38 years and loves working with the 4-Hers.

“They’re a great bunch of kids and the most friendly,” she said.

The Church serves breakfast from 6:30 to 8am, lunch from 11:15am to 1:15pm and supper from 5 to 7pm. Meals cost between $5 and $9 and Chef Larry is very accommodating to vegetarians and gluten-free customers.
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Big E Auto Racing

The ESE's Centennial: "A Century of Greatness" Exhibit features artifacts from the former ESE auto racetrack, including the restored 1966 car shown above.
The ESE's Centennial: "A Century of Greatness" Exhibit features artifacts from the former ESE auto racetrack, including the restored 1966 car shown above. 
Did you know there used to be a popular racetrack right where the Midway now sits? Learn all about it in the “A Century of Greatness” exhibit located in the Young Building.

Four years ago, in anticipation of Eastern States Exposition’s Centennial, Fred Ciavola, of Springfield, Mass., started collecting memorabilia from the Exposition’s former racetrack, active from 1917 to 1968.

Dozens of authentic photos, an original fire suit worn by 1966 race winner Billy Greco, and his actual race car restored beautifully by Richard Belmonte are featured in the exhibit.

Fred has been in the exhibit everyday, educating fairgoers about the history of the track. “I came to my first race in 1961 and I fell in love. I used to come to the races with my friends and we would take as many pictures as we could afford to develop,” Fred said.

Now, 55 years later, Fred’s hobby has come full circle and The Big E thanks him for his dedication and contribution to our Centennial.
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Galaxy Girl

Galaxy Girl, the incredible trapeze artist, performs from 127 feet in the air every day near the Big Top.
Galaxy Girl, the incredible trapeze artist, performs from 127 feet in the air every day near the Big Top.  
Hope you’re not scared of heights! Tina Winn, also known as Galaxy Girl, is a seventh generation circus performer whose daredevil antics bring her 127 feet in the air.

Performing all around the world, Tina transforms into a super hero with circus talents on top of a steering wheel-sized platform on the towering sway pole. Without any harness or nets, you will leave Galaxy Girl’s show with your hands sweaty and nails bitten.

Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind trapeze artist who stuns adults and children alike. After all, she risks her life for your entertainment!

Catch her shows at noon, 3 or 6pm near the Big Top circus tent!
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WGBY & The Big E

This year, our pals at WGBY are producing a full-length documentary in commemoration of our Centennial milestone...“100 Years on the Avenue: The Story of The Big E.”

The documentary’s producer, Dave Fraser, spent his summer traveling across the New England states to hear the many different histories and perspectives relating to Eastern States Exposition.

Using archival material, interviews with historians and Big E staff, narration and current-day footage, the documentary will chronicle the last 100 years of Eastern States Exposition and New England’s favorite fall attraction.

The program has highlights from all six New England states and shows the ways in which each of them contribute to our beloved annual event.

Look for the finished documentary, this fall on WGBY - Nov. 28 at 8pm.

Visit wgby.org/bige for more information on the program.
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A Different Kind of Circus

Puppeteer and ventriloquist Nancy Mitchell, alongside the entourage of string marionettes and hand puppets, are a family favorite at The Big E.
Puppeteer and ventriloquist Nancy Mitchell, alongside the entourage of string marionettes and hand puppets, are a family favorite at The Big E.  
Bring the family down to Storrowton Village Green to catch a performance by the extraordinary Mitchell family and their famous marionettes.

Puppeteer and ventriloquist Nancy Mitchell, and her husband Jack, share the spotlight with their entourage of stringed marionettes, hand puppets and more in, “The Barnum & Baloney Circus.”

Grab a seat on the Village Green to watch the Mitchell Marionettes’ daily comedy skits at 11am, 2 & 6:30pm, daily.

Nancy is no stranger to The Big E. Her parents performed similar acts throughout the 80s and 90s, bringing their animatronics, Happy Harry and Cheerful Charlie to the grounds.

Nancy carries on their legacy with high-energy entertainment as she performs throughout the country celebrating the family’s 40th anniversary in the fair industry.

Age doesn’t matter when you’re at The Big E. Whether young or old, you will enjoy this Big E show!
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Creative Arts

The Creative Arts department features photography, quilting, lace making, doll making, traditional rug hooking and knitting, among other crafts.
The Creative Arts department features photography, quilting, lace making, doll making, traditional rug hooking and knitting, among other crafts. 
Have you walked through the Creative Arts department in the New England Center yet?

The incredible pieces of art on display prove that the traditions of quilting, lace making, rug hooking, knitting and doll making are not only alive, but flourishing. The works of art were submitted for judging prior to the Fair and according to Creative Arts Coordinator Jane Chapman, there were almost 300 more entries than last year.

With 253 quilts and 425 photographs submitted, both categories set new records. The Creative Arts department is a place for education as well as history with regular demonstrations and a 150-year-old featured quilt.

Stop by for some creative inspiration and to keep the traditions of our ancestors alive. You won’t be disappointed!

Don’t miss the Massachusetts Maple Syrup Dessert Contest happening today, right in the New England Center.
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Music News

Maren Morris rocked out the xfinity arena Sunday night. Beth Patella and her band opened up the show for the Country star.
Maren Morris rocked out the xfinity arena Sunday night. Beth Patella and her band opened up the show for the Country star. 
Yesterday we were joined by Jonah Marais, Round2Crew and Dylan Holland. The musically talented digi kids rose to fame with help from their worldwide following on social media. See an interview with the guys and our own Julie Harrison on The Big E Facebook segment, CoffeE with JuliE, broadcast live every morning at 9am!

In other music news, 2016 Masters of Music participant, Beth Patella and her band were selected as the opening performance for Country star Maren Morris at The Big E last night. They knocked it out!

Livio Gravini and the Free Spirit Society, also former Big E Masters of Music participants, lit up the Court of Honor Stage at 8pm yesterday.
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Centennial Copper Beech Tree

Have you had a chance to admire the beautiful landscaping amid the hustle and bustle of the fairgrounds? The Big E’s Landscaping crew has outdone themselves once again!

If you find yourself entering the grounds at Gate 9, check out our new Copper Beech Tree, planted in commemoration of our Centennial. The tree is located directly outside of the gate.

Although the tree has not reached its full growing potential of 100 feet, it still lives up to its name, transforming in color from a deep purple to its iconic shade of copper in the fall.

The Beech tree is another step toward the Exposition’s horticultural mission of introducing native plants to the grounds that will be around for the next generation. Five American Sycamore trees were planted along the Avenue of States in 2015.
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Budweiser Clydesdales

The Budweiser Clydesdales are a staple at The Big E. Located at the Avenue Showplace, the Clydesdales are also featured in the Daily Parade.
The Budweiser Clydesdales are a staple at The Big E. Located at the Avenue Showplace, the Clydesdales are also featured in the Daily Parade. 
In 1933, the now iconic Budweiser Clydesdales made their first appearance trotting down the streets of New York City.

In the years following, the tour became more and more popular, and soon enough thousands traveled to see the spectacle. The wagon has been hauled up and down the Mid-Atlantic states and even throughout New England.

Since then, the tradition of eight horses pulling the enormous red, white, and gold Studebaker wagon has carried on; a tradition that The Big E is proud to be a part of.

Head down to the Avenue ShowPlace to take a closer look at the “Gentle Giants,” weighing a collective 18,000 lbs.

You can also catch a glimpse of the horses pulling the wagon in the Daily Parade.
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The Business of Leather

Manny Brulport was born into the business. The business of hats, belts, and all things western, that is.

His father bought a tack shop in Sturbridge, Mass., in 1968 and the family began coming to The Big E in 1971 to sell their goods. Formally known as Milwaukee Thunder, Manny took over his father’s business and named it Hat Palace.

Walking down Commonwealth Avenue, you hear the Hat Palace before you see it. The Country music, soon coupled with a leather aroma, quickly takes over and the giant cow head is hard to miss.

Manny and his wife Brenda spend the winter off season at their Scottsdale, Arizona shop and home preparing for the fairs and concerts throughout the nation.

Over the years, Manny has honed his skills to produce handmade, quality leather belts that customers return yearly for. “What you see is western wear morphed into high quality leather belts,” said Brenda.

Inside the booth hangs a massive cow hide, now in its leather form often used to make saddles, that Manny works directly from to create custom, to size, quality belts for people of all ages.

“It’s a dying business,” said Manny. “People come to The Big E to shop and people appreciate good stuff,” he said, describing The Big E as a fair like no other.

What makes the Hat Palace, and its alter ego Scottsdale Belt Company, stand out from the rest, is the time and effort put into the products.

Every single belt sold by Manny and Brenda is made with real, American leather and smoothed, by hand, with a leather glove and strong canvas.

In addition to hats and belts, the Hat Palace sells purses, belt buckles, boots, wallets, gloves and clothing.

As Hat Palace’s business continues to boom each year, the Brulports look forward to ending their season with The Big E and Equine Affaire®, also held on our grounds in November.
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Grange Day!

The Grange Country Store features jams, jellies, and handcrafted articles from throughout New England.
The Grange Country Store features jams, jellies, and handcrafted articles from throughout New England.  
Have you visited the Grange yet? Come on down and celebrate Grange Day with the great folks at the New England Grange Building, located at the end of the Avenue of States!

View award-winning handmade items, chat with local Grangers and shop the Grange Country Store! You can find a prime selection of jams, jellies, preserves and beautifully handcrafted articles from around New England. There will be a Grange Day special on the incredible Apple Butter all day...$1.00 off regular price!

There will even be some musical entertainment inside the building. The Contra Banditos Band will be performing live from the Grange stage at 11am and 2pm!

Come in, shop around, listen to the tunes and say hello to the Grangers from all over the Northeast.
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Record Setting Ag

Daniel Boyce, of Benson, VT., broke the Giant Pumpkin contest record with his 1,677 pound pumpkin.
Daniel Boyce, of Benson, VT., broke the Giant Pumpkin contest record with his 1,677 pound pumpkin.  
We have a new record...and a very heavy record at that! Daniel Boyce, of Benson, Vermont, broke the adult division giant pumpkin record with his 1,677 lb. beast! The results were unveiled during the annual Weigh-Off in the Mallary Complex!

Emma Goetze, of Pittsfield, Mass., wasn’t too far behind in the youth division. She won the division with a 1,027 lb. pumpkin.

In addition to giant pumpkins, a giant squash weighing contest also took place. Joseph Hood, of Otis, Mass., won the adult division with a 767 lb. squash and Keira Dakin, of Windsor Locks, Conn., won the youth division with her 216 lb. squash.

All native produce entries must be grown at the contestants’ farms. The Pumpkin and Squash Weigh-Off first began at The Big E in 2000.

Want to grow your own? Stop by the 4-H Apple Booth in Farm-A-Rama to grab a packet of giant pumpkin seeds! Prior to what some folks think, it only takes one growing season for the pumpkins to get that big!

The top three adult winners are on display in Farm-A-Rama, as well as a giant carved pumpkin.
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Wine & Cheese...A Match Made in Heaven

The Wine and Cheese Barn offers samples for tasting and purchasing. Local vintners are present to assist fairgoers in their selections.
The Wine and Cheese Barn offers samples for tasting and purchasing. Local vintners are present to assist fairgoers in their selections. 
There’s no better combination than a glass of delicious wine with a slice of high quality, aged cheese...available for sample and purchase at The Big E Wine and Cheese Barn.

Formerly the Mallary Wine and Cheese Shoppe, the Barn resembles a peaceful New England vineyard, located outside the Mallary Complex.

Speak with the local vintners who are on hand to assist fairgoers in their wine selections. Each bottle is carefully transferred from the vineyard to the wine racks. Many of these products were entered into the annual Big E Northeast Gold Wine Competition in June.

The popular barn also features cheeses from the annual Big E Gold Medal Cheese Competition, held in August. A wide selection of commercial and artisanal New England cheeses from dairy cattle, goats and sheep are in stock for sampling and purchase.

Come visit the Wine and Cheese Barn...the best place to find quality wines and cheeses on the fairgrounds!
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Big Eats Awards

The Fried DoughCo of Anna's Fried Dough won the "Best Tasting Food" in the first annual Big Eats competition.
The Fried DoughCo of Anna's Fried Dough won the "Best Tasting Food" in the first annual Big Eats competition.  
The Big Eats awards have been distributed! Congratulations to the recipients! Be sure to try ‘em all!

Best Tasting Food
Anna’s Fried Dough • Fried DoughCos

Best New Food
Ultimate BBQ • Ultimate Cowboy Nachos

Most Creative Food
Moolicious • The Moo Nut

Best Salute to the Centennial
Dippin Dots • Avenue of States Sundaes

Thank you to our of our fabulous vendors for entering the inaugural contest, our judges, for selflessly donating their time, and to Gillian Palmer, for organizing the entire program.
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Landscaping & Green Awards

Tina Doolan of Banquet in a Bun was awarded first place in both the Landscaping and Green Awards categories.
Tina Doolan of Banquet in a Bun was awarded first place in both the Landscaping and Green Awards categories. 
Many awards were given out to our fabulous vendors yesterday. “Blue ribbons aren’t only in the barns,” Gene Cassidy said as he and Gillian Palmer presented the first Landscaping to Tina Doolan, of Banquet in a Bun! Second place went to Mike Zdebiak Sr. & Jr., of Meester Mike’s, and third place was awarded to John Perry, of the Wurst Haus. Banquet in a Bun also took first in the Green Awards, along with George Martin, of Billie’s Baked Potatoes in second, and Brian Osborn, of Osborn Mushrooms, in third! Congrats to all!
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Equestrian Hall of Fame

The ESE Equestrian Hall of Fame inducted the late James LaHood as the 2016 nominee. LaHood was a longtime ESE Horse Show manager.
The ESE Equestrian Hall of Fame inducted the late James LaHood as the 2016 nominee. LaHood was a longtime ESE Horse Show manager. 
The late Jim LaHood, Eastern States Exposition’s longtime horse show manager, will be inducted into the ESE Equestrian Hall of Fame as the 2016 honoree. The ceremony takes place today, at 6pm, in the Coliseum.

Jim was The Big E Horse Show manager for more than 25 years, as well as many other renowned shows across the country until his death in 2013.

Jim was recognized by the United Professional Horsemen’s Association as its Horse Show Manager of the Year and the United States Equestrian Federation Licensed Officials Committee for his dedication and outstanding contributions. Jim exemplified professionalism in his field and trained many of the top officials, staff and show managers of today.

Jim was chosen by “The People’s Choice” via public voting on the Eastern States Exposition Horse Show Facebook page. There were three other nominees.

The ESE Equestrian Hall of Fame was established in 2014 to recognize individuals and equines who have demonstrated excellence in their discipline, made significant achievements in the competition world and have made outstanding contributions to the sport and equestrian community.

We are proud to honor Jim’s legacy and the integral role he played at Eastern States Exposition.
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Potato Snacks

The leftover potatoes from Billie's Baked Potatoes cannot be composted so they shared with the elephants of Commerford's Petting Zoo instead.
The leftover potatoes from Billie's Baked Potatoes cannot be composted so they shared with the elephants of Commerford's Petting Zoo instead. 
Beulah and her friends at Commerford’s Petting Zoo get some tasty late-night snacks courtesy of Michael Potenza, The Big E’s Recycle Coordinator, and George Martin, of Billie’s Baked Potatoes.

On occasion, Billie’s will have some cooked potatoes left over at the end of the day.

“We can’t compost the potatoes that are left at the end of the day because they are wrapped in foil,” Michael said. “It will contaminate the compost pile.”

Instead of throwing the potatoes out, he asked the petting zoo if they would want the extras for their animals...yes!

According to Michael and George, the elephants have been scarfing them up like M&Ms.

“Let me tell you something,” Michael added, “When the elephants get done with those potatoes, you will have a compost pile!”
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Celebratin' Vermont

Celtic performances were just one of the Vermont Day activities held on Saturday, Sept. 24.
Celtic performances were just one of the Vermont Day activities held on Saturday, Sept. 24. 
Welcome Vermonters! The Green Mountain State compiles everything it’s most famous for into one location: The Vermont Building!

It’s New England, and flannel is the style. Stock up on your favorite fall-wear at Vermont Flannel. There are also cool wool products from Johnson Woolen Mill to get you through the long winter months.

It wouldn’t be Vermont without maple syrup and cheese, so swing by to get a taste of each. If you’re looking for the perfect lunch combo, American Flatbread Pizza and Long Trail beer is a must-have.

The day will feature Celtic performances from 10am-4pm on the front lawn. The Vermont Institute of Celtic Arts starts the show with a pipe band, followed by Heather Morris Celtic Dancers, performing traditional and contemporary Scottish Highland and Irish Step dance. Prydein, the Celtic rock band, will take the stage from 1-4pm.

The Bronze Ambassadors, an advanced-level handbell ensemble, will also be ringing in Vermont Day with free performances on the Storrowton Green at 1 and 3pm.

Don’t miss the Vermont pride in The Big E’s Daily Parade at 5pm.
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Celebrate New Hampshire!

New Hampshire fudge, tea and everything in between attracted crowds on Friday, Sept. 23.
New Hampshire fudge, tea and everything in between attracted crowds on Friday, Sept. 23. 
It’s the Granite State’s Big Day! Today is New Hampshire Day at The Big E and between the remarkable artwork and unique sweets, the Building is a must-see.You can’t beat the tastes of this great state, from sweet treats at Fudge Folks to the seasonings and teas from Harvest Thyme Herbs. The handcrafted artistry by Nancy Wibben, Toadstool Design and McMaster Weaving are just a few of the intricate designers featuring products from throughout the state.

The New Hampshire Building even has some cool swag for your pets! Stop by CritterGear for the latest and greatest in the pet world.

There are plenty of activities outside the building as well, like demonstrations in falconry and blacksmithing from 10am - 4pm. Line dancing, jazz and all around good music will be performed live from the stage beginning at noon. Entertainers like Monadnock Mavericks Line Dancing, Oxford & Clark, Ragtime Jazz Cats, Cardigan Mountain Tradition and Swing Rocket Family Band will represent the state of New Hampshire before the big salute in the 5pm Big E Daily Parade.
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Mass Ag in the Classroom

Harry Brandt, a teacher at Patrick E. Bowe School in Chicopee, was presented the Mass. AgriScience Excellence award in front of his students at the Court of Honor Stage.
Harry Brandt, a teacher at Patrick E. Bowe School in Chicopee, was presented the Mass. AgriScience Excellence award in front of his students at the Court of Honor Stage. 
ESE and Massashusetts Agriculture in the Classroom (MAC) presented the sixth annual Mass. AgriScience Excellence Award to Harry Brandt, of Chicopee. The honor is presented to a teacher who has done an outstanding job of bringing agriculture to the classroom.

Harry, a teacher at Patrick E. Bowe School in Chicopee, was accompanied by his fourth and fifth grade students to receive his plaque and a $200 classroom grant at The Big E yesterday.

Harry started a school/community garden in 2012 and it has since blossomed into 18 raised beds, six fruit trees, a large pumpkin patch and a compost area. The harvest is shared with the school cafeteria, student families and Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen, a local open pantry.

The Bowe Garden Club, consisting of 45 students, oversees the garden. The club is a member of the state’s Green Team Initiative.

With students by his side, Harry was saluted on The Big E’s Court of Honor Stage for his achievement by Bill Bourque, chair of ESE’s corporators, and Matthew Parsons, ESE corporator and co-chair of the Western Mass. Grant Committee.
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Lamb Tasting in the Wine & Cheese Barn

Dale Raymond of Revolution Taproom & Grill in Rochester, NH. and his wife Nicole prepared Tandori Lamb Meatballs at the Wine & Cheese Barn's lamb tasting.
Dale Raymond of Revolution Taproom & Grill in Rochester, NH. and his wife Nicole prepared Tandori Lamb Meatballs at the Wine & Cheese Barn's lamb tasting. 
Stop by The Big E Wine & Cheese Barn for a delicious sampling of New England lamb! On every State Day, New England lamb producers have been offering tastings of different recipes using lamb products.

Recipes offered during the Fair have included Lamb Burger Tacos with Roasted Beet Puree, Spicy Cucumbers, Black Olive & Garlic Aioli and Queso Fresco; Hopkins Farm Lamb Shoulder Chili; Lamb Sausage; and Lamb Shank with Polenta.

Today’s offering is Tandoori Lamb Meatballs and Saturday they will be featuring Curry Braised Lamb with Cucumber Raita and Roasted Lamb Bruschetta. You won’t want to miss these new and exciting taste temptations!
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It's Massachusetts Day

Massachusetts Day at The Big E featured local foods, talents and products, along with Bruce Marshall of WARE Oldies 1250.
Massachusetts Day at The Big E featured local foods, talents and products, along with Bruce Marshall of WARE Oldies 1250. 
The Spirit of America, the Bay State, the Commonwealth and beloved home state...it’s Massachusetts Day at The Big E!

The state will be showcasing its local talents and products in the building and on the lawn for the entire day.

From handmade jewelry to hand picked apples, all the work is a glorious sight to see. Amid the natural soaps and the Kringle Candles, the aroma is delightful. After testing out the herbal skincare products from Mimi’s Hilltop Apiary, indulge in a Boston cream pie cupcake or a flavored biscotti from Pop’s.

Join Mass. Dept. of Agriculture Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux and Exec. Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton on the front lawn of the Massachusetts Building for a ceremonial speaking program at 10am.

Exhibitors will display their work on the front lawn until dark and interviews with Bruce Marshall of WARE Oldies 1250 will take place until 2pm.

Live music from some of Massachusetts’ best like Mary & Dick Dale, Kieran McNally, Susan Cattaneo, Joe Perry, The Rafters and Charlie Farren will perform throughout the afternoon before all the musicians take the stage at 3:40pm for a final jam session.

End the day with a Big E salute to Massachusetts in the fun-filled parades at 5 and 8pm.
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Drink Like a Monk

The Spencer Trappist Beer Bar and Experience offered fairgoers the chance to step inside a replica monk dining hall for a guided tasting of Spencer Trappist Ale.
The Spencer Trappist Beer Bar and Experience offered fairgoers the chance to step inside a replica monk dining hall for a guided tasting of Spencer Trappist Ale. 
21+? There’s a new place to explore on the first Thirsty Thursday of The Big E...The Spencer Trappist Beer Bar & Experience inside Door 1 of the Young Building!

This is a bar like no other at The Big E. Fairgoers can step inside a replica of the monks’ dining hall at St. Joseph’s Abbey and enjoy a guided tasting of Spencer Trappist Ale with a delicious snack as the monks do every Sunday evening.

The perfect brew recipe was created after a two year journey through each Belgian Trappist brewery. Belgian yeast, combined with water from the monks’ local well, barley and hops of the Willamette and Nugget varieties come together into a simple 11.2-ounce bottle.
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Cake Decorating Contest in the New England Center

Jennifer West received the Marketing award from ESE President Gene Cassidy for her cake in the Domino Sugar Cake Decorating contest.
Jennifer West received the Marketing award from ESE President Gene Cassidy for her cake in the Domino Sugar Cake Decorating contest.  
Check out the best of Big E-themed baking today in the New England Center. Judging for the Domino Sugar Cake Decorating Competition begins at 10am today and the decadent cakes will be on display until noon.

Competitors are broken into four groups based on age and skill. Domino Sugar and The Big E will be awarding winners in each division. Entries are judged based on originality, creativity, workmanship, degree of difficulty, artistic coordination and overall appearance.

Each baker’s recipe (all including the imperative Domino Sugar ingredient) will be alongside the cakes.

Be sure to check out The Big E’s birthday cake, created by former Domino Sugar Cake Decorating Competition contestant and frosting artist extraordinaire, Peter Gray of Pete’s Sweets, in ESE’s Centennial “A Century of Greatness” exhibit in the Young Building.

Your eyes won’t be able to resist these sugary masterpieces!
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ESE-West Springfield Tartan

The ESE-West Springfield Tartan incorporates the colors of ESE and West Springfield, along with each of the six New England states.
The ESE-West Springfield Tartan incorporates the colors of ESE and West Springfield, along with each of the six New England states.  
The Eastern States Exposition-West Springfield Tartan is comprised of the official colors of ESE and the town of West Springfield as well as the primary colors of each New England state flag - incorporating blue, purple, yellow, green and red.

The tartan was designed to capture the essence of our community and all aspects that connect the 100-year history of the Exposition. It was woven in Scotland where an 18” square is on record at the Scottish Register of Tartans.

ESE-West Springfield Tartan products (scarves, ties, rosettes and more) are available at the Storrowton Village Gift Shop, the Fiber Nook and Big E Souvenir Booths!
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The Big Top

Johnny Rockett hosts the Big E Circus Spectacular daily with performances beginning at 1, 4 and 7pm.
Johnny Rockett hosts the Big E Circus Spectacular daily with performances beginning at 1, 4 and 7pm. 
Watch and be dazzled as the finest circus performers in the nation treat you to a show-stopping experience.

Side-slapping comedy, feats of strength, dazzling acrobats and more, all hosted by daredevil Johnny Rockett, take place at The Big E Circus Spectacular. Catch one of the free daily shows at 1, 4 & 7pm.

Head over to The Big Top Tent a little early to watch Tina Winn, better known as Galaxy Girl, defy gravity and perform from 127 feet in the air, on just a steering wheel-sized platform without any harness or nets. Galaxy Girl will leave your hands sweating and nails bitten at her noon, 3 & 6pm shows.
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Nutmeg State

The non-stop entertainment and abundance of tasty treats made for one fun Connecticut Day!
The non-stop entertainment and abundance of tasty treats made for one fun Connecticut Day! 
It’s always a big day for our neighbors to the south. Show your Connecticut pride and stop by the Nutmeg State’s building to find native products and tasty treats like saltwater taffy and New England seafood, or let the kids stop by and have some fun with LEGO.

Glamour Girls will kick off the day’s festivities on the building’s Front Lawn Stage and Sal Basile will be live from the building’s back stage, both at 10am. Don’t miss the Trampoline Place’s stellar performances on the front lawn at 11am, noon and 2:45pm, a visit by Lt. Governor Wyman at 3pm, and of course, the salute to Connecticut in The Big E Daily Parade at 5pm.

There will be non-stop entertainment throughout the day with performances by the Coastal Chordsmen, Wintergreen Magnet Chorus, Savage Brothers Band, Mark Twain, Second Company, Governor’s Foot Guard Band, Mass-Con Fusion Band, Shovel Head, The Stingrays and Gilleese Band.
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New on the Menu

The Blueberry Pierogi Sundae from Moolicious is just one of the incredible new foods offered at The Big E's centennial.
The Blueberry Pierogi Sundae from Moolicious is just one of the incredible new foods offered at The Big E's centennial. 
This year’s new foods reach a whole new level of taste bud tantalizing goodness that are sure to send all you foodies into a frenzy.

Start off your day the New England way with a Maple Waffle Breakfast Sandwich from Porky’s Concessions – two farm eggs, aged cheddar cheese and crisp maple bacon sandwiched between a golden maple waffle. New for lunch from Porky’s is a slow-cooked, tender BBQ Brisket Sandwich. Yum.

The Sam Adams Beer Garden is bringing us the El Diablo Chorizo Burger, Mozzarella Stuffed Tuscan Turkey Burger, Chicken & Waffle Sliders and the Mac & Cheese Burger. On that note, EB’s has new Mac & Cheese Bites to complement their already popular Deep Fried Shepherd’s Pie.

New foods in the French fry spectrum include the Chocolate & Bacon Covered Fries from KB Foods, Funnel Cake Fries from F&W Caterers, Sweet Potato Dessert Fries from Tracy’s Idaho Taqueria and Poutine from Poutine Gourmet.

Tacos or nachos? Anna’s Fried Dough introduced the Navajo Taco – beef and all the must-have taco fixings folded into a traditional fried dough delicacy. The Ultimate BBQ is now featuring the Ultimate Cowboy Nachos with your choice of either pulled pork or chicken slow cooked in special BBQ sauce amid shredded lettuce, sour cream, and of course, a bed of crunchy tortilla chips.

For dessert we have the Blueberry Pierogi Sundae from Moolicious and Mint & Peanut Butter soft serve ice cream from Amy’s Sweet Treats.
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Hatch Show Print

Make sure to grab your limited edition, Hatch Show Print poster at any Souvenir Booth to commemorate The Big E's 100th anniversary.
Make sure to grab your limited edition, Hatch Show Print poster at any Souvenir Booth to commemorate The Big E's 100th anniversary. 
If you follow music, art and culture, you are probably familiar with the iconic letters, images and unmistakable look of Hatch Show Print...one of the oldest letterpress print shops in America, located in Nashville.

Throughout the company’s history, Hatch posters have featured famous events and a host of entertainers, starting with Hank Williams and the stars of the Grand Ole Opry, and expanding to everyone from Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong to bands like Pearl Jam and Mumford & Sons.

To commemorate the Exposition’s 100th anniversary, a limited edition poster was produced by Hatch Show Print. The ESE 1916-2016 Hatch Show Print poster is only available for purchase at The Big E Souvenir Booths, Don’t miss your opportunity to own original Hatch artwork!
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"A Century of Fun" Book

Wayne Phaneuf, author of "Eastern States Exposition Centennial: A Century of Fun at The Big E," signs copies of the book for fairgoers.
Wayne Phaneuf, author of "Eastern States Exposition Centennial: A Century of Fun at The Big E," signs copies of the book for fairgoers. 
“Eastern States Exposition Centennial: A Century of Fun at The Big E,” is available at our Big E Information Booth locations around the grounds! ESE partnered with The Republican to produce the hard cover, pictorial book to commemorate our BIG 100. The 144-page collectible book highlights the rich history of the Exposition starting from its founding by Joshua L. Brooks. “A Century of Fun” takes readers through the decades of our great Fair, with highlights on the creation of Storrowton Village, the Storrowton Music Tent, hockey in the fabled Coliseum, horse and automobile racing, notable entertainers who graced our stages, natural disasters that befell the grounds, presidential visits, forgotten attractions and much more. Our supplies are limited! Grab your copy today!
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Elephant Education

Elephant educational shows take place every weekday of the Fair at 10am.
Elephant educational shows take place every weekday of the Fair at 10am. 
Tim Commerford and his nephew, Jerry Diezel, of R. W. Commerford & Sons, are presenting an elephant educational show again this year with Beulah, their popular Asian elephant. If you haven’t had a chance to see it, you can catch the presentation every weekday morning at 10am near the Commerford Petting Zoo location inside Gate 4. Please note that there are no programs on Saturdays and Sundays.
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Southern Munchin'

The all-new Deep South Food Company offers a decadent menu of food and drinks on Industrial Avenue.
The all-new Deep South Food Company offers a decadent menu of food and drinks on Industrial Avenue. 
Clemenza’s Italian Pavilion has been transformed into a haven for southern grub...the new Deep South Food Company!

The bayou food on the menu ranges from fried oysters, shrimp or catfish on a po’ boy to chicken ‘n maple bacon waffles, fried green tomatoes, BBQ, muffuletta sandwiches and southern-style cocktails, like the Alabama Rum Punch and a Blueberry Mint Julep.

The Deep South Company is one of the locations on the grounds where you can grab a drink or order a treat to eat while charging your electronic devices! For a full listing of locations to re-power, check out the map on The Big E app!
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Rhode Island Day

High school bands from Rhode Island helped celebrate The Big E's 100th birthday on Rhode Island Day, Tue., Sept. 20.
High school bands from Rhode Island helped celebrate The Big E's 100th birthday on Rhode Island Day, Tue., Sept. 20.  
The Rhode Island Building has created an immersive experience, complete with beaches, Waterfire, Block Island’s North Light and the famed Cliffwalk in Newport and more. Fairgoers are encouraged to snap a selfie and post it to #RIatBigE which automatically enters them in a contest to win a getaway to Newport. The first 100 people who post a selfie on RI Day will receive a special gift.

Stop in the building at 10:30am today and sing Happy Birthday to the Fair! As part of the celebration, the first 100 guests who go through the building will receive a free Famous Allie’s Donut.

Today’s fun includes:
• Avenue A Performances
• Mother Goose
• Square Dancers
• High School Bands
• Roger Williams Zoo Zoomobile
• Discover Newport Mobile
• Welcome Center
• Santa Claus
• The Conductor of the Polar Express

Fun Fact: You’ll get fined if you throw pickle juice on a trolley in Rhode Island.
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Farm to Family Table

The Big Y Farm to Family Table exhibit in Farm-A-Rama takes fairgoers on an interactive journey that follows food from the farm to the table.
The Big Y Farm to Family Table exhibit in Farm-A-Rama takes fairgoers on an interactive journey that follows food from the farm to the table. 
Farm-A-Rama received a facelift for the centennial with the addition of Big Y’s Farm to Family Table exhibit! The new interactive exhibit brings fairgoers of all ages through the whimsical, educational journey of food as it comes from the Farm to your Family’s table with an emphasis on New England agriculture.

The trip begins at the home of “The Naturals,” a family of fruits and vegetables designed to help showcase healthy eating for healthy lifestyles. The characters narrate the story of the agricultural cycle – delving into topics such as the seasons of native produce, how pollination works, meat production and the importance of buying local.

The exhibit highlights the farm to market process and ABCs of Produce, including information on fruits and vegetables grown in the New England states with accompanying facts, trivia and nutritional information.

The Interactive Milk Processing Exhibit consists of an automated milking machine chug-chugging away to produce wholesome milk, cream, cheese and other milk-based products. It is designed to illustrate how the dairy industry helps build strong bodies in a fun and entertaining way. A trivia component, called “All About Milk,” addresses the age old question, “How DO they make chocolate milk?!”

When you’re on break today, show some love for ag and visit the exhibit! Talk to New England Agriculture Pioneers and local farmers and snap a photo at Hood’s Heart of it All Dining Room! Share the photo on the “Family Table Photo Contest” app on The Big E’s Facebook page to be entered to win $500, $250 or $100 in Big Y gift cards.
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The Big E as Told by LEGO

LEGO is working in the Connecticut Building during the Fair to build four iconic Big E murals that will remain permanently on the grounds when complete.
LEGO is working in the Connecticut Building during the Fair to build four iconic Big E murals that will remain permanently on the grounds when complete.  
Our friends at LEGO are showing off their love for The Big E in a big way. Four murals depicting iconic scenes from around the fairgrounds are being constructed by fairgoers in the Connecticut Building for the company’s annual build activity.

As each mural is completed, they will be moved to a permanent display area on The Big E grounds so others can enjoy the awesome work!

Right now, all four murals are still underway. They are taking shape to resemble the historic Coliseum, Midway, Connecticut Building on the Avenue of States and the Storrowton Village Meetinghouse.

After the Fair is over, the murals will remain on the fairgrounds and moved to a yet to be determined location.

Huge thanks to Mark Fontanella, Jennifer Healy and the entire LEGO team for making this possible. We are looking forward to seeing the final products!
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Butter Sculpture

Food artist Jim Victor and his partner Marie Pelton have created a "Centennial Milk Wagon" giant butter sculpture under the Mallary Rotunda.
Food artist Jim Victor and his partner Marie Pelton have created a "Centennial Milk Wagon" giant butter sculpture under the Mallary Rotunda. 
A life sized sculpture of a cow, made entirely out of butter, was one of the main attractions at the National Dairy Show in 1916.

The art was recreated for the Exposition’s 75th Diamond Jubilee in 1996, by food artist, Jim Victor.

Jim and his partner, Marie Pelton, have been creating masterpieces made from 600 lbs. of Cabot Creamery butter since the 75th anniversary butter cow.

Have you been watching them work on this year’s sculpture, “A Centennial Milk Wagon?” Stop by the giant refrigerated room under the Mallary Rotunda to see it come to life!
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Say Cheese...Burgs!

Professional eater Matt "Megatoad" Stonie ate 41 White Hut cheeseburgers in ten minutes to be crowned White Hut Cheeseburg Eating Champion of the World.
Professional eater Matt "Megatoad" Stonie ate 41 White Hut cheeseburgers in ten minutes to be crowned White Hut Cheeseburg Eating Champion of the World. 
Well, would ya look at that...it’s National Cheeseburger Day! Treat yourself to a juicy burger for lunch...if, of course, you have been lucky enough to get those images of yesterday’s White Hut World Cheeseburg Eating Championship out of your head. If you avoided the scene completely, here’s a recap.

Local amateurs and pros from across the nation competed in the inaugural competition. EJ Barkett, owner of the White Hut, and his crew, made 600 cheeseburgs with famous fried onions for the contest.

Colin “Swollen Colon LePuke” LeDuc dominated the amateur division, consuming nine cheeseburgs in five minutes. He competed against seven other contestants, including MassLive’s “I Ate It so You Don’t Have To,” Nick O’Malley.

Ten professional eaters competed for the title of White Hut Cheesburg Eating Champion of the World. The competition was neck and neck, but #1 ranked competitive eater in the world, Matt “Megatoad” Stonie, of San Jose, Cal., took home the $2,000 grand prize and the title with a total of 41 cheeseburgs in 10 minutes.

In all truthfulness, the competition was awesome and the hype was off the charts. Huge thanks to the White Hut, Balise Auto and Major League Eating for making this crazy event possible. Let’s do it again!
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Collector Car Experience

Mike Brewer of Wheeler Dealer and Scott Hoke of Mecum Car Auctions hosted the Collector Car Experience which featured Peter Pan Bus Line's beloved 1939 GM Futurliner.
Mike Brewer of Wheeler Dealer and Scott Hoke of Mecum Car Auctions hosted the Collector Car Experience which featured Peter Pan Bus Line's beloved 1939 GM Futurliner. 
The cars are already cruisin’ into the xfinity arena this morning for the Collector Car Experience! We’ve got Lambos, Ferraris, muscle cars, brass era vehicles and more, plus a relic from the Exposition’s past...a restored racecar that raced to many victories on the old Racetrack.

Show up at 2pm to catch show hosts, Mike Brewer, of Wheeler Dealers, and Scott Hoke, of Mecum Auctions, introduce the 2016 lineup of cars and interview car owners to uncover the story behind their beloved vehicles. Legendary announcer, Jack Arute, will commentate the special on the Exposition’s former Racetrack.

New this year is a static display of cars spanning the perimeter of the arena, plus a meet and greet with Mike following the show.
Special thanks to our pals at Peter Pan Bus Lines for bringing their beloved 1939 GM Futurliner for the static display. Most importantly, massive thanks go to Mark Johnson and Aimee Bush of Klingberg Family Centers for being instrumental in the production of the show.
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Blast from the Past

The Storrowton Village Green is a beautiful spot to relax amid the hustle and bustle of The Big E.
The Storrowton Village Green is a beautiful spot to relax amid the hustle and bustle of The Big E. 
From 1927 to 1931, Helen Storrow, an Exposition trustee and chairman of its former Home Department, relocated nine 18th and 19th century buildings from Massachusetts and New Hampshire to West Springfield to create a permanent location for her department in the form of an Early American village.

Join us today to celebrate our beloved Village! Relax, sit on the lawn or tour the buildings! Chat with costumed volunteers to learn about daily life in the 19th century, or enjoy Early American Craft Demonstrations and 19th century yard games. While there, catch a show by the Mitchell Marionettes. This year, they are trading their sealegs for the highwire in the Barnum and Baloney Circus.

The Village shops are a great place to start your holiday shopping! The Gift Shop in the Phillips House carries colorful fall scarves and accents, novelty dish towels, music boxes, old-time aprons, an array of jewelry and more. After your tour of the Potter Mansion, stop in the Christmas Shop and Halloween Shop! Storrowton’s Candle Shop, featuring Yankee Candles is also close by in the Grange Building.
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The Wurst Haus by The Student Prince

The 18-inch "German Giant" brat on a bun featured at the Wurst Haus.
The 18-inch "German Giant" brat on a bun featured at the Wurst Haus. 

Celebrate our birthday German-style, and raise your giant “boot” of beer to the beat of Oom-pah! Springfield’s famed Student Prince restaurant’s latest endeavor, The Wurst Haus, is bringing more Ok­toberfest fun to The Big E!

Fried Camembert, huge Bavarian pretzels, Munich corn dogs, the “German Giant,” an 18 inch brat on a bun and a raw bar, are just a sampling of the authentic menu offered at the Wurst Haus.

Treat yourself to some fun at the Wurst Haus...located on Common­wealth Avenue, at the previous home of the Matunuck Oyster Bar.

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Our Pal Pete

Wheeler Dealer host Mike Brewer (left) with the giant centennial cake designer Peter Gray of Pete's Sweets.
Wheeler Dealer host Mike Brewer (left) with the giant centennial cake designer Peter Gray of Pete's Sweets. 
When planning for the Fair, The Big E’s #1 fan, Peter Gray, of Pete’s Sweets in East Longmeadow, Mass., volunteered to create a special birthday cake for our centennial.

Peter, owner of the pastry shop, was a contestant on season three of TLC’s Next Great Baker and has previously participated in our Domino Sugar Cake Decorating Contest. He won the contest’s Marketing Award in 2013 for creating a cake that best depicted The Big E.

The birthday cake is 11-tiers, measuring in at approximately 5 ft. tall. Each tier depicts a different Big E feature - from the Avenue to food, agriculture and entertainment.

It took Pete, and three others, 200 hours to create the cake using more than 200 lbs. of fondant, 1/2 gal. of edible paint, 32 sheets of edible paper, and 11 lbs. of sprinkles, sequins, and hand cut confetti.

The cake made its debut at The Big E’s Media Party and was the centerpiece of The Big E Bash festivities yesterday. It is now located in the Centennial Exhibit where it will stay for the remainder of the Fair.
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The Great State of Maine

Crowds gather at the Maine Building for a chance to see everything the state has to offer.
Crowds gather at the Maine Building for a chance to see everything the state has to offer. 
The “vacationland” of the Northeast is taking a vacation of its own! Today is Maine Day at The Big E and we are happy to welcome all of our visitors to the great state of Massachusetts!

After a change in our Special & State Day schedule, Maine is now the first New England State we are celebrating this Fair season!

The day’s festivities kick off with an opening ceremony at 9:30am.Musical performances begin when Amanda Landry takes the stage at 10:30am, followed by Denny Breau’s performance at noon, as well the Gym Dandies Childrens’ Circus at 2pm.

Hop in line for a famous baked potato with the works, grab a tantalizing lobster roll as a side dish, or even some smoked salmon and explore a selection of what the state has to offer, from handmade items to photography and nature-themed products.

Take your Mainer pride to the streets with The Big E Daily Parade at 5pm! It will be jam-packed with Maine Day Enhancement Floats, Maine’s Commodity Queens and Princesses and more! Begin to line the parade route at 5pm.
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Last Minute Preparations


One week and one day. That’s all you have to wait until the 2016 Big E opens. Although we’re all just as excited for the centennial opening, it’s a little more stressful than anything right now.

Since I started as an intern in the marketing department just a couple weeks ago, I’ve gotten a few “behind the scenes” golf-cart tours of the grounds. But aside from my awfully un-photogenic employee ID, I’m pretty much still an outsider because of the short time I’ve been here.

With that being said, I am somewhat surprised by some of the sights that have become commonplace for everyone else. For instance, why are there dozens of golf carts darting through buildings and yards? I know the fairgrounds are massive, but it looks like a community golf course at this point.

With one week to go, I’ve only seen a handful of food carts on the grounds. Let’s hope the food vendors are just a bunch of procrastinators, because they’ve got over one million visitors to feed in 17 days!

Also, I never knew the fair gets completely broken down after it concludes in early October. On my infamous golf-cart tour, I kept hearing “there will be a tent there, a bar there, oh, and vans goes there.” It’s shocking how so many people have so many things to pull together within the next week. However, I am more than positive that it will all come together. Every year, The Big E is a beautiful masterpiece thanks to the dedication of all its workers and volunteers.

Speaking of those involved, these people are relentless. They bring a whole new meaning to the term “long day.” Not to mention, these people are not young. I’ve never even heard of 80-year-olds working, let alone pushing boxes across the fairgrounds all day.

It’s crunch time, and there’s no doubt about it. It seems like the conference room door is always shut with endless last-minute meetings and the phones make for a nice melody as they ring more consistently than the sun shines.

Yet, as each day passes, I cannot help but feel more and more excited for the big day, September 16.
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Spring Improvements

Painters touching up the interior of the Coliseum!
Painters touching up the interior of the Coliseum! 

It’s time for spring improvements! The Exposition’s Operations crew has been very busy with the change of season.

The renovations in Storrowton Tavern’s Connecticut Room have been completed and carpenters Curt Boyle and Don Gilbert have moved on to repairing posts in the Carriage House Pavilion.

The roofs on the sheds in Storrowton and the Hampden County Building have been replaced and the Coliseum ring and steel structure beneath the windows received a fresh coat of paint thanks to Butch Wagner and Jeff Wojcik.

There was a major electrical upgrade in C Barn in which three 1950s-era transformers were replaced with state-of-the-art dry switch transformers that are safer and more reliable.

The crew has also been doing major prep for the horse show season! Grounds Foreman Tony Yacovone and his team have been turning on water to the camping areas and facilities, cleaning the barns and Coliseum, preparing equipment and setting up the rings. The work requires a great deal of time, effort and skill. Tony’s expertise allows a seamless transition into the season. The first horse show is NERHA’s Northeast Spring Spin, April 15-17.


Be sure to check out the grounds improvements next time you are at Eastern States Exposition!
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Business Development 101

Gillian N. Palmer, MBA, of Chicopee, Mass., was recently appointed to the American Bus Association (ABA) Marketplace Orientation Subcommittee for the 2017/2018 term. Palmer is the Business Development and Group Sales Coordinator at Eastern States Exposition.

The mission of the ABA Marketplace Orientation Subcommittee is to instruct and guide newcomers during their first Marketplace event. Subcommittee members are an integral component to the Marketplace experience. The program has found great success in the years since its establishment, and Palmer looks forward to building upon this momentum.

Marketplace is the travel and tourism industry’s premier business event. More than 3,500 tour operators, suppliers and exhibitors come together to explore business opportunities, network and attend seminars, over the week-long conference.

“It is such a great honor to be appointed to the Orientation Committee,” Palmer said. “Just two short years ago, I attended my first ABA Marketplace. I remember attending the orientation events and thinking how much I could not wait to give back. Now I have the opportunity to help lead and influence our next generation of delegates – it’s an incredible feeling.”

During Palmer’s two-year assignment with the subcommittee, she will develop communication, instruction and delivery methods to determine ways to best service new event attendees and educate them on Marketplace practices, procedures, expectations and activities.

Palmer joined the Exposition’s Sales Department in 2013. She is responsible for researching and developing prospective events, coordinating all food concessions at The Big E and during year-round events that take place at the Exposition, as well as working as the liaison for the Group Tour industry.

In March, Palmer represented ESE at the AAA Travel Marketplace at Gillette Stadium and attended the Delaney House’s Corporate Open House to talk about The Big E’s partnership with Log Rollin’ and the Fair’s Hospitality Pavilion. She also recently returned from Discover New England’s annual Tourism Summit & International Marketplace in Newport, Rhode Island, April 4-6. ESE was a sponsor of the event. While there, she garnered a lot of excitement about The Big E from numerous international tour operators. She will now be working on translating all of our materials into Chinese, French, Italian and Spanish.

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St. Pat’s with The Big E

The West Springfield St. Patrick’s Float Committee’s Colleen float!
The West Springfield St. Patrick’s Float Committee’s Colleen float! 

In commemoration of Eastern States Exposition’s centennial, the West Springfield St. Patrick’s Committee constructed their annual float with a Big E facade, complete with the Giant Slide, ferris wheel and ticket booths.

The float chairperson, Chris Thompson, of our Special Events department, even added a collection of historic Big E pictures on either side of the float as a nice finishing touch.

This year’s float was designed by eighth grader Rosemary Fontaine, of West Springfield. Rosemary was one of many middle school art students who submitted a design to the committee. The crew spent over two months in the Coliseum making her idea come to life.

During the dedication ceremony, ESE President & CEO Gene Cassidy and John Juliano, ESE director of Special Events, presented Chris with an anniversary poster from the 1997 Fair to say thanks for all the hard work he has done.

The ESE trolley also made an appearance in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade with The Big E Mardi Gras Band. Special shout-out to the musicians and drivers!


If you missed the festivities in Holyoke on March 20, you can catch the West Springfield float in The Big E Daily Parade on Salute to West Springfield Day!
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Historic Renovations

Don Gilbert working on the crown moulding in the Connecticut Room.
Don Gilbert working on the crown moulding in the Connecticut Room. 

The Connecticut Room in the historic Storrowton Tavern is currently undergoing a major renovation.

The project has been a joint effort between the Operations dept., and the Director of Storrowton Village Museum, Dennis Picard. Dennis has been overseeing the project every step of the way to ensure the renovations are historically accurate.

Our contractors, Curt Boyle and Don Gilbert, of Black Diamond Builders, replaced the ceiling and painted it with a classic colonial swirl design – a signature of the era, patched and sized the walls and are currently working on the crown moulding.

Once the new carpeting is placed, they will box in the steel lally columns with wood.

In addition, recessed lighting was installed and Tommy Mack of our Sound dept. equipped the room with a complete sound system.

The work is set for completion early next week. Come check it out next time you dine at Storrowton Tavern!


Check out what they have on the menu.
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Village View

Scene from Maple Harvest Day last year!
Scene from Maple Harvest Day last year! 

By Dennis Picard
Director of Storrowton Village Museum

Our annual Yuletide at Storrowton was certainly a success. What a contrast from last year when we had rain and wind. This year’s temperatures in the mid-40s to mid-50s made it very comfortable for our visitors to enjoy the outdoor ambiance. I was pleased at how many visitors came out to see what our decorators had created and to learn some history from the museum’s volunteers. I had more than one visitor stop me specifically to thank me for providing the venue for such a wonderful program. That is a true measure of what everyone does here. The Wednesday of our Lantern Light Tour, we had one of the largest audiences in the history of the event.

Early in January, Gift Shop manager Nancy Matregrano and I left for our annual buying trip to the Gift Show in Atlanta. This was an opportunity to examine new products and evaluate them for possible inclusion in our shop’s inventory during The Big E and the rest of the year.

On the evening of Friday, January 29, historian Carolyn Ivanoff of Shelton, Connecticut, presented her program “Dear Sarah” in our Union Meeting House. Based on her research into Civil War period letters between the home front and the war zone, it was an interesting look at the Civil War from a different point of view.

Early in February, our Look Back and Little Red Schoolhouse programs resumed. Teachers book dates to participate months in advance. Winter programming can be a challenge, and when conditions require a school system to close, we work with the classes to reschedule so students can still have an enriching experience working with our volunteer teams. The programs are now in their forth decade.

New this year will be the recreation of an old-fashioned ice harvest near Lot 9 of the Eastern States Exposition grounds. This area referred to as “the lagoon” is actually part of the old river bed. It was cut off centuries ago by natural meanderings of the water to create what is called an oxbow. During the 19th and early 20th centuries this pond was utilized as a source for natural ice that was harvested by a Springfield ice dealer who maintained an icehouse where the Fathers & Sons auto dealership stands today. This event took place on Monday, February 15, which is the Presidents Day holiday.

Sunday, March 13, is the date of our 2016 “Maple History Day” program. This event has proven to be quite popular with our visitors as well as the volunteers who have participated. For this event all activities are confined to the Gilbert Farmstead and front yard. Having the second floor available for touring was very popular last year. The West Springfield Lions Club is returning for another year offering pancake breakfasts in our Red Barn.


For a listing of upcoming events at Storrowton Village Museum, click here.
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Ag News

Cow lineup in the Coliseum in 1939.
Cow lineup in the Coliseum in 1939. 

By Donna Woolam
Director of Agriculture & Education

Let’s step back in time. It’s October 12, 1916, opening day of The 10th Annual National Dairy Show, held in the newly opened Coliseum on the grounds of Eastern States Agricultural and Industrial Exposition.

Such farms as Iroquois, C.B. Stevens, Wendover Farm, and seven Canadian herds will vie for the purple. There are six classes of bulls to be shown before the cow classes and premium money offered will not exceed $50 for each whole class. The Coliseum will be filled with men in suits and ladies in hats and gloves to watch the event.

Back to the present, it is September 22, 2016 and Eastern States Exposition has Ayrshire’s entering the ring to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Exposition and in attendance is the World Ayrshire Convention.

Eastern States Exposition has grown in many ways the last 100 years but never changing has been the need to maintain the mission. An excerpt from our 1916 premium book: “The Exposition is not a mere show enterprise. Its directors, who are farmers and business men, have set about the task of arresting the decline of agriculture by bringing together the best thought and experience of New England and the eastern states, the formation of a long-term program of action, and the unification and reinforcement of existing agencies for the betterment of country life conditions and closer relations between the rural and urban peoples.”

We are quite proud that after 100 years we still are providing a show enterprise and providing a venue of agricultural education. This year finds us looking at our Farm-A-Rama exhibit and working on ways to let our urban population know that “eating is an agricultural act.” Hours of planning will go into this new exhibit but we look forward to the challenge.

If you have an item that you would like to lend us for the agriculture centennial exhibit please contact us at 413-205-5011 or aginfo@thebige.com. We know you value your memorabilia and so will we.

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Model Train Mania

Model of Eastern States Exposition’s rail spur.
Model of Eastern States Exposition’s rail spur. 

It was another great year for the Amherst Railroad Hobby Show! Close to 20,000 rail fans from across the nation attended the event that was spread throughout the Better Living Center, Mallary Complex, Young and Stroh Buildings.

One of our favorite exhibits was the “Tribute to Springfield” layout by the Mohegan Pequot Model Railroad Club.

The display featured a model of ESE’s old railroad spur that was in use from the time of the Exposition’s construction up until the late 1970s.

The designer took a few creative liberties by incorporating the Young Building, which at that time was the Cow Palace. The layout even included a customized ESE centennial caboose, box car and billboard.

Our Sound dept., Tommy Mack, Maryrose Rovatti and Jude Rojas, were also seen roaming the show with cameras in hand. The crew films an annual commercial for the event!


To learn more about the "Tribute to Springfield," click here.
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A Day Away in the Past

Looking for something fun for the kids to do over February break? Storrowton Village Museum is offering its annual “A Day Away in the Past” winter school vacation program, February 17 and 18, 10am – 3pm! The one-day program is open to children ages 7 – 12.

During “A Day Away in the Past,” students will travel back to the 1800s and experience Early American life in the historic Storrowton Village. Youngsters will dress in period-inspired clothing and learn about history and traditions of yesteryear through a unique, hands-on approach.

The journey begins in the 1834 Meetinghouse where children will get acquainted with the 19th century and don cloth caps, pullover shirts, dresses and bonnets supplied by Storrowton Village.

Throughout the day, they will explore the other historic buildings in the Village. In the authentic one room Schoolhouse, program participants will have the opportunity to experience classroom life absent of all modern learning technologies, where they can try their hand at using a quill pens and writing on slates with chalk.

Children will get to play old-fashioned indoor games of skill and show off their creativity doing crafts, such as candle dipping, tin smithing and more. At the end of the day, each will return to the 21st century with their creations for family and friends to see. Children will have the chance to participate in all the activities offered.

An experienced and knowledgeable staff is on hand to guide participants through educational, interactive, and fun activities designed to delight and challenge children.


The cost for the one-day program is $40. Registration must be received by February 13. To register or find out more about this unique historic program, call the Storrowton Village Museum office at 413-205-5051.
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Civil War Program at Storrowton

January 29 at Storrowton Village Museum
January 29 at Storrowton Village Museum 

Storrowton Village Museum will host its annual First Person Presentation, “Dear Sarah…Letters Home during the Civil War,” by historian Carolyn Ivanoff, January 29 at 7pm, in the Village’s historic Meetinghouse.

The special presentation on life during the Civil War follows the wartime experiences of Pvt. F.H. Smith of Derby and Burlington, Conn., who served with the 20th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry.

“Dear Sarah…” features excerpts of letters written by Pvt. Smith to his wife, in which he describes life in the Union Army, his feelings about the war and the Emancipation Proclamation.

Through this correspondence, period documents and records of the town of Derby, Conn., Carolyn reconstructs Pvt. Smith’s time in the Union Army to tell the story of why a man would leave his home and family in 1862 to fight in the war and the trials and events that the men and women of the Civil War generation faced in order to preserve the Union.

Carolyn Ivanoff, assistant principal at Shelton Intermediate School in Shelton, Conn., is a versatile educator with more than 25 years in the industry. She collaborates with local, state, and national historical, preservation and educational organizations to provide academic and civic involvement opportunities for the community. Ivanoff is a past recipient of the Civil War Preservation Trust’s Civil War Preservationist Teacher of the Year and assisted in the development of the Civil War Trust’s national Civil War curriculum.

“Dear Sarah…” admission is $5 per person. Space is limited and reservations are encouraged but not required. Tickets will be available at the door.


For more info & to make reservations, call the Village at 413-205-5051.
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