The 2017 Big E takes place Sept. 15 – Oct. 1 in West Springfield, Mass., on the Exposition’s 175-acre grounds. The Mallary Complex is the hub of the Fair’s agricultural shows, demonstrations, contests, and displays. Make your way to Farm-A-Rama in the center of the fairgrounds for an agricultural experience. We suggest you refer to the daily schedule as the cows, sheep, goats, pigs, llamas and alpacas join us at different times during the Fair. Be sure to stop and watch the livestock showcase of the best in the East.
Agricultural Demonstrations – Inside Mallary Complex is an impressive 400-foot walkway filled with animals, exhibits and demonstrations. Watch working sheepdogs herd ducks, sheep being sheared and goats being milked. Check the program on the website for special demonstrations daily.
Farm-A-Rama – Experience the farm to fork process in the Big Y® Farm to Family Table Interactive Exhibit, an immersive environment that includes Hood’s Heart of It All Dining Room. Be a Farmer for a Day as you harvest the food at the farm and bring it to your family table.
The Big E Wine Barn – The New England landscape is dotted with many farm wineries. Join the winemakers as they bring the wines to you. Tastings are offered by the winemakers, and the opportunity to buy a bottle for your cellar or enjoy a glass of wine or cider at the Fair, will be part of this experience.
Butter Sculpture – What will the sculptor Jim Victor create for this year’s Fair? We invite you to stop by the Mallary Rotunda to see this year’s sculpture develop from 600 lbs. of butter.
Welcome to the Farm Gate – Newly created this year to add to your Fair experience. Stop by Gate 9 and relax with a glass of wine or shop the Fiber Nook and the new Creamery that includes some of New England’s finest cheeses, jams, jellies and cured meats that will elevate your next party to a new level.
Got Milk? – Enjoy the traditional “Jetshakes.” Stop by the 4-H Milk Booth for a bottle of fresh Massachusetts milk or a frothy jetshake to quench your thirst. Treat yourself to one in chocolate, vanilla or strawberry. The booth serves as a fundraiser for the Hampden County 4-H and Youth Fair Association.
Pulling Contests – Witness the amazing strength of horses and oxen at the Coliseum’s Horse Pulling Competition, Sept. 18, and Ox Pulling Competition, Sept.19.
Giant Pumpkin and Squash Contest – Visit Mallary Arena 2 and watch as growers try to break the giant pumpkin record set in 2016 at 1,677 lbs. See the winners on display in Farm-A-Rama. Contest times are on the website, www.Thebige.com.
One Day Contests in The New England Center – Each year The Big E celebrates the creativity of New Englanders by displaying an array of photography, sewing, knitting, beading, crocheting, spinning and hand weaving entries in the New England Center. In the Center several contests are held during the Fair for the public. This year’s contests include: Make It With Clay, Sept. 19; Woodturning, Sept. 27; and Paper Airplanes, Sept. 28. For more information, go to www.Thebige.com/competitions/creativearts.
4-H Activities – More than 2,500 4-H Club members are invited to take part in The Big E where they test their skills in showing sheep, dogs, dairy goats, horses and dairy and beef cattle. Ranging from age 8 to 18, they are extremely knowledgeable in agriculture, technology, health, food safety and public speaking. See them on weekends in the 4-H pods and on the stage in the New England Center presenting their informative projects, or catch them in the barns with their animals. Stop by the 4-H pods Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16 & 17 from 10:30am to 3:30pm for the DreamWorks/4-H Spirit Riding Free at the Fair Experience.
The 4-H Beef Sale – For 9 months, a 4-H member has been raising a steer. Following a weekend of competition, this steer will be auctioned off on Monday evening Sept. 25 in the Mallary Complex at 6pm. Proceeds from the sale of the steer are used by the 4-H’er to purchase a project for next year or in some cases add to their college education fund. If you might be interested in purchasing fine home grown meat for your table please call 413-205-5011.
Eastern States Exposition Horse Show – World renowned horse trainer and performer Guy McLean, joins the Horse Show lineup Sept. 28-30 and Oct. 1. Take a seat in the grandstands of the Coliseum to watch elegant horses trot, canter and gallop toward the blue ribbon in the Eastern States Exposition Horse Show, a United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Heritage Competition, sponsored by Williams Distributing. Shows include: The Hunter Show and USHJA Zone 1 HOTY Finals, Sept. 13-17; $15,000 Hunter Classic, Sept. 15; Saddlebreds, Hackneys, Morgans, Friesians, and Opportunity Classes, Sept. 21-24. The Big E Draft Horse Show will be Sept. 28-Oct. 1, featuring the $35,000 Six-Horse Hitch Showdown and the North American Classic Cart Series Championships, Oct. 1. Special performances include: Northeast Six Shooters, Sept. 26; Central K-9 Agility Show, Sept. 27-Oct.1; and The 4-H Horse Show takes place, Sept. 20-23. You can also come to honor the fourth inductee into the ESE Equestrian Hall of Fame Sept. 23 at 6pm.
For your safety, we remind all visitors to enjoy viewing the animals and ask that you wash your hands before leaving animal areas and eating. All events are listed in the daily schedule, online and in The Big E Program sold by the Springfield Lodge of Elks. Animal fact sheets are available in the Mallary Complex and Farm-A-Rama.
The Fair takes place Sept. 15 – Oct. 1 and will be jam-packed with food, entertainment, and so much more! For up-to-date information on fun-filled activities and events happening throughout the Fair, visit TheBigE.com, join our mailing list, or call our information line at 413-205-5115. Connect with us on social media and check out our app for the latest info, contests and more!