Your Big E ticket not only provides you with a full day of fun, but it also allows you to travel through all six New England states in less than a day!
Initially established by Eastern States Exposition founder, Joshua L. Brooks, to improve both agriculture and industry, the Avenue of States showcases both the traditional and cutting edge products and attractions that make each New England state unique. His quest began with the construction of the Massachusetts Building in 1919 and grew to completion in 1957 with the dedication of the Rhode Island Building. Because of Brooks’s vision and determination, fairgoers have the opportunity to experience a truly one-of-a-kind attraction. Each building is owned and operated by its respective state.
Immerse yourself in New England culture at the following buildings this year:
Massachusetts Building – Built at a cost of $50,000, the dedication in 1919 by then Gov. Calvin Coolidge marked the official launching of the Avenue of States. If you love food, our state is for you. We have everything from flavored biscotti and Boston cream pie cupcakes, to clam chowder and chili, to locally-made honey and maple products. See an exhibit of the whimsical worlds and characters of Theodore Geisel from Springfield’s Dr. Seuss museum. If you’re looking to nourish your skin with natural essentials, treat yourself to Amy’s handcrafted soaps and lip balms or even herbal beeswax skincare products from Mimi’s Hilltop Apiary. Looking for a gift? Buy local candles, photography or jewelry here as well. Support and celebrate our local crafters and farmers on Massachusetts Day, Sept. 21!
Maine Building – Just a short walk from the Massachusetts Building, stands the dignified Maine Building, built in 1925 at a cost of $50,000. It features local food and products and a wealth of vacation information about this northeastern state. Soon after you step foot inside, you’ll notice the beautiful architecture. Grab a Maine baked potato, some smoked salmon on a stick, wood fired pizza and delectable lobster rolls. Then top it all off with some sweet wild blueberries, whoopie pies or both! New England’s “Vacationland” is also a great place to shop for nature-themed products, photography and more! Stop by the Avenue to honor the Pine Tree State, Sept. 16!
Vermont Building – Built in 1929 at a cost of a little over $60,500, the Vermont Building is a Georgian structure that boasts marble corners, windowsills and columns. Cozy up to autumn with the perfect outfit from the Vermont Flannel Company, and explore an expanse of items from wool products and sweaters to natural beauty products. While you’re here, have a smoothie or farm fresh sandwich and soup. Your sweet tooth will love the many maple sugar products and our favorite seasonal traditions – apple pie, cider donuts, hot coffee and cider. Help celebrate the Green Mountain State, Sept. 23!
New Hampshire Building– Built in 1930, the $75,000 building is constructed using New Hampshire granite for its columns and trim. While you marvel at the rustic interior, why not add some new décor to your home with handmade pieces from New Hampshire? At the Granite State building you can find customized wood frames, handmade art, hand-thrown pottery and even hand braided and woven rugs, towels or scarves. Grab some fudge to snack on while you shop, and let’s not forget about the famous New Hampshire Kettle Corn! Come celebrate the state on New Hampshire Day, Sept. 22!
Connecticut Building – The building was competed in 1938 at a cost of $85,000 just as the cornerstone had been placed before the Hurricane of 1938 hit with devastating results to the grounds. Today, the Nutmeg State will help you reconnect with nature, offering a vast assortment of goods made from natural ingredients and materials. The building features Connecticut-made products like hand-painted glassware and pottery from Westminster Whimsy CT, all-natural pet treats from Oma’s Pride and artisan jewelry and gifts from Kelly’s Crystal Boutique. Stop by the Connecticut Tourism booth for travel info and the Connecticut Valley Railroad exhibit. Visit the building on Connecticut Day, Sept. 20!
Rhode Island Building – The $150,000 Rhode Island Building was dedicated in 1957, marking the completion of the Avenue of States and the realization of Joshua Brooks’s dream. The building is a replica of the Old Statehouse that is now preserved as a shrine in Newport. In Rhode Island, you’ll see exhibits featuring fine gold and sterling silver, works of art and other handiwork. You’ll also find information about the state’s beautiful coastline and attractions that may just entice you to pack your bags and head for the Ocean State. Sample hearty Rhode Island soups and clam cakes, and top them off with Del’s frozen lemonade. Grab yourself some fudge and candies when you come celebrate Rhode Island Day, Sept. 19!
For a detailed list of all Avenue of States exhibitors, visit TheBigE.com.
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!