Every year, The Big E transforms the New England Center into a bustle of creative arts demonstrations, food contests, 4-H demonstrations and entertainment! Not to mention it’s the home of the famous Cream Puff Bakery.
A BITE OF THE BIG E
Big E Cream Puff Bakery
Fairgoers are in for a treat as our bakers perfect each batch of The Big E’s special cream puff to ensure each one is as memorable as the last. Each morning, our homemade cream and golden shells are prepared with care from scratch. Take a big bite into our signature delight! The take-out window is open early in the morning and late at night. Cream Puffs & Éclairs can also be found at the Food Court. Eat them now or bring home a box to freeze for the holidays!
CREATIVE ARTS SHOW
Skilled and novice artisans from throughout New England are invited to show off their talents and compete for the esteemed blue ribbon in numerous creative arts competitions. Fiber and fabric arts, candy making, canning, quilting, sewing, photography and much more will be on display at the New England Center. Get inspired for your next project or be impressed by the skill and expertise of fellow craftspeople!
Become a part of The Big E Creative Arts team or the Demonstration Corral to share your love of the arts! Register online on The Big E’s website or call (413) 205-5015.
Fiber and Fabric Arts
Fiber and Fabric Arts categories encompass everything from sewing, quilting, crocheting and needlework, to rug hooking, hand spinning, beading, or even wearable apparel! Marvel at the dedication it takes to create one of the stunning quilts on display or the intricate needlework of a hard-working New Englander. Natural fiber enthusiasts need look no further; before the start of the Fair, judges critique products made from natural fibers and award their favorite. The New England Center is the place for fairgoers to admire the finished works of talented artisans from the six states.
4-H in Action
Stop by the New England 4-H pods to watch hard working members’ demonstrations on topics of agriculture, technology, health, food safety, public speaking, and more. Members from all six New England states design and present their 4-H program achievements and activities to the 1.4 million Big E attendees. 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. There will be a photo gallery display to represent 4-H youth talent for fairgoers to admire. Check out the New England Center Community Stage to watch 4-H’ers’ musical or informational performances from Friday to Monday.
New England Center Community Stage
The New England Center Community Stage is the hub of all things ranging from 4-H’er performances to dance groups and music recitals. Don’t miss out on routines like the Brown Paper Sax Quartet, Ms. Senior Massachusetts Pageant and the Zoo at Forest Park. Make sure to stop by and see radio personality Howie Carr for a live broadcast Sept. 21 from 3-7pm. Check the daily schedule or download our Big E official app for performances you won’t want to miss!
Volunteers display their talents in creating eye-catching pieces at the Demonstration Corral. Come see a display from First Church of Ludlow Plarners crocheting plastic bags into something functional like a sleeping mat for the homeless! Stop by for demonstrations in embroidery, quilting, knitting and much more.
If competing isn’t your style, become a part of our Demonstration Corral to share your love of the arts and join our Creative Arts volunteer team. To join, visit TheBigE.com and register online or call (413) 205-5015.
CONTESTS AND COMPETITIONS
Make it with Clay Contest
Tuesday, Sept. 19 – 8:30am-Noon • Display open to public Noon-7pm
Clay items fitting within a 20” x 20” space will be judged based on the quality of work, design and originality and quality of finish. Winners in each of the three divisions will win a cash prize.
Domino Sugar Fabulous Candy Contest, sponsored by Domino Sugar
Thursday, Sept. 21 – 10am-Noon • Display open to the public Noon-6pm
This year’s challenge is to make a dozen of your most creative and appetizing one-of-a-kind candy using Domino Sugar. Contestants of any age are welcome to participate with a limit of one entry per person. See who wins a cash prize and blue ribbon!
Mass. Maple Syrup Cooking Contest, sponsored by Massachusetts Maple Producers Association
Tuesday, September 26 – 10am-Noon • Community Stage
The First Place winner gets a cash prize and a Massachusetts Maple Producers Association hat for incorporating Massachusetts maple syrup into an original recipe. Participants must be 18 years of age or older.
Wednesday, Sept. 27 – 8:30am-Noon • Display open to public Noon-7pm
Grab a lathe and submit your turned wood to be judged based on quality of work, design and originality, quality of finish and material selection. Winners in each of the three divisions will win a cash prize
The Big E Paper Airplane Contest
Thursday, Sept. 28 – Judging 10am-5pm
Make the most accurate, artistic, or both, paper airplane, no larger than 8 ½ x 11 inches to win a cash prize. Materials will be available the day of the contest to construct and decorate your paper airplane. The four age classes are 5-8 years old, 9-13 years old, 14-18 years old, and adults.
For more details on competitions and rules visit the 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!