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New England's Biggest Classroom

The Big E is a giant classroom, full of educational and exciting events for all ages. The fairgrounds can be a great place to learn about everything from milking cows to New England culture and discovering 19th century life at Storrowton Village Museum. Read below to see what you can learn about today.

Visitors can learn about the six New England States on the Avenue of States. Take a self-guided tour of New England by visiting each state building and learn about the products, resources, geography, culture, native crops and foods of each state. Audio tours are available for each state building.

Artist Jim Victor uses over 600 pounds of Agri-Mark butter to create a special scene every year! The butter sculpture is located under the Mallary Agricultural Complex Rotunda. Work begins daily at 10am and the sculpture will be on display for the entirety of the Fair.

The Coliseum hosts horse shows throughout the Fair. Depending on the day, you can see horses of every breed, ranging from athletic Hunter Jumpers to sturdy Draft horses. Looking for some science-related excitement? Horse and Ox pulling contests also take place here.

The Farmers Market is the newest building on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition. It includes a Cheese Cave and is the new location of the Fiber Nook, where visitors can see products made from animal fibers to finished clothing made from wool or camelid fibers. Also inside this agricultural presentation area is a chef-run demonstration kitchen.

The Eastern States Exposition: A Walk Through History exhibit is located in the Hampden County Building auditorium, which has been revamped to house the vast collection of Exposition memorabilia. The permanent exhibit tells the story of ESE through photography, artifacts and historic items from the Exposition’s archives, including trophies and ribbons, pennants, posters and more.

The Farm-A-Rama stage presents informative, entertaining, agriculture productions. Check out Big Y's Farm to Family Table, the chick hatchery and bees. See the Hallamore Clydesdales and learn about the care of these gentle giants and watch them get hitched for the Daily Parade. Meet a sow with her piglets, see native produce and get your picture taken standing next to a Giant Pumpkin winner. Learn proper milking techniques with the help of Lucy the Mechanical Cow, test your knowledge with the Tool Quiz or step on a scale in our Weigh in on Agriculture exhibit to see how your weight compares to agricultural items, such as a sack of potatoes or a sheep!

The Mallary Agricultural Complex has everything an inquiring mind would like to know about agriculture and livestock. There is a daily schedule of events and free educational “Fact Sheets” are available for fairgoers with information on the 25 species of livestock exhibited at The Big E. Along the main aisle, see goat milking demonstrations, sheep shearing and a whole lot more. We change the barn’s inhabitants many times during the fair so check the schedule to see when your favorite animal will be at the Fair. We also highlight several agriculture exhibits, including the permanent Singing Refrigerator and 3-A-Day of Dairy Quiz Show, to help you understand how agriculture affects our economy and everyday life.

Moo-U provides guided tours of the Mallary Agricultural Complex. Tours start at 10am, then occur on the hour Monday through Friday and every half hour Saturdays and Sundays.

At The Milking Parlor, children and adults have the opportunity to learn about various aspects of dairy farming and milking cows. This fantastic program is sponsored by the New England Dairy Promotion Board and gives fairgoers a chance to watch the actual milking process twice daily by dairy exhibitors and view an informative video about the dairy industry. Don’t forget to try a thick frosty milk shake or a cool glass of milk from the Dairy Bar under the Rotunda.

The New England Center is home to all things creative. Make it a stop on your educational tour where you’ll find everything from fabric and fiber arts to The Big E Cream Puff Bakery with the Fair’s signature Cream Puffs and Eclairs. All Creative Arts Show entries will be on display, and volunteers will be on-hand to demonstrate many of the techniques used to create the works of art and to answer your questions. Friendly 4-H youngsters will also be in the New England Center with games and craft activities for kids to make souvenirs to bring home to their families. Learn all about 4-H and the opportunities it offers kids to learn about everything from gardening to raising livestock.

The “big white house” located across from the Rhode Island Building plays an important role in The Big E’s agricultural heritage. See a variety of exhibits of prize-winning needlework and handmade crafts. Shop the Grange Country Store for your favorite jams, jellies and relishes, dish cloths and other kitchen items. See knitters, quilters and crochet champions hard at work on projects and learn about the Junior Grange, too. The Storrowton Yankee Candle Shop can be found on the lower level of the New England Grange Building.

Nestled in a quiet corner of Eastern States Exposition, Storrowton Village Museum offers a glimpse of life as it was in 19th century New England. Clad in garb reflecting that time, volunteers guide visitors through the furnished rooms of the Village’s buildings and are happy to assist with any questions. During The Big E, fairgoers can see what it was like to attend classes at the one-room school house, watch blacksmiths work at the forge and see demonstrations of traditional Early American crafts and trades. Early American children’s games get kids involved in sack races, three-legged races, hoop rolling and more. Learn about the homesteading in the 1800s with a tour of the Gilbert Farmhouse Kitchen Garden and Aunt Helen’s Herb Garden, gifted to founder Helen Storrow by the Girl Scouts in 1935.

Want to do more planning? Check out the pages for Worksheets & Lesson Ideas, Audio Tours, and Tips for a Fantastic Field Trip.

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