Big E Time in New England


Aug 19, 2002
[P]We''ve argued over unions and contracts and management -- what has happened, who''s to blame, and what''s going to happen. All stressed and frustrated and unhappy... so now... it''s time for something completely different![/P]
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[P]From September 13th to September 29th, one of the largest state fairs in the nation is being held at the Eastern States Exposition complex in Springfield, Massachusetts... affectionately known as The Big E. [/P]
[P]During this time, all 6 New England states get together for an HUGE festival of agriculture, food, home products, crafts, artists, tourism, carnival rides and games, American heritage exhibits at Storrowton Village, parades, circuses, petting zoo, and international exhibitors.[/P]
[P]Or, as they say in their own words:[/P]
[P][EM]New England''s autumn tradition and the eighth largest fair in North America. [/EM][/P]
[P][EM]There''s no better place to enjoy the sights, sounds and taste tempting aromas of the fall season than at The Big E. It''s a New England extravaganza with free top name entertainment, major exhibits, The Big E Super Circus, the Avenue of States, dazzling thrill shows, New England history and agriculture, animals, rides, shopping, crafts, a daily parade and a Mardi Gras parade and foods from around the world for 17 glorious days during New England''s most colorful season. [BR][/EM][EM][/EM][/P]
[P]This is one of those must-go events if you love state fairs. My favorite part is the state houses: a row of scale models of each New England state house containing the craftsmen, almost more travel brochures than my strapping 12-year old son could carry in his back-pack, delicacies from each state (clams, blueberries, Vermont cheese and ice cream, maple cotton candy, apple pie, Maine baked potatoes... and an oddish entry, Texas barbecue at the Connecticut building!). If you''ve been to the Big E in the past, several of the state houses have refurbished and re-decorated. The Rhode Island house has a grand exhibit from the folks at the Preservation Society of Newport highlighting the Newport Mansions.[/P]
[P]The New England Air Museum has a marvelous exhibit (which I believe is new to the fair this year!) -- a flight simulator that the kids can climb in and fly. The simulator a small plane mounted on a hydraulic mount. As the kids fly, the plane tilts and the flaps and tail section moves. Once the fair is over, the simulator is available on Sundays at the Air Museum for the kids to enjoy. And, to encourage parents, the museum staff is giving out two-for-one admission coupons. Once you''ve seen the exhibition, you''ll want to see the whole museum![/P]
[P]So, if you''re looking for somethig to do next weekend, come to Springfield and see New England.[/P]
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[P]My family went and had a grand time -- we always do! I've got enough travel brochures to daydream until the next Big E... son rode carnival rides for hours... husband indulged in a pork sandwich for the Pork Palace grill, and chili from Little Taste of Texas. We wandered Ireland in the Dingle Penisula exhibit, and stared like rural tourists at all the nifty gadgets that you usually just see on television [/P]
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[P]I'm only sorry that we went on a weeknight -- a mixed blessing. Although we did missed some of the crowds (Saturday had over 100,000 people attend just that day!)... we also missed the Charlie Daniels concert. Friday was opening night with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra in concert followed by fireworks.[/P]
[P]Truly, this is one of the premiere events in New England. It's something that I can whole-heartedly recommend to everyone -- the site is access-friendly, and it's even pretty budget-friendly if you pack your own water and snacks (just bring your own water in a backpack, a 16 oz bottle is $2.25!). Of course, part of the fun is sampling all the delicious things to eat.[/P]