WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Big E, the largest fair in the Northeast and fifth largest in North America, is ready to kick off its 98th year with big talent, phenomenal food, animals, rides, shopping and more! The 17-day event will feature a Mardi Gras Parade, sponsored by Mohegan Sun, The Big E Circus Spectacular, sponsored by Coca-Cola and top name talent like Darius Rucker, ZZ Top and Little Big Town! Concertgoers are in for a ton of great shows at the xfinity arena and Court of Honor Stage, sponsored by xfinity®.
And what is a Fair without food! Our vast selection of food will have your mouth watering. Eat your way around the grounds, find unique gifts and check out interesting exhibits! Bring the kids to the petting zoo or take them on fun-filled rides in Kiddieland. For those looking for more excitement, the Midway is full of exhilarating rides like the Mach 3 and the all new Remix! There is something for all ages to enjoy at the Fair, Sept. 12-28, in West Springfield, Mass.
Opening Day is Friday, Sept. 12 and to celebrate the occasion, The Big E offers two ways to save at the gate:
Be A Kid For A Day – everyone pays the children’s admission of just $10
Military Appreciation Day, sponsored by VA New England Healthcare System
1. Active duty military personnel – Free with ID
2. Dependents of active duty military personnel – Free with ID
3. Veterans (no dependents)– Free with DD-214 or proof of membership to any veterans’ organization
Appearing at the xfinity arena at 7:30pm: (all shows are free except where noted)
Sept. 12 – DigiTour
Sept. 14 – Darius Rucker with Special Guest Joel Crouse ($39)
Sept. 19 – Cassadee Pope with Special Guest Chris Janson
Sept. 20 – Eddie Money with Special Guest Tom Hambridge
Sept. 21 – Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot
Sept. 26 – ZZ Top ($49/$39)
Sept. 27 – Little Big Town ($39)
Sept. 28 – Emblem3 with Special Guest Midnight Red
Tickets for the concerts are available at Tix.com and TheBigE.com. Free concerts come with the option of premium reserved seating for $25. When purchased prior to the show date, both ticket levels include admission to the Fair, a $15 value.
Appearing free on the Court of Honor Stage, sponsored by xfinity®
Daily – New Odyssey – “3 Guys, 30 Instruments” – 11am, 1 & 6:30pm (11am only Opening Day)
Sept. 12 – Count’s 77 – 8pm
Sept. 13 – Danny Koker and Kevin Mack (“Counting Cars” Q & A) – 2pm
Sept. 13-15 – Christopher Cross – 3 & 8pm
Sept. 16-19 – Dolores “La La” Brooks – 3 & 8pm
Sept. 20 – Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra – 3 & 8pm
Sept. 21-24 – Cuba Gooding & The Main Ingredient – 3 & 8pm
Sept. 25-28 – Quinn Sullivan – 3 & 8pm
The 1964-65 New York World’s Fair Exhibit, sponsored by Uncommon USA
Young Building – Daily, 10am – 10pm
Do you remember your trip to the World’s Fair? Fifty years later, memories from the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair are brought to life for visitors of all ages to experience with more than 250 World’s Fair artifacts and souvenirs!
The special anniversary exhibit features a scale recreation of the Unisphere – the symbol of the fair – and an original Mold-A-Rama machine that will be dispensing souvenirs. There will be a large amount of Ford’s World’s Fair memorabilia, including a model of the Ford Pavilion and an authentic 1965 Ford Mustang – the instantly popular car that debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair. The exhibit will also feature a 2015 Mustang 50th Anniversary Edition – only 1,964 will be built – as well as a unique film presentation featuring rare and never publicly screened footage. Other displays will highlight new technologies of the time, eating at the Fair, Sinclair Dinoland and more!
Get a good seat under the Big Top tent for The Big E Circus Spectacular, sponsored by Coca-Cola, for free daily shows at 1, 4 and 7pm. The Big E’s celebrated Ringmaster, Ty McFarlan, is back at the Fair and joined by a stellar international cast of performers.
Mexico’s master juggler extraordinaire and Guinness World Record holder, Tomas Aguilar, will be performing juggling feats you couldn’t imagine in your dizziest daydreams! The Risley Brothers “kick” juggling up a notch by substituting balls for people and using their feet instead of hands!
Don’t miss this upside-down, topsy-turvy acrobatic duo performing one of the oldest and most difficult circus disciplines in the world! The award-winning Dancing Gauchos add even more energy to the show with an explosive performance entwining Boleadoras, fire, whips and riveting percussion! You will be mesmerized by their skills, intricate drumming, dazzling costumes and surprising wit.
If those acts have you on the edge of your seat, America’s loveable comedian, Rob Torres, is here to bring the laughs. The lighthearted performances will continue with the amazing and delightful doggies of Russia’s Minnestrelli Canines and Mayya Panfilova’s adorable performing housecats – both of which will win your heart The excitement shifts back into gear with Tina Winn, aka Galaxy Girl, and comedian daredevil Johnny Rockett performing mid-air motorcycle madness – the Cybertrons.
If you love the circus, continue your adventure to the Circus Museum located in the Hampden County Building! This impressive display features handmade miniature recreations of circus wagons, trapeze artists, lion tamers and more, plus the sparkling costumes of former helio-trapeze artist Dave Merrifield, posters and other memorabilia!
Similarly, The Big E’s famous New England Band Organ, now located inside Gate 7, is another favorite among fairgoers. Like what you hear? Pick up one of the CDs, which are also sold at Souvenir Booths.
The Big E Mardi Gras Parade, sponsored by Mohegan Sun
Weekdays – 8pm | Weekends & Opening Day – 5pm
Every day is Fat Tuesday with The Big E Mardi Gras Parade! Watch as the parade transforms the fairgrounds into an authentic New Orleans celebration with traditional floats, dazzling lights, costumes, beads and rockin’ tunes. Get yourself a good spot on the sidelines to try your luck at catching a few beads! Want in on the action? For $10, you can reserve your spot on the float as a costumed reveler. Visit TheBigE.com for more details.
The Big E Daily Parade
BiggiE, the Fair’s mascot, leads the way for Big E contingents, marching bands, animals and more in The Big E Daily Parade at 5pm. Hear great music from bands and marching units and see the Hallamore Clydesdales, the famous Budweiser Clydesdales (sponsored by Williams Distributing), tiny pony hitches and costumed characters!
ATTRACTIONS & FUN
You’ll need a full day or more just to get through the long list of featured attractions at The Big E. Of course, no visit to the Fair is complete without a trip down the McDonald’s Giant Slide or an adventure around the North American Midway to try all the thrilling rides. Stop by Commerford’s Petting Zoo, located at Gates 4 and 7, to show some love to your furry friends!
Swifty Swine Racing Pigs
Forget about Nascar, Moto-X and the Kentucky Derby – Swifty Swine is the race to see at The Big E! These power-packed piglets give it their all in each race in hopes to get their snouts on the grand prize – an Oreo cookie! Stop by the Mallary Rotunda’s Pork Chop International Speedway to watch the daily racing action at 11am, 12:30, 2, 3:30, 5 and 6:30pm.
The beverage industry’s most recognizable mascots are back at The Big E! Stop by and see the beloved Budweiser Clydesdales, sponsored by Williams Distributing, at their fairtime home near the McDonald’s Giant Slide to watch as these gentle giants are fed, groomed, prepared and hitched. Look for Budweiser’s horse-drawn beer wagon and the high-stepping Clydesdales in The Big E Daily Parade (except Mondays and during inclement weather).
A Grizzly Experience
Get to know North America’s most prestigious predator, the Alaskan Grizzly Bear, in The Grizzly Experience, sponsored by Chicopee Savings Bank. The entertaining and educational show can be seen daily at the Avenue ShowPlace at noon, 3:30pm and 7:30pm. The stars of The Grizzly Experience – Tonk, Yogi and Maggie – delight crowds of all ages with their impressive size, amazing behaviors and interactions with their handlers.
Randy Burns, the Mechanical Man, returns for another great year! Joining him from Sept. 20-28 will be Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson and Danny Devito… impersonators. Also keep an eye out for our lovable mascot BiggiE, who leads the Daily Parade at 5pm and appears regularly on the Court of Honor throughout the day.
NEW! The Big E Hot Spot
Charge your phone, participate in contests and be social! The Hot Spot, located in the Young building, is where online meets the Fair. A full day out exploring the grounds got your battery running low? Come grab a stool at the Charging Bar, plug in and watch BigETV while you wait! Not online? We can help! Connect with us on social media to participate in contests and win cool prizes you can’t find anywhere else on the grounds. Don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list for the chance to win the grand prize!
NEW! North American Midway’s Remix
No trip to The Big E is complete without a getting your adrenaline pumping from a few rides on Midway. Their newest ride, Remix, will certainly do just that. Complete with lights and special effect smoke, Remix spins riders 21 times a minute. Strap in and go on this wild topsy-turvy ride – probably best enjoyed on an empty stomach.
At the Fair, there are no rules against starting with dessert! So how about we dig right in to the Fair’s signature dessert – The Big E Cream Puff. This fairgoer favorite is an oversized pastry filled with the best cream you’ve ever tasted. It’s large enough to share, but once you taste it, you’ll want to keep it all for yourself. Don’t forget to try The Big Éclair, topped with a delicious layer of mouth-watering chocolate! Watch both of these tasty treats being made at The Cream Puff Bakery in the New England Center. Pick them up at the bakery or the Food Court near the central entrance to the Midway.
If you haven’t tried The Big E Craz-E Burger, what are you waiting for! This bacon cheeseburger is brought to a whole new flavor level – served between two halves of a grilled glazed donut. The sweet and salty concoction was first added to the menu in 2009 and has been a hit ever since. At the 2013 Fair, The Big EZ Café sold a whopping 16,000 burgers – almost 1,000 every day! Would you expect anything less from The Big E’s most popular burger?
Be sure to enjoy our fun fried foods: Jelly Beans, Butter, Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich, Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich, Snickers, Almond Joy, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bits, Cheesecake and more found throughout the grounds. See New Foods for the latest additions to this list!
Sit and Dine
Need to get off your feet? Recharge at Storrowton Tavern and enjoy a delicious, sit-down meal with a glass of wine. You can also grab a booth at the Heroes and Legends Café in the Young building for some classic American grub! Take a short walk down the Avenue of States to get an ice-cold beer paired with traditional pub food at the New England Craft Beer Pub or Sam Adams Brew Garden! If a drink is all you’re hankering for, stop by the Oktoberfest Beer Garden, Opa Opa Saloon, the Yuengling Brew Pub or get a martini made with award-winning V-One Vodka at The Big E Martini Bar.
Mantunuck Oyster Bar –Talk about fresh food! Matunuck Oyster Bar, the wildly popular restaurant in Matunuck, Rhode Island, brings you a great meal straight from the sea! Raw bar, shrimp cocktail, lobster rolls, fried clams, oysters, calamari, fish and chips. Located on Commonwealth Avenue.
Big E Bistro – Try some international cuisine at the new Big E Bistro. Frigo’s is serving Panini and giant one-pound meatballs; Pasticceria Italia has gelato, Apollo pastries, expresso and cappuccino; and the Burgundy Brook Café offers French meat pies, Danish and breads.
Clemenza’s Brick Oven Pizza and Café – The newly revamped Italian Pavilion is a sit-down dining destination featuring a full menu with delicious Italian flair; eggplant and zucchini fries, brick oven pizza, risotto balls, three types of ravioli, salads, Tuscan chicken wings, pizzettes, Italian Wedding Soup, brick oven breadsticks, cannoli and gelato pops!
Pickle Barrel Sirloin Tips – Succulent sirloin tip dinners, sandwiches and sirloin tips on a stick. Located on West Road.
Pretzel Princess – Serving up a variety of pretzels with different toppings in the Better Living Center.
Smash-A-Pie – From the place that brought you the Moo-Nut, now introducing Smash-A-Pie – a perfect blend of pie and your choice of soft serve ice-cream at MooLicious on Springfield Road.
Deep Fried Delights – Coffee Break is returning with even more delicious fried concoctions! Get your hands on an order of Red Velvet Oreos – America’s favorite cookie dipped in red velvet cake batter, deep fried and dusted with confectioner’s sugar. Also try S’mores on a Stick! – your go-to bonfire food battered, deep fried and drizzled with chocolate and confectioner’s sugar; and a battered and Deep Fried Nutella and Banana Sandwich. Stop by the Food Court to try ‘em all!
Exotic Burgers – If you’re tired of eating beef, poultry or pork and want to try something new, Yankee Boy/International Lobster House on West Road is adding camel and kangaroo to their menu of wild game burgers!
Hot Dog Taco – Hot dogs and tacos – a winning combination. At Crow’s Nest on New England Ave.
Maple Syrup & Bacon Fried Dough – Crisp and fluffy fried dough topped with maple syrup and bacon drizzled with chocolate sauce! Other drool-worthy fried dough toppings include deep fried bananas, a choice of caramel, coconut glaze, chocolate, peanut butter, strawberries and nuts. At Pop-In-Fresh on West Road.
Pulled Pork Sundae – The Pork Palace’s own BBQ baked beans stacked on pulled pork and cornbread with coleslaw and a cherry tomato on top! On Commonwealth Ave.
The Big E is known nationwide for its impressive agricultural showcase. Open exhibitors as well as FFA and 4-H youth from across the country travel to the Fair to participate in the largest livestock show in the East and various native produce competitions. See who will take home the blue ribbon!
Get a glimpse into the farm life! The Mallary will be home to cows, sheep, goats, llamas and other livestock throughout the Fair. Watch animal showmanship and see a variety of agricultural demonstrations from milking cows in the Milking Parlor to spinning and weaving demonstrations in the Fiber Nook. Learn everything you need to know about dairy products from the Singing Refrigerator, sponsored by The New England Dairy Promotion Board.
The Big E Wine and Cheese Barn
There is no better combination than a glass of delicious wine and a slice of cheese. At the Wine and Cheese Barn you can try the best of both! Award-winning wines from The Big E Northeast Gold Wine Competition and cheeses from The Big E Gold Medal Cheese Competition are available for sampling and purchase. The cheese portion of the Barn is sponsored by Must Be The Milk.
The food artistry team of Jim Victor and Marie Pelton returns to The Big E to create a masterpiece made from 600 lbs of butter donated by Agrimark/Cabot Creamery, sponsored by the Massachusetts Dairy Promotion Board. Watch this year’s sculpture come to life over the first 10 days of the Fair!
4-H Milk Booth & Apple Booth
Supporting a cause has never tasted this good! Stop by the 4-H Milk Booth located under the Mallary Rotunda to indulge in an old-fashioned, chocolate, vanilla or strawberry “Jetshake.” If you’re feeling like having a light, healthy snack, the 4-H Apple Booth in Farm-A-Rama will hit the spot!
In Farm-A-Rama, watch chicks peck through their shells and take their first steps in the Hatchery, see a litter of adorable piglets play and grow throughout the Fair and visit the giant Hallamore Clydesdales as they are prepared for the parade. The building also features giant pumpkins and other native produce displays, FFA floral and landscaping designs, Lucy the Model Cow, a new model methane digester and Moove Over Fossil Fuels exhibit, sponsored by the Mass. Dairy Promotion Board.
Saddle up and hold on tight! Take a seat in the grandstands of the Coliseum to watch elegant horses trot, canter and gallop toward the blue ribbon in the annual Eastern States Exposition Horse Show, sponsored by Williams Distributing. Hunters and Jumpers, Hunt Seat Equitation and USHJA Zone 1 HOTY Finals, Sept. 10-14; Saddlebreds, Hackneys, Morgans and Friesians, Sept. 18-21; The Big E Draft Horse Show, Sept. 25-28; and the 4-H Horse Show, Sept. 18-20.
NEW! ESE Equestrian Hall of Fame Presentation
Join us for an elegant evening to honor the first inductee into The Eastern States Exposition Equestrian Hall of Fame on Sept. 20 at 6pm! This honor was created to recognize those who have demonstrated excellence in their discipline and made significant achievements and contributions to the equestrian community. Dress to impress and help celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of this year’s honoree.
More in the Coliseum
Fairgoers can also enjoy competitions in Horse Pulling, Sept. 15, Ox Pulling, Sept. 16 and Sheepdog Trials, which take place Sept. 22 at 11:30am and 4:30pm, and Sept. 23 at 9am.
CARS, CARS, CARS
The Big E’s of car shows on the Avenue of States will surely get your engine going! Each show takes place from 8am to 4pm. The AACA CT Valley Region Antique Car display Sept. 14 & 21; Stop by “Cruisin’ New England” with Paul Mennett Sept. 13, 20 and 27. Mark’s Classic Cruise Day takes place Sept. 28, and Mike Brewer of Wheeler Dealer appears Sept. 27-28, and will ride in the Mardi Gras Parade at 8pm.
Danny Koker and Kevin Mack, stars of HISTORY’s hit show “Counting Cars,” will appear on the Court of Honor Stage, Sept. 13 at 2pm, to talk about their show and answer questions from audience members. Following the show, the pair will hand out trophies at Paul Mennett’s “Cruisin’ New England” car show on the Avenue of States at 3:30pm.
NEW ENGLAND CENTER
Home of the Creative Arts, 4-H Clubs, Food Contests and more! Stop by and see what fun, family entertainment is taking place on the New England Center Community Stage and watch creativity at work at the Demonstration Corral.
Do you have a passion for the arts? Whether you have the talent or like to admire the creativity of others, visit the New England Center to see the display of entries and winners from the Exposition’s annual Creative Arts contests – photography, sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, beading, decorative paintings on fabric, hand weaving and other needlework entries and winners.
Area bakers and decorators show off their culinary talent in the quest to take home the blue ribbon! The Big E will host two national contests – Gold Medal Cookie Contest, Sept. 16 at 11am and Bisquick Quick Creations Contest, Sept. 23 at 11am. The Domino Sugar Cake Decorating Competition and Fabulous Cupcake Contest take place Sept. 18 and 25, respectively. Entries will be on display noon – 8pm during each Domino contest day.
Storrowton Village Museum will take you back in time with its reconstructed, 19th century New England Village surrounding the peaceful Village green. The Fair will be hosting special activities on the green, such as the 19th century crafts of broom making, tin smithing, chair making and paper marbling as well as pottery and antique tool demonstrations, children’s games and tours of historic buildings.
Storrowton Village Gazebo
Come to the Storrowton Village Gazebo to see Jon Stetson, Sept. 12-20 and The Gizmo Guys, Sept. 21-28. Both shows happen daily at 11am, 2 and 6:30pm. Fairgoers will have the opportunity to meet the 2013 Special Olympics Massachusetts National Games Team and learn more about the Special Olympics on the Green Sept. 28 at 10:30am to 5pm. The presentation will take the place of the daily show at 2pm.
AVENUE OF STATES
Only at The Big E can you visit all six New England States without leaving the fairgrounds. The Avenue of States captures the best of each state by celebrating the state’s traditions, music and savory foods. The diversity of each building is what makes the Avenue one of the most popular attractions at the Fair each year.
The buildings and byways of The Big E are filled with shops and vendors to satisfy anyone’s shopping list. Treat yourself to something special, buy gifts for family and friends or start (and finish) your holiday shopping. Choose from crafts and souvenirs to items from around the world.
Better Living Center
Shoppers’ paradise! In the BLC, find everything from fine jewelry to the latest hair accessories, kitchen gadgets and unique items for your pet. Watch a demonstration and be amazed at how some of the products work. You’ll find everything you could possibly need, from clothes to blenders, all under one roof.
As you make your way around the fairgrounds, stop into the numerous outdoor shops to find unique variety of items. Need a new shed, garage or hot tub? We have those outside too.
Hampden Avenue, the Carriage House and Craft Common are full of beautifully created crafts. You’ll find jewelry of all types, artwork, piggy banks, dolls, pottery, bird houses and more.
Storrowton Village Shops
The Village Shops are a great place to start your holiday shopping! The Gift Shop in the Phillips House carries colorful fall scarves and accents, novelty dish towels, music boxes, old-tyme aprons, bicycle bells, freshwater pearls and more. After your tour of the Potter Mansion, stop in the Christmas Shop and Halloween Shop! The Yankee Candle Shop is also close by on the lower level of the Grange Building.
International Plaza in the Young Building
You don’t need to travel or shop online to find gifts from around the world! The International Plaza has a little bit of everything from Thailand to China and Peru – to name a few. At the Irish Exhibit, fine jewelry, clothing and Irish-themed items are brought here from the Emerald Isle.
Buy Advance Discount Tickets and Save!
Advance discount tickets and Midway Magic vouchers are available online at TheBigE.com, at The Big E Box Office now through Sept. 10 and at Big Y® World Class Markets® Aug. 21 through Sept. 10. Advance tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children ages 6-12. Advance Midway Magic vouchers are $23, valid any one day Mon. – Fri. or exchange for 24 ride coupons Sat. & Sun.
Regular Gate Admission
Adults $15/Children ages 6-12 $10; Children five and under are free.
Midway Magic Passes $28, valid any one day Mon. – Fri.
Tickets and passes sold online at thebige.com and Big Y® World Class Markets®, Sept. 11–28.
17-Day Value Passes are $40 for adults and $20 for children ages 6-12. Passes are available online and at Big Y® World Class Markets® now through Sept. 28.
Six-After-Five – Admission is only $6 after 5pm Mon. – Thurs.
Senior Days – Age 60 and over get in for $12 Mon. – Thurs.
King Ward Coach Lines provides bus service to the Fair on weekends from the Holyoke Mall.
Big E hours are 8am – 10pm. Buildings and exhibits open at 10am, Storrowton Village, the Yankee Candle Shop and Avenue of States are open until 9pm. The Village Craft Area is open until 10pm. The North American Midway is open Sun. – Fri., 11am to 10pm, Sat., 10am to 11pm.