WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The start of the Big E is just a little more than a week away, but organizers of the “Great New England State Fair” are planning ahead for a big celebration two years from now.
Fair organizers, local politicians, and members of the community gathered Wednesday morning for a special breakfast at the Eastern States Coliseum to kick-off the celebrations for the Big E’s 100th anniversary. The was started by Joshua L. Brooks in 1916 as a way to showcase New England’s agriculture.
In the 98 years since then, the fair has attracted millions of visitors, and grown into a major driver of the local economy during the month of September.
Some of the ways the Big E will begin celebrating its upcoming centennial are with a new logo and a pictoral program on the fair’s history.
Over music and breakfast, those who came to Wednesday;s breakfast were asked to fill out “memory cards,” where they shared their favorite and earliest memories of the exposition.
And to many people, those memories are what they look forward to making more of every year.
“I worked here for 25 years as a special police officer. And I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.,” Bob Sarnacki said.
Those memory cards will be used as part of the exhibition in 2016 to celebrate the centennial.
“Our hope with all of our fair goers is that when they leave, they’re really happy, and that they come back next year,” Eastern States Exposition President Gene Cassidy said.
The 98th annual Big E begins on September 12 and runs through September 28.