Big E makes big impact on local economy

The Big E runs for 17 days.

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– You can tell by the smells, and by the sounds, that the Big E has officially started.

Springfield natives Madeline and Bill Laskoski told 22news it’s an event worth traveling from for, even from their new home in Alabama. “I love the circus, even though I’m old, well I’m not that old, but I do love the circus. I love the craft part, I do love the state buildings and I love the food,” Madeline said. Bill told 22News its all about the music.

Big E organizers told 22News that when it comes to bringing in large numbers of people, the big name entertainment acts have become one of their most significant tools.

The Big E is North America’s fifth largest fair. It started as a nine day event, but about 20 years ago that changed and the fair doubled its running time.

“So our economic impact really exploded when that happened. It expanded the fair by 40 percent but attendance to the fair actually grew much larger than that,” Gene Cassidy, President and CEO of the grounds told 22News.

Cassidy also said that while their operative 365 days a year, the now 17-day long Big E fair makes up roughly 80 percent of the Eastern States Exposition’s annual revenue.

A marketing study conducted by Amherst-based Regional Economic Models released earlier this year found the fairgrounds have a total year-round economic impact of nearly $480 million dollars to the West Springfield and surrounding region.

The Big E runs from September 12th to the 28th.

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