New England Center Hub to 4-H

New England Center: Hub for famous cream puffs, fun events and the creative arts

Big E cream puff
Big E cream puff (Credit: The Big E)

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (The Big E) – Every year, The Big E transforms the New England Center into a bustle of creative arts demonstrations, food contests, 4-H demonstrations and entertainment! Not to mention it’s the home of the famous Cream Puff Bakery.


Big E Cream Puff Bakery
Fairgoers are in for a treat as our bakers perfect each batch of The Big E’s special cream puff to ensure each one is as memorable as the last. Each morning, our homemade cream and golden shells are prepared with care from scratch. Take a big bite into our signature delight! The take-out window is open early morning and late at night. Cream Puffs & Eclairs can also be found at the Food Court. Eat them now or bring home a box to freeze for the holidays!

Whether you’ve just picked up a crochet hook or have been quilting your entire life, skilled and novice artisans from throughout New England are invited to show off their talents and compete for the esteemed blue ribbon in numerous creative arts competitions. Fiber and fabric arts, cake decorating, beading, canning, quilting, sewing, plein air painting, photography and much more will be on display at the New England Center. Get inspired for your next project or be impressed by the skill and expertise of fellow craftspeople!

Become a part of The Big E Creative Arts team or the Demonstration Corral to share your love of the arts! Register online on The Big E’s website or call (413) 205-5015.

Fiber and Fabric Arts
Fiber and fabric arts categories encompass everything from sewing, quilting, crocheting and needlework, to rug hooking, hand spinning, beading, or even wearable apparel! Marvel at the dedication it takes to create one of the stunning quilts on display or the intricate needlework of a hard-working New Englander. Natural fiber enthusiasts need look no further; before the start of the Fair, judges critique products made from natural fibers and award their favorite. The New England Center is the place for fairgoers to admire the finished works of talented artisans from the six states.

4-H in Action
Stop by the New England 4-H pods to watch hard working members’ demonstrations on topics of agriculture, technology, health, food safety, public speaking, and more. Members from all six New England states design and present their 4-H program achievements and activities to the 1.2 million Big E attendees. There will be a photo gallery display to represent 4-H youth talent for fairgoers to admire. Check out the New England Center Community Stage to watch 4-Her’s musical or informational performances from Friday to Monday.


New England Center Community Stage
The New England Center Community Stage is the hub of all things ranging from 4-Hers performances to dance groups and choral recitals. Don’t miss out on routines like the Brown Paper Sax Quartet, Ms. Senior Massachusetts Pageant, or the Zoo at Forest Park. Stop by and say hi to radio personality, Howie Carr, Thursday, Sept. 22 from 3 to 7 pm, as he broadcasts his show live from the Fair. Check the daily schedule or download our Big E official app for performances you won’t want to miss!

Demonstration Corral
Volunteers display their talents in creating eye-catching pieces at the Demonstration Corral. This year, expect a display from First Church of Ludlow Plarners crocheting plastic bags into something functional like a sleeping mat for the homeless! Stop by for demonstrations in embroidery, quilting, knitting and much more.

If competing isn’t your style, become a part of our Demonstration Corral to share your love of the arts and join our Creative Arts volunteer team. To join, visit and register online or call (413) 205-5015.


Gold Medal Flour Cookie Contest, sponsored by Gold Medal Flour
Tuesday, Sept. 20 – 10am • Community Stage
Can your cookies outshine the rest? Are they packed with such sugary delight that no one, not even Grandma, can deny that yours are the best of the best? Preheat your oven and prepare a batch with any Gold Medal Flour brand and enter for your chance to take home a hefty cash prize, a blue ribbon, and proof that your cookies can’t be beat! Details at

Domino Sugar Cake Decorating Competition, sponsored by Domino Sugar
Thursday, Sept. 22 – 8:30am-Noon – Display open to the public Noon-6pm
This year’s challenge is to make a cake with the theme “The Big E.” Four divisions include youth 6-12, youth 12-17, adult non-professionals and advanced or professional adults. See who wins a cash prize and blue ribbon!

Mass. Maple Syrup Desserts Contest, sponsored by Massachusetts Maple Producers Association
Tuesday, September 27 – Judging takes place 9am-Noon – Display open to the public Noon-6pm
The First Place winner gets a cash prize and a blue ribbon for incorporating Massachusetts maple syrup into a creation of their own original delicious dessert.

Domino Sugar Fabulous Cupcake Contest, sponsored by Domino Sugar
Thursday, Sept. 29 – 9am-Noon • Display open to the public Noon-6pm
Cupcakes are judged based on frosting consistency and flavor, as well as cupcake aroma, texture and appearance. Cash prizes and a blue ribbon await the mini cake that bursts with the most flavor!

For even more creative fun, enter to win a special centennial ribbon by creating an original Big E Birthday Hat for judging on Sept. 17 at 10:30am in the New England Center. Judges will pick their favorite based on age group and originality.

The Big E celebrates its 100 year birthday Sept. 16 – Oct. 2. Become a part of the conversation or to stay in the know, visit, interact with us on social media or call our info line at 413-205-5115.

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