WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (The Big E) – Is it possible to set foot in all six New England states in one hour? Absolutely, if you visit the Avenue of States during The Big E, the only fair in the nation where more than one state participates. On this educational thoroughfare you’ll see impressive replicas of each New England state’s original statehouse sitting on land actually owned by that state. Take a step inside and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and tastes of quintessential New England.
Eastern States Exposition, home of The Big E, was founded by Joshua L. Brooks in 1916 when he convinced the National Dairy Show to hold its annual event on the Exposition grounds. In 1917, the first Eastern States Exposition took place. Brooks’ desire was to bring together all six New England states in one location to share ideas and improve regional agriculture.
As part of his mission to unite the New England states in an agricultural and industrial exposition, Eastern States Exposition founder Joshua L. Brooks dreamed of having state buildings at the Fair that would showcase the traditional and new products and attractions that make each New England state unique.
Step inside each building to sample and buy local products, and find out what makes each state unique. See berries straight from the bog in Massachusetts, one of the few places on earth where cranberries grow! Enjoy the ever popular Maine baked potato with a dollop of sour cream and other tasty toppings. Shop for a wide array of local products stocked at the Connecticut General Store. Have a glass of cool, crisp New Hampshire apple cider. Browse fine Rhode Island jewelry. Bring home a block of zesty Vermont cheddar cheese.
You can begin your journey at whichever state your prefer – just be sure not to miss any!