Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Start of October at The Big E

It's October and no one can believe it, but the weather proves it's so. Outside on the Fairgrounds I see a lot of sweaters, hoodies and even some hats, but of course there is always someone in a sleeveless tee shirt, because for some, covering up their intricate tattoos is unthinkable!

There is such a mix of people here at the Fair, it shows there is no such thing as a typical Fairgoer. That's why there's so many different kinds of attractions and exhibits here at The Big E. But as different as people are, they pretty much want some of the same things -- to forget the everyday humdrum for a while, to be amused and excited, to see or learn something new, to eat good food, to get a good value. We do it all, and more.

The Eastern States Exposition Horse Show is going on in the Coliseum right now, with the Hunters and Jumpers, and Hunt Seat Equitation classes competing until the end of the Fair. It's really something to see those riders and horses taking their turns in the ring. The Coliseum is a building that is historic on the Fairgrounds. It used to be where the Springfield Indians professional hockey team played back in the 1950s and '60s. Now the building is where (during the Fair) there are all sorts of demonstrations and competitions, from oxen pulling contests to sheep herding. The building has the flavor of an old-time arena -- nothing like a modern concrete stadium.

Thelma Houston's free shows start today at the Fair. She has two shows a day on the Court of Honor Stage, at 3 and 8 p.m. Everyone always asks her if she is related to Cissy or Whitney Houston, but she is not. She is a disco star, who had the number one song, "Don't Leave Me This Way," and other hits. I love it when people dance while the performers do their thing. Especially the kids.

Of course, tomorrow night is the big Sugarland concert, which has been sold out for months. Everyone is getting very excited about this. Me, too.

My name is Deena. I worked at The Big E in the Marketing Department for all of the 1990s, and am back for the first time in eight years. Of course, I never missed a year as a Fairgoer, just as an employee. Lots of things are the same, thank you, but there's lots new, too.

Like the Circus. The Big E Circus is in the same spot on the grounds, and is still a traditional European-type circus, but the acts are always new. Sometimes there is a performer who returns, like this year's Flying Pages high trapeze artists, but they have new exciting stunts to astound and thrill the crowds. Neecha's Dobermans do the most amazing tricks -- they are such smart dogs! There's Coco, a very comic clown, and The Electrifying Elayne, who performs archery and contortions at the same time. And an acrobatic team called Duo Voltart. The circus is one of the favorite attractions and it's because the president of The Big E, Wayne McCary, spends the winter assembling these acts from all over Europe and brings them here for The Big E.

Well, got to sign off. More, later . . .
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