Monday, September 30, 2013

And That's a Wrap!

A case of the Mondays is typical when returning to work after a weekend, but this Monday is different. In the past 10 hours, we watched a 17-day whirlwind of excitement come to an extreme halt.  

During The Big E, there is no such thing as days off or weekends. This is the main event that the entire year leads up to and the administration needs all hands on deck to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. From the time gates open on opening day until they close the last night of the Fair, it is go, go, go, non-stop work and fun.

Contrary to what you might think, no one minds being here all hours of the day. The adrenaline and lively atmosphere keeps everyone chugging along. There is always something to do and things to see.

Sounds like fun right? It was. Being able to intern at The Big E was an opportunity of a lifetime and unlike anything we have ever experienced.

After being told what our fairtime hours would be, we certainly didn’t anticipate the fair season to fly by as fast as it did. In the beginning, the thought was “how will I survive?” Also, being new to the Fair, we didn’t know what to expect. While being on the grounds 8+ hours a day for 26 days in a row seemed daunting, it turned out to be a blast.

What made it even better was that The Big E family welcomed us with open arms. Unlike some workplaces, Eastern States Exposition staff truly are a huge family. The community on these Fairgrounds is extremely tight knit. Everyone contributes to the success of the Fair and keeps coming back for more. Most of the employees and volunteers have been working together for 20 or more years. Never wanting to leave The Big E is a common side effect of being bitten by the “Fair Bug.” You might laugh, but that bug is no joke.

Posing with our pal, Smokey


“I would visit the Fair only once every year and would walk around, perhaps buy some fried Oreos or something traditional, like a caramel apple. It was something fun to do on a Friday night, but after this experience I have a new found love and appreciation for The Big E and the reason for its existence. For lack of a better term, I was a newbie, so I was incredibly lucky to have Anne-Alise who lives and breathes The Big E to help me navigate the grounds and answer my questions so I would not sound too naive in front of my superiors.

I seriously can’t believe it has come to a close. I felt out of my element this morning. Over half of the vendors are gone, the ticket booths are being towed away and no more sounds of the band organs, Hilby’s hilarious act or squealing piglets. The 17 days of pure joy have come and gone within a blink of an eye.

It wasn’t all fun and games; we leave with our resumes filled with new skills and experiences. We have become social media experts after meeting the ESE’s social media consultants, Steve Richo and Mark O’Shea, founders of Noise New Media. The weekend I met them is my fondest memory. They were down to earth and impressed me with their talents. The Noise Boys taught us how to hold virtual scavenger hunts via twitter. We would pick a location on the fairgrounds and tweet clues from our location. The followers who were actively tuning into The Big E Fair channel would have to find where we were hiding and be the first to say “I love The Big E!” in order to win a prize pack filled with Big E apparel, premium reserved tickets to an entertainer that would be performing later that day and other fun tchotchkes.

It was a little nerve-wracking when we held our first scavenger hunt without the boys. In the back of my mind was this fear that no one would find us. Luckily, that fear never became reality and we were always found by our followers. It showed me the power of social media and piqued my interest to explore this field.”

Tweeting from the school house


“The Big E has a special place in my heart, so being accepted for this internship was a dream come true. Growing up, I always wanted to work at the Fair so I could be here all the time. Even after coming several times over the season, I could never get enough. Despite the fact I would be seeing the same things day after day; it was the atmosphere that kept me yearning for more.

Seeing the Fair come to an end was always depressing, but this year is different. Even though I got bitten by the “fair bug” a long time ago, after having worked here every day, my wound has gotten increasingly worse. 

It is remarkable how fast things change. Yesterday the grounds were alive with people, vendors and entertainment. Now, the Court of Honor Stage, once positioned behind me, has been dismantled. I am not hearing Hilby ask his audience to say, “Ja” three times a day and the Ides of March, Soul Survivors, Mike Pender and Darlene Love have long vacated the premises.

In the past 17 days, 1,481,917 people passed through the gates. Today, everything is empty. There is silence all around the Brooks Building except for the occasional rumbling of a truck driving by. Now, Lauren and I have time to reflect on the 2013 Big E and the awesome experience we had here.

I crave the behind the scenes action. So naturally, working here was very satisfying. Being able to see the grounds completely transform from event to event was incredible. Being a part of that work was the icing on the cake.

This internship has broadened and strengthened my abilities in many ways I didn’t even think possible. I am more confident in my work and feel like a productive member of the team, writing press releases, working with social media, interviewing people and playing a part in the production line that is writing the Daily BiggiE Sez.

The major story in each Daily BiggiE Sez is Host of the Day. Supervisors and co-workers recommend individuals for this honor who exhibit outstanding work ethic. Every morning, Lauren and I would join the Host of the Day crew to crown an unsuspecting staff member with the title. We would interview the Host and their superiors and then compose a hometown press release with an accompanying article for the newsletter.

While Lauren and I were both nervous about working with another intern, the situation could not have turned out any better. We were able to work together on projects, give each other suggestions and feedback and had someone to explore with. I am so thankful to have been able to work with her.”

Packing up & Moving out
Now that the calendar hit Sept. 30, life at ESE turned into whirlwind of emotions as we say farewell to the bustling streets, sweet aromas and loud music. At least our feet will be happy again!

In our opinion, The ESE Marketing department could not have selected a better pair of interns. We complemented each other’s skills, knew when to be serious, when to have fun and worked tirelessly to show our dedication to The Big E.

From this experience, we now have a better understanding and appreciation of all the work that goes into planning and orchestrating the largest fair in the Northeast. It was a surreal experience to be able to partake in it. We will never view The Big E the same way again.

A huge thank you goes out to all members of the Marketing department: Noreen, Catherine, Sue, and the feisty Rita as well as President Gene Cassidy, senior staff members and all other ESE crew members who helped make our time here amazing and unforgettable.

New England’s Grandest Fair will return Sept. 12-28, 2014.

Friday, September 27, 2013

An Unexpected Story: Christmas Tree Tips

As I was wandering the fairgrounds, I stopped by the Christmas tree displays. I’ve always walked past them, but this was the first time I stayed to ask questions and admire the exhibit. I ran into David Fearn, who has been a member of the Massachusetts Grower’s Association since 1985. He volunteers at the outdoor exhibit at The Big E promoting the industry and answering questions.

Hemlock Hill Tree Farm - State Champion 
Trees are brought to the fairgrounds from each New England state, and this year’s State Champion and First Place award was given to Bill Kogut of Hemlock Hill Tree Farm in Somers, Conn. If you’re curious as to what makes one tree better than the other, you might be surprised to learn there are 9 different areas trees are judged on: 
  • Taper – The overall shape of the tree (too fat or too skinny?)
  • Handle – Is it clean of branches and small enough to fit into a tree stand?
  • Main Stem – Is the stem too visible, is it straight?
  • Top – Is there one on top? Is it too long or too short? Is it crooked or straight? Does it have needles?
  • Foliage – Is the tree dry? Does it have good color? Is it light, medium or heavy density? Is the color and density even on all sides?
  •  Damage – Is there insect, disease or mechanical damage & how much?
  • Cleanliness – Are there foreign materials in the tree?
  • Other Defects – Does it have crows nest, horns, etc.?
  • Overall Appeal – (subjective) How much does the judge like the tree?
David was a great person to shoot the breeze with. He was extremely educated and knowledgeable about Christmas trees. He owns a family-run Christmas tree farm. He got into the business because he had the land and wanted to utilize it. He used to raise animals, but said they are high maintenance and need a lot of attention. After reconsidering what he wanted to do with his land, he discovered how awesome Christmas trees are to farm because they are much less time consuming. He has 30 acres of land and 20 acres of Christmas trees. And it’s a beautiful business because if the tree doesn't sell one Christmas it can continue to grow all year long until it’s sold during the next holiday season.

David owns GlenGary Christmas Tree Farm at 539 Shoemaker Lane in Agawam, Mass. It’s all hands on deck starting the weekend after Thanksgiving until the weekend before Christmas. His entire family helps out at their local business. It’s a great season for the family to spend more time together, and it’s a fun, bonding experience for visitors. David was quite funny. He said all the customers that come to his farm are happy to be there to purchase a Christmas tree.David is very gracious and offers free tractor rides, hot chocolate or cider, candy canes and coloring books. He also has a Christmas Shop with accessories to spiff up your tree.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

V-One Vodka Reveals New Flavor!

Paul Kozub
Paul Kozub, founder of Valley Vodka Inc. started his V-One Vodka line in 2005. It’s a Western Massachusetts-based company, and he is proud to debut his newest flavor at The Big E on Thursday, September 26 at 6pm. Typically, he has his cases of vodka shipped via cargo vessel. However, he had 150 bottles of the new vodka delivered by plane, which is 40 times more expensive, to have them in time for a special preview taste party to be held at The Big E Martini Bar. Kozub believes the Fair is an ideal platform to launch his new product.

He plans to have the new product in stores for the Holiday season. We won’t spoil the surprise, but we will tell you it will be sold in a sleek green bottle. Purchase it with V-One Vanilla, which comes in a red bottle and create a perfect holiday gift basket for under $50!

“Uncompromising Quality,” the two words that best represent V-One Vodka, says Kozub. Rated #1 out of the 1,000 top Vodkas; V-One is the most drinkable vodka and world’s only alcohol made from 100% spelt. Wine Enthusiast Magazine rated it “95pts,” and World Spirits Competition awarded it, “Unanimous Double Gold.” 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lindsay LoHam, Kevin Bacon and Justin BeBoar race at The Big E!

Forget about Nascar, Moto-X and the Kentucky Derby – Swifty Swine is the race to see at this year’s Big E! Pigs might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about racing – but we think they are certainly the most entertaining racing attraction going.

Meet the racers – Durocs, Hampshires, ferocious Yorkshires and good natured pot bellies. These contestants give it their all in each race. The “power-packed piglets” range in age from four weeks to four-years-old.

So you might find yourself asking, how do you get a pig to run? The secret is an Oreo cookie. Pig trainer, Henrick Swanepoel, told us that pigs are actually very smart. They can learn better than dogs! Henrick, a Cape Town, South Africa, native, has been training pigs for 21 years and has been with Swifty Swine Racing Pigs for a year and a half. He absolutely loves the pigs. “They are my family here,” he said while he was holding his sweet 4-week-old pig Honey Boo Boo. 

 Honey Boo Boo travels and competes along with friends, Kevin Bacon, Brad Pig, Justin BeBoar, Kim KardashingHam, Sarah Jessica Porker and Lindsay LoHam. The starlets are also joined by Anthony Oscar Meyer Wiener, Hilary RodHam Clinton, Barack-O-Ribs Obama and Arnold SchwarzenHogger.

Not only do the pigs run – they can also swim! Swifty, a water loving piglet, is the star of the show. During half-time, Swifty entertains the crowd as he gracefully dives and swims across a water trough. Audience members can also hold and take pictures with the athletes after the race.

Zack Johnson, of Dallas, Texas, is the owner of Swifty Swine Swimming and Racing Pigs and the official Swine Master of the races. He knows how to get the crowd going with his quirky jokes and auctioneer persona. Zach and his crew do about 40 shows a year across the country. After The Big E, they are headed up to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Swift Swine Racing Pigs adds to the legacy of great family entertainment at this year’s Big E. The company travels all over the United States and we are lucky enough to have them make a stop here in West Springfield, Mass.

At 11am, 12:30, 2, 3:30, 5 and 6:30pm the adorable racers dash around the track to get their snouts into that Oreo cookie prize on the other side of the finish line. The racetrack is set up outside the Mallary Rotunda. So, if you have never seen a pig race before – you are in for a treat! Swifty Swine Racing Pigs top the category for cutest Fair attraction.

Friday, September 20, 2013

New Orleans Spirit is Alive in the Form of Bead Hungry Fairgoers

The Big E Mardi Gras parade transforms the fairgrounds into an authentic New Orleans celebration with dazzling lights, costumes, beads and tunes. Since 2000, the parade has been a major Fair attraction, helping to draw in crowds from all over.

The parade consists of eight custom-made floats which were specially designed and constructed by the Kern Companies out of New Orleans. The floats are all unique; Boeuf Gras (Fatted Calf), Island Party, Caribbean Carnival, Carnival in Rio, Carneval di Venice, Mardi Gras New Orleans  and our African-themed and Patriotic floats! Fairgoers line the parade route daily to see these beautifully crafted floats and to try their luck at catching a few beads.

Being an avid fairgoer myself, I still remember the excitement that took over the grounds when the Mardi Gras Parade was added 13 years ago.

I signed up to ride on the floats every year for 10 years – until I finished high school. It was an awesome experience being able to see the fairgrounds and parade from an entirely different perspective. I’m sure things have changed since my days in the parade but it would always be a surprise to see what float we would end up on. My favorite was the one with the Hawaiian girl and parrot.

I loved the Mardi Gras Parade so much that I would try to do it every Friday. The parade was just more captivating at night. People were so mesmerized by it – the theatrics, the music and the free beads being thrown at them. Even though I usually shy away from attention, it was cool being keeper of the beads.

Now it wasn’t all fun and games. Mastering the art of throwing beads takes time. It requires experience and the ability to follow rules which are given upon being costumed and boarding the float.  

The Rules:
1.    Make sure you throw the beads away from the float for safety purposes. People are willing to risk their lives to get that stray bead.
2.    Only throw one bead at a time. There’s a limited supply per parade.
3.    Pace yourself! Don’t be that float that runs out of beads before the end of the parade route! The Mallary Complex is the halfway point.
4.    Don’t be violent and whip beads at the crowds.
5.    Try not to throw beads to people that already have some. Share the wealth! 
6.    You are allowed a few beads each. Don’t bring a backpack on the float and stuff it with beads. It’s frowned upon.   

Warning: The hardcore bead collectors do not let anything get in their way. As soon as the parade starts – it is game on.

Sound like fun? Now anyone has the opportunity to become part of the spectacle. I highly recommend you take advantage of it. It will be the cherry on top of your great Big E experience.

If you’d rather watch from the sidelines, you can get into the New Orleans spirit with The Big E Mardi Gras Parade at 8pm on weekdays and with The Big E Grande Parade at 5pm on weekends! No Big E trip is complete without seeing the Mardi Gras Parade, sponsored by Mohegan Sun.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

An Astounding Big E Win for Pete’s Sweets

Peter Gray, of East Longmeadow, Mass., was this year’s Marketing award winner for the Domino Sugar Cake Decorating Contest. ESE President Gene J. Cassidy personally selected Pete’s cake for best capturing the essence of The Big E. What some of you may not know is Pete, of Pete’s Sweets Candies & Baked Goods, is a local celebrity. I was well aware of his claim to fame, so meeting him in person was quite incredible. He made his big debut on national television when he competed on TLC’s Next Great Baker!

ESE President Cassidy (left) congratulates Pete on his award-winning cake
He’s been visiting the Fair for too many years to keep track. Pete said, “It’s just not fall without The Big E!” To say the cake he submitted was a masterpiece is an understatement. It was a beautiful three tier cake representing the circus, Mardi Gras parade, and the top tier was dedicated to the iconic Big E logo. The cake was adorned with confectionery creations of classic Big E fair foods like the ├ęclair, Craz-E burger, baked potato, and Cream Puff. Pete has an undeniable great eye for detail. He sprinkled finishing touches of confetti and Big E tickets tastefully around the cake.

Pete explained that it took two days to create his award-winning cake. The process begins as a sketch on paper. He spends many hours editing the drawing and adding in more details until it’s perfect. Then Pete and his talented staff bring the sketch to life.

I was fortunate enough to speak with Pete for a few moments, and in that short time, I could tell he is destined for stardom. He has a warm personality and when opportunities come knocking on his door, Pete is ready to impress. Baking is his #1 love and passion in life. He is a determined young man. Although only 22 years old, Pete has accomplished great feats and has an established business. His motto is “Artistry in Every Bite.”

Find out more about Pete’s impressive background at Gelato Buono welcomed the vivacious entrepreneur to sell Pete’s Sweets inside the ice cream shop. The dynamic duo found great success selling cake and ice cream together. If you have a hankering for sweet treats, you can find his shop on 32 Shaker Road in East Longmeadow, Mass. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Shout Out to the Creative Arts

The New England Center (NEC) is known for its world-famous Big E Cream Puffs, but have you ever taken a moment to peruse the entire building? The NEC is home to Creative Arts. This year, there are an incredible number of displays that have been methodically arranged into a spectacular showcase. The moment I stepped into the NEC, I was awestruck by the amazing handmade creations. As I continued to walk further into the building, I was just more and more blown away by the talented artisans that had entered their masterpieces into competition this year.

The New England Center
I love do-it-yourself projects and creating handmade crafts; therefore, I have a huge appreciation for what the NEC represents. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I approached the walls of photography submissions, 208 in total. Good photography captures a glimpse of what someone else witnessed and has the ability to draw the audience into that exact moment. The Best in Division showcase is a breathtaking display. At first glance, you notice all the items, but as you take time to really analyze each one, you begin to admire the hours upon hours of hard work that were dedicated to making that particular piece.

Angelina Moore's handmade shawl
Close up of the beading
Creative Arts includes categories for hand-needle arts and more. Best in Show (for adults) went to Angelina Moore who knitted her own shawl.  But a shawl sounds like something anyone who knits could do, right? Well, she didn’t just knit an average, run-of-the-mill shawl. She started by hand-spinning her own yarn. She then dyed it, and knitted the intricate clothing accessory with beaded embellishments. That is the beauty of the NEC. Each item has a background story. The quilt that won its division was submitted by Herb Menzel. He has only been quilting for 6 years, but that hasn’t stopped him from being awarded the Best in Division ribbon for the past two years!

Herb Menzel's award-winning quilt 
This year, Creative Arts had a record-breaking number of quilt entries, 123 in total.  With each passing year, the number of entries and the quality of the work keeps getting better and better. Repeat contestants get inspired by what other participants are creating, understand what the judges are seeking and work hard to push their talents to the next level.

It’s truly an amazing sight at the NEC! Not only are there displays to browse through but there are always entertaining demonstrations to watch. And if you love to bake or are a foodie, be sure to visit the NEC to watch the food contests. This year the Gold Medal Cookie Challenge is Tuesday, Sept. 17, Fleischmann’s Yeast Baked Goods and Dessert Pizza Challenge is Thursday, Sept. 19, and ending the food contests is Bisquick Family Favorites on Tuesday, Sept. 24. All contests begin at 11am.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Nutty for Moo-Nuts

MooLicious owner, Joe Deedy,
pictured with an ice cream fritter.
With all of the food options at The Big E, it can be extremely challenging to decide what to eat. But more importantly – what to eat first. I go through this struggle every time I walk out onto the fairgrounds. We all have our regular choices. Mine include Jack’s Fries, pulled pork from the Ultimate BBQ, Blueberry or Apple Pie from New Hampshire and Vermont, a White Hut hot dog and to top it all off, a milkshake from the 4-H Milk Booth. Sometimes I’ll even repeatedly sneak in line for kettle corn samples.

My food choices are so methodical that I rarely branch out and try something new in fear of getting too full for my usual favorites. To my great surprise, I just added another – Moo-Nuts.

Amongst the sea of food vendors, 95 to be exact, sits the MooLicious Pie Shack. MooLicious is all new this year, selling pie, ice cream, apple fritters stuffed with ice cream and Moo-Nuts.

Moo-Nuts you ask? Why they are a delectable glazed donut filled with soft serve ice cream topped with your choice of sweets! Being a peanut butter addict, owner Joe Deedy whipped me up a Moo-Nut with crushed peanut buttercups and peanut butter sauce. Saying it was phenomenal would be an understatement. The fritters were top notch as well!

While this Fair season marked my first experience having an ice cream fritter and Moo-Nut, my relationship with MooLicious goes back a lot further. MooLicious’s off-season location just so happens to be in my hometown of Southwick, Mass.

Before MooLicious opened in 2007, the Summer House was the “go to” place in Southwick for ice cream. Now, I think it’s fair to say that MooLicious has changed the game and successfully established themselves in the heart of our community. The first time I visited MooLicious was the day I got my license. Needless to say, I have made countless trips back ever since.

For the next 15 days, their permanent home is closed and you can only get your MooLicious fix here at The Big E. Stop by for one of their delicious concoctions or sink your fork into a slice of their world class pies: peach, blueberry, apple, pumpkin or pumpkin turtle. Order a slice plain or eat it a la mode!
Soft-serve twist Moo-Nut with crushed Heath Bar,
peanut butter and caramel sauce.

Moo-Nuts have definitely cemented themselves into The Big E food hall of fame sharing the ranks with the Craz-E Burger, Hot Diggid-E Dog, chocolate covered bacon and fried Oreos. Being creative is a requirement to be a Big E food vendor and these guys definitely pass the test. Do yourself a favor and add Moo-Nuts to your Fair food list and satisfy your sweet tooth.

4-H & FFA Day Reflections

4-H and FFA are the most prominent youth agriculture programs in the United States and The Big E is proud to host programs for both organizations throughout the 17-day Fair.

4-H at The Big E

The 4-H programs are a huge part of The Big E’s agricultural showcase. Over 3,000 youth ages 12-18 participate annually at the Fair. The Big E offers the opportunity to display their work from the past year for all of New England to see. The Big E hosts Beef Cattle, Dairy Cattle, Dairy Goat, Sheep, Dog and Horse programs. Youth who participate in the programs live on the grounds for three to four days to participate in competitions and other fun activities.

Massachusetts 4-H Fashion Review in the New England Center
The Big E also gives 4-H groups the opportunity to put on special events and present projects and demonstrations in the New England Center and on the Farm-A-Rama Stage. Saturday, Sept. 14, on 4-H & FFA Day, the New England Center hosted day-long Massachusetts 4-H exhibits, demos and stage shows. Some of the events included a fashion review and live mannequin modeling. 4-H activities from each state will continue to take place in the New England Center over the next couple days.

4-H at The Big E is a joint effort between Eastern States Exposition and the Cooperative Extension Systems of the New England States. Together these organizations motivate and recognize the achievements of 4-H members and educate the general public about the 4-H educational efforts.

FFA at The Big E

FFA helps students develop their potential for leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education.

The Eastern Regional FFA Program consists of 18 states. Over 900 FFA Students from Rhode Island to Michigan compete at The Big E. Events that the students participate in are Floral Arrangement, Under the Harvest Moon & Landscape Exhibits and Conservation Gardens. In addition to these exhibits, each day in Farm-A-Rama an FFA chapter will be making corsages for fairgoers.

Saturday, FFA members participated in a number of competitions including, Dairy Cattle, Horse, Forestry, Floriculture, Safe Tractor/Equipment and Poultry competitions.

2013 FFA Star Award Recipients
In the afternoon, the 2013 Eastern States Exposition FFA Star awards were presented. FFA competitors were evaluated on their achievements in agriculture, leadership skills and scholastic rank. FFA members recognized were, Scarlett Abell from Lebanon, Conn., Star Farmer; Chelsea Kegler from Mansfield, Conn., Star Agribusiness; Mary Hammock from Gretna, Virginia, Star Agricultural Placement and Whitney Bowman from Mount Jackson, Virginia, Star Agriscience.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Visit Storrowton Village for Some Old Fashioned Fun

The atmosphere of The Big E is intoxicating. The sights and sounds of the season are in full bloom all over the fairgrounds. From The Big E Circus Spectacular, to the shopping, animals and other entertainment, you may find yourself a little overwhelmed. Do yourself a favor and step off the bustling streets of the Fair and enter Storrowton Village Museum, an authentic 19th century village, to recharge and take in a different side of The Big E.

Storrowton is a reconstructed village consisting of nine historical buildings from Massachusetts and New Hampshire which were purchased, dismantled and reassembled around a traditional town green right here on Eastern States Exposition’s grounds. Although Storrowton's buildings come from different periods of construction, together they form a classic New England village which includes a Meeting House, Schoolhouse, General Store, Blacksmith Shop, Tavern, Law Office and two historic homes.

During The Big E Storrowton hosts special activities on the green, such as 19th century craft demonstrations and children’s games, tours of the historic buildings and daily entertainment events on the Storrowton Gazebo. Shop for crafts or vintage and unique gifts at Storrowton Gift Shop. If you have a taste for unusual snacks pick up a box of Salt N’ Vinegar Crick-Ettes, Mexican Spice Larvets or flavored lollipops with a surprise worm or scorpion inside. For more conventional shopping, don’t forget about the Christmas Shop in the Potter Mansion and Craft Common on the back green of the Village.

This Big E classic, New England village was created by the late Eastern States Exposition Trustee, Helen O. Storrow of Massachusetts who began the process of purchasing these historic buildings for the Exposition in 1927. Storrowton is a major element of The Big E which helps make this New England Fair so unique.

Storrowton Village Museum hours are 10am – 9pm, Craft Common is open until 10pm and Storrowton Tavern & Terrace is open 11am – 11pm daily. Early American Children’s Games are every day at noon and Early American Craft Demos are daily at 10am, 12:30, 3:00, and 5:30pm. Storrowton Village and Storrowton Tavern, a full service restaurant and banquet facility, are open year-round.

Friday, September 13, 2013

ATTENTION BIG E LOVERS: Welcome to 17 days of Pure Joy

The wait is finally over! Opening day gates are unlocked, breakfast is being served, animals are showing, and all exhibits & buildings will be open by 10am. The streets are bustling with vendors, the grills are fired up and the first fairgoers have arrived! You can smell the fairtime aromas as you approach The Big E grounds. At The Big E, you’re guaranteed to experience Excitement, Education, and Exploration! This year there are many new exhibitors and attractions for fairgoers to enjoy.

Today, Friday, Sept. 13, enjoy “Be a Kid for a Day”, when everyone pays the child’s price of $10 for admittance and “Military Appreciation Day” - ID required for free admission for:
  •    Active duty military personnel
  •        Dependents of active duty military personnel
  •    Veterans (no dependents)

Visit the new Wine and Cheese Barn to sample and purchase products from selected winners of The Big E Northeast Gold Wine and Gold Medal Cheese Competition. Treasures of the Hard Rock is a fantastic exhibit that displays a collection of iconic music memorabilia. It’s your chance to have a sneak peek into the Hard Rock “Vault.” Also, new to the Fair are the Swifty Swine Racing Pigs who are sure to tickle your heart as they race against each other for an Oreo cookie. And don’t forget to visit the Midway to ride the new, spectacular Mach 3! But that’s not all; there are many more newcomers to discover as you stroll down the roads of The Big E.

Today, The Big E Grande Mardi Gras parade will hit the streets at 5pm and DJ Pauly D will be performing on the Court Honor Stage at 8pm. He’ll be spinning records to create a memorable dance party that is sure to light up the night!

During each day of the Fair, there are many events and entertaining performances to see. It’s a challenge to visit all of The Big E’s breathtaking attractions in one day – and taste each of the amazing new foods! So we welcome you to partake in 17 days of pure joy at The Big E.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Goodbye, Hello

As each day passes we get one day closer to the start of the 2013 Big E! Crunch time is upon us as we come into the last two weeks of preparation and set-up before the Fair begins. As we look outside the windows, everything is coming together. Tents are going up, vendors are arriving and the excitement on the grounds has been kicked up a few more notches.

Farwell Party for Caroline Lasorsa
Last week we said, “see you soon” to the Marketing department Summer Writer, Caroline Lasorsa. She is now back at UMass Amherst to complete her senior year. This week we begin anew as we welcome Anne-Alise Pietruska and Lauren Silvis to the Department for the Fall Fair season. Pietruska is a Communications major at Westfield State University and Silvis is a recent Marketing Communications/Advertising graduate of Western New England University.

Pietruska and Silvis are honored that they have been given the opportunity to promote The Big E. Working behind the scenes in the Marketing department and understanding all that goes into orchestrating the Fair is incredible – and they are proud to be a part of it. It’s a chance of a lifetime that will enhance their skills and experiences.

Both girls will be assisting Eastern States Exposition staff members and performing various tasks around the fairgrounds – from writing press releases to assisting at traditional Fair competitions and contests. To see the girls’ most recent work, make sure you keep watching The Big E on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Blogger.

The Big E opens next Friday, Sept. 13 and runs through Sept. 29. The 97th annual Big E officially begins at 8am. Join us on Opening Day for Be a Kid for a Day when you only pay children’s price admission and Military Appreciation Day – ID required for free admission for:
§  Active duty military personnel
§  Dependents of the active duty military personnel
§  Veterans (no dependents)

Make sure you’re at the gates early to be one of the first to explore and taste the flavors of this year’s Fair! Don’t forget to stay for the first ever Big E dance party with DJ Pauly D at 8pm on the Court of Honor Stage! See you here!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New England Craft Beer Pub

Do you love the pub atmosphere as you wash your favorite meal down with a pint of ice cold, refreshing beer? Well you’re in luck because for the first time in Big E history, the Fair is teaming up with local restaurateur, Peter Rosskothen, and a wide selection of New England craft breweries to open the New England Craft Beer Pub across from the Rhode Island Building.

Featured breweries include Long Trail, Woodchuck Cidery and Shed Brewery of Vermont; Baxter Brewing, Peak Organic Brewery, Rising Tide Brewing Company and Shipyard Brewing Company of Maine; Sommerville Brewing Company, Westfield River Brewing Company, Ipswich Ale Brewery and Notch Brewing Company of Massachusetts; Thomas Hooker Brewing Company of Connecticut; Grey Sail Brewing and Foolproof Brewing Company of Rhode Island; and Smuttynose Brewing Company of New Hampshire. As an added bonus, brewers from these companies will visit the New England Craft Beer Pub on their respective “State Day” to educate fairgoers on their products.

To make for the ultimate pub experience, the New England Craft Beer Pub will feature a list of menu pairings to match each beer. Try our delicious Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese and pair it with a Westfield River Oktoberfest. For a lighter meal; enjoy a Cape Cod Chop Chop Salad with a Thomas Hooker Blonde Ale.

Bring the whole family and enjoy an extensive menu of pub favorites. Looking for a home style meal? We have a rich, delicious chicken pot pie and a hearty stout beef stew. For something a little different try our Irish nachos which are covered in corned beef, bacon, tomato, onion and cheddar cheese. Finish your meal with apple and berry cobbler topped with whipped cream. Yum!

Mix and match your beers and meals, or enjoy them by themselves at the New England Craft Beer Pub.