Best time to go to Massachusetts

The Big E 2024 in Massachusetts

The sixth-largest fair in the United States, the biggest on East Coast

Dates: September 13-29, 2024

The Big E
The Big E
The Big E
The Big E
The Big E

The Big E, officially known as The Eastern States Exposition, is the largest agricultural event in the northeastern United States, representing the six states of New England: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island. This annual fair, held in West Springfield, Massachusetts, begins on the second Friday after Labor Day and spans 17 days. The exposition promises a diverse array of activities, attractions, and entertainment options that reflect the rich agricultural heritage and cultural traditions of New England. Whether you are interested in a thrilling carnival, educational exhibits, or live performances, The Big E offers something for everyone.

Concerts

Concerts are a major highlight. The Big E Arena is the prime location for headline performances, featuring prominent artists such as Ludacris, Diplo, and Big Time Rush, performing under the stars on Fridays through Sundays at 7:30 pm. This open-air venue has hosted some of the biggest names in music, creating an unforgettable experience for thousands of fans. For more continuous entertainment, the Court of Honor Stage delivers a diverse array of performances daily at 12, 2, 5, and 8 pm, with acts like Chubby Checker and the Australian Bee Gees. This stage is at the heart of the fairgrounds and all shows are included with admission. Additionally, The E Stage, sponsored by Blue Chair Bay Rum, highlights emerging talents and regional artists, with performances scheduled throughout the day on both weekdays and weekends.

Big Parade, Circus Spectacular, and Storrowton Gazebo

The daily Big Parade at 6 pm features a lively procession of high school marching bands, specialty floats, antique vehicles, and performance groups, complete with the impressive Hallamore Clydesdales and festive Mardi Gras bead throws. Meanwhile, the Circus Spectacular, hosted under The Big Top with daily shows at 1, 4, and 7 pm, showcases a world-class lineup of jugglers, trapeze artists, aerialists, clowns, and magicians. For a taste of Nashville, Dolly’s Honky Tonk offers trick roping, live country music, line dancing, and mechanical bull rides. Additionally, the Storrowton Gazebo Stage provides fun family entertainment with jugglers, fire eaters, and magicians performing daily at 12:30, 3:30, and 6:30 pm.

Additional Entertainment

Visitors can also enjoy daily horse shows and see farm animals, including goats, sheep, chickens, and pigs. Notable attractions include the Avenue of States, featuring life-size replicas of each New England state's original statehouse, and Storrowton Village, a recreated 19th-century New England village. Special exhibits and vendors on the Avenue showcase culture, heritage, food, and traditions of each New England state. Try a delicious lobster in Maine House or maple syrup in Vermont House. Everything is original and made locally! Additional entertainment includes various contests, displays, demonstrations, and the famous Giant Slide on the Midway, which is 46 ft (14 m) high and 135 ft (40 m) long.

Location and Schedule

The Big E is held at the Eastern States Exposition grounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts, located in the picturesque Pioneer Valley. Just a two-hour drive from Boston, this annual event operates with gates opening at 8 am daily. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities throughout the day, with The Big E Bakery open from 9 am to 10:30 pm. The buildings and Craft Common welcome guests from 10 am to 10 pm, while the Avenue of States, Storrowton Village Museum & Shops, and the New England Center are open from 10 am to 9 pm. The Midway offers thrills from 11 am to 10 pm Sunday through Thursday and extends its hours on Fridays and Saturdays, operating from 10 am to 11 pm.

Tickets

Advance discounted tickets are available until September 11, 2024. Adult one-day tickets are priced at $16 (regularly $20 at the gate). A Midway Magic Pass, which provides unlimited rides Monday through Friday or 26 ride tickets on weekends, is available for $30 (regularly $35). For those planning to attend multiple days, a 17-day Adult Value Pass is offered at $70, and a Child Value Pass at $35. Concert tickets, which include fair admission, range from $39 to $69 depending on the artist and seating choice.

History

The Eastern States Exposition was founded in 1916 by Joshua L. Brooks to promote agricultural and industrial development in the northeastern United States. Initially called New England's Great State Fair, it was renamed The Big E in 1967. Over the years, the fair has grown significantly, now attracting over 1.5 million visitors annually and featuring more than 7,000 agricultural exhibitors.

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