Plan Your Next New England Vacation to Include a Trip to the Big E
Although it's officially known as the Eastern States Exposition, this large Fair is far better known as the Big E. The Big E is held every September in Springfield, MA, and showcases the very best in agriculture, food, craft, and produce from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine, and New Hampshire. Visitors can enjoy an eclectic mix of live music, fairground rides and the very best in New England cuisine. This fair attracts huge crowds each of the 17 days it's running so why not make plans to join them and see what the fuss is about?
Food is at the top of many visitors' lists when they are buying tickets and researching Eastern States Exposition vacation rentals. The Big E emphasises local produce wherever possible, so expect to find all the New England classics such as clam chowder and johnny cakes, sitting alongside some innovative food ideas.
1. Garbage Bowl
It might not sound particularly appetizing but the Garbage Bowl is hugely popular with Exposition visitors. It's easiest explained as a bun-less burger, with meat patty, cheese, onion rings, bacon and french fries all piled into a box. Delicious.
2. Cream Puff
This indulgent dessert was introduced in 2002 and rapidly became a favorite. It's pastry shell is split in half and filled with cream. Baked on site, the walls of the bakery are made from glass so eager fair-goers can watch the bakers at work creating that day's batch.
3. Maine Baked Potatoes
The beauty of the baked potato is that it's hearty and filling and you can have whatever filling you want inside. The traditional topping though is scallions, sour cream, cheese and bacon bits.
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Top Attractions at the Eastern States Exposition
Whatever your interests are there is plenty to keep you entertained at the Big E. Consider what you're planning on doing when booking Eastern States Exposition hotels as being close to the fairgrounds will maximise your time. Most Exposition events take place every day of the Big E's run but check the schedule published online if you just can't bear to miss the giant pumpkin weighing or llama show.
1. Avenue of States
The famous Avenue of States provides visitors the opportunity to visit all six New England states taking part in the Big E in one short stroll. Iconic buildings from each state are replicated along the avenue and inside the venue each state exhibits their very best products. These buildings are open daily, right through the exposition.
The Midway rides are the noisiest and most colorful part of the exposition, with everything from high-adrenaline thrill rides to something a bit more gentle for the kids. Don't miss a ride on the Big Wheel for some of the best views across the whole fair.
3. Wine and Cheese Barn
Cheese and wine is a perfect pairing, and you can sample both on a visit to the Barn. As well as sampling some of the winning wines and ciders, there's also the opportunity to purchase some locally-produced souvenirs to take home.
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Top Tips to Know Before You Go to the Eastern States Exposition
The Big E only comes round once a year so it pays to do a bit of planning ahead to get the most out of your visit. As many visitors travel from all over the north east, Eastern States Exposition hotels get booked up months in advance. After your accommodation is fixed, follow these tips to maximise your fun and enjoyment of this unique event.
1. Use the Shuttles
A show the size of the Eastern States Exposition guarantees heavy traffic, so take advantage of the Shuttle buses from Enfield Square Mall. The Shuttle ticket includes your entry into the Big E, so once you arrive on site you can skip right past the lines of people queuing at the ticket booths.
2. Season Passes
If you are planning on visiting the Big E over three or more days, or just want to have the flexibility of dipping in and out of the exposition as you wish, buy a 17 day Value Pass which will grant you admission every day if you wish
3. Get Online To Enter Your Best Work
If you think you have got what it takes to scoop a coveted purple ribbon for first place in the Eastern States Exposition, then browse through the categories on the website and complete the online application. Make sure you adhere to the submission deadlines. With categories covering everything from maple syrup cooking to wreath making, there's sure to be something which appeals.
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