If you are in western MA, CT and Hey, maybe even RI… maybe?…. You know about The Big E.
It is only the best fair in the entire New England land, as far as I know…. and even though it is not in CT it only takes about 40 minutes to get there. Come on, once in a while you gotta leave CT to find some of the gems in this location.
I have only been to the Big E twice but, knew after the first time it was the best experience in the entire world of fairs and I knew I was in love and wanted to come back every single year. For uncontrollable reasons it took me 3 years to get back there, not for lack of trying I might add.
This year it was almost just as good as I remembered it. Almost, because one very important thing was missing, Salmon on a Stick. I will explain later..
Here is a brief summary of the Big E:
The Big E, the largest fair in the Northeast, is home to The Big E Cream Puff & Craz-E Burger. It’s a New England extravaganza with top name entertainment, The Big E Super Circus, The Avenue of States, Storrowton Village Museum, animals, competitive exhibits, rides, shopping, crafts, a daily parade and a Mardi Gras parade, and foods from around the world —- for 17 days each September!
It’s the last blast of summer — celebrate at The Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts!” (BIG E website)
There are endless vendors selling everything from lipstick that changes colors on different skin tones, hot neck wraps, jewelry, bath, body and hair lotions and potions, and over prices insoles, to house siding, gutter cleaners, mops and other random household goods.The shopping is in two maybe three large expo centers/barns (Better Living and Young buildings) and that alone will take about 2 hours to get through if you are taking your time and stopping and looking around. If you are going with kids there are lots of fair rides they may be tempted to ride. Luckily I avoided all that and saved that time for more shopping and eating!
Click here to check out the Big E awesome Flickr account.
Then there is the food…
This is where the following infamous items live: donuts meat burger (yes it is as is sounds), fried oreos, and I heard even this year… Fried KoolAide… I don’t know how, so don’t ask me,. I am able to stay away from all those ‘tempting’ fried treats, but I always splurge for Salmon on a Stick ($8 a stick)
These are the people responsible for my heartache this year, but the ones I fell head over heels in love with my first year.
(Maine-ly Smoked Salmon Website)
They were sold out by the day I got to them and had no sympathy for my story of wanting to go to the Big E just for them!
I mean, this is pure delicious-ness and healthy all in one!! Much tastier and healthier then the Fried Parade going on outside the buildings.
My friend that came with me got the Calm Chowder Bread Bowl, and they were going fast! Very popular and very good (I assume) because she ate the whole thing and just the smell was enough to win me over!
Next is the shopping:
The last time I was at the Big E I got the Hot Neck Wrap and sinus bean bag to go along with it. I still have it and it’s just like new. Lasts a long time…! And very comforting I must add🙂
The Big E is so big I would definitely allow at least 4 hours minimum just to see everything. If you want to stop and eat, even more time! Do be prepared to spend money. This was something I ideally was trying to save up for (ideally because it didn’t happen, lol). But tickets are not cheap, and then the food, plus drinks and any shopping, not to mention tickets to a show in my case… you are gonna want to make sure you have money with you for sure. Nothing worse than missing out on a awesome item just because you didn’t plan ahead and save up for this once a year spectacular!
Amazingly, Jeff Dunham happened to be there. You know, totally unplanned……Jk jk. It was TOTALLY planned…and he didn’t happen to ‘just be there’. He was there for a ‘performance’ I guess that is what you call it? Anyways, of course he was hilarious and who couldn’t laugh/think this guy is cute:
He did Sparks of Insanity and a little sneak peak at his Halloween series coming up soon! I am not a big comedian fan, but I do like him thanks to my college roommate.
If you are not living in CT and just reading this from some other state, make sure you put the Big E on my bucket list! This is a great New England tradition and something, I love and wouldn’t change a thing about it!