Today's Idea
Friday, September 14, 2018

The Big E


County fairs are everywhere, but there’s only one Big E.

Almost 1.5 million people now attend this 17 day long autumn extravaganza of entertainment, exhibits and agriculture celebrating all six New England states (The Big E runs from September 14 through September 30 this year.) There are two main stages (the Xfinity arena has 6000 seats), a Mardi Gras Parade, a Circus Spectacular, and entertainment for all ages. There are amusement rides and a midway. There’s an A-rated Championship Horse Show. There’s are all sorts of contests, including one for wines. There are even life-size butter sculptures. No matter how much time you spend here, you can’t hope to see it all.

And, of course, there’s plenty to eat. There are 141 locations for meals, snacks and beverages. After you expend a few calories, you might even want to look into the Big E’s two signature desserts – the Big E Cream Puff (debuted in 2002), and its cousin, the Big Edair (2004), both of which are made on premises at the Big E Cream Puff Bakery in the New England Center.

Gates open at 8 am, with agricultural activities beginning early in the morning, and food concessions open for breakfast. Other exhibits and buildings open at 10 AM, and stay open until 10 at night.

While the Big E is the granddaddy of events at the Eastern States Exposition, it’s by no means the only thing happening here.  About 100 events occur on the premises throughout the year, from horse shows to concerts to gem, mineral and fossil shows. For a complete listing, visit