If you were born and raised in New England, or at least lived here for a couple of years at some point- then you’re well aware that attending the Eastern States Exposition, or “The Big E” for short- is pretty much a mandatory Autumnal activity. Part agriculture exposition, part farmer’s market, part music festival/venue, and part carnival- The Big E is a sprawling, multi-week attraction in Springfield, Massachusetts that has a little something to offer for everyone.
Whether that little something is farm animals and equipment, unhealthy (but delicious) fried foods, dangerously constructed fair rides- or rows and rows of vendor booths/tents to browse- spending a day or a weekend there is a rite of passage for both locals and tourists alike.
This past weekend, to commemorate the final days of Troy’s brief return to the East Coast and because we both wanted fried Oreos AND fried dough pretty bad- we made the short pilgrimage to the fairgrounds to spend a good chunk of a late morning and afternoon eating all the food, shopping for all the useless stuff we didn’t need, riding the Ferris Wheel- as is tradition- and looking at record breaking pumpkins, cute baby farm animals and not-so-babyish Clydesdales.
I hadn’t been to The Big E since well before the pandemic started (and it was cancelled last year for that very reason)- so it was fun to be back and even more fun to see how much food and activities we could cram into the few hours we stayed there before ultimately heading home and preparing for the work-week ahead.
Of course, The Big E is a divisive event, as well- and it’s had it’s fair share of controversy in the past- particularly with it’s treatment of animals over the years. I could be mistaken, and if anyone reading this can correct me if that’s the case, I’d appreciate it- but I believe they’ve gotten rid of the circus aspect of the event, as well as the petting zoo/animal rides. At least we didn’t see any of it when we were walking around.
By the end of the afternoon, I was so full of food, I had gotten a little bit of sun- but I’d snapped a ton of photos and had a spectacularly over-the-top day with one of my best friends.
The Big E is happening daily through October 3rd if you’d like to check it out for yourself. It’s definitely worth the trip- even if you’re just going for the fried Oreos!