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Opening day at the Big E brings massive crowds and high calories too

A celebration of 107 years in West Springfield with expectations at an all-time high.

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The tradition of the Eastern state's exposition returned to the fairgrounds in West Springfield as the Big E opened for its 107th six-state celebration. 

"For everyone who works at the Big E, opening day is the day that we welcome everyone here so we’re all very excited," said Big E President and CEO Gene Cassidy.

Inside the Connecticut Building on the Avenue of the States, Dave Ackert, who runs the Newtown-based Maple Craft Foods said that opening day is off to a good start. Ackert is back working his 7th Big E.

"This year there is no doubt, the crowds are big, the people are happy, the weather is good – we’re good," said Ackert. 
Perhaps the crème de la crème of all fair food is the iconic cream puffs made at the Big E Bakery. EJ Dean who is the owner of the Big E Bakery was bullish on just how many coveted cream puffs he and his team would sell this year. 

“Cream puffs, we are probably going to be pushing 180 thousand. We’re really trying to hit the 200 thousand mark so we’re putting a hard push on it," Dean said,.
Cassid said he was expecting to set a new attendance record this year.

 “Last year was a big fair, it was our second biggest in history – coming out of COVID people wanted to get back together and if the weather behaves I'll bet we set another record. If we get to 1,660,000 we will set a new record," said Cassidy/

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Fairgoer Dennis Guido, from New Milford, said he was back for his 15th fair and added, “Family, food, and friends, that’s what it’s all about in New England.”
To learn more about this year’s Big E Fair click here

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, X and Instagram.


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