WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The 2022 Big E has come to an end after 17 days of fair fun for New Englanders.
Businesses representing Connecticut in the state house say this fair was a success for them after no fair in 2020 and a fair still impacted by the pandemic in 2021.
Mark Scherer is with Jonathan Edwards Winery and represents the Connecticut Wine Council. He said he’s glad the long fair has ended but says the business was better than in 2019.
“Connecticut day was good when everyone was up here, but just kind of the hustle and bustle of it all,” he said.
Businesses like t-shirt World CT, based at the Crystal Mall in Waterford, made their debut at the Big E this year. Owner Ashon Avert says it was a chance to meet other New England business owners and mingle with the Connecticut companies that have been staples at the Big E for years.
“It’s my first year, there’s always something you feel like you can do differently, do better, so I definitely want to get another opportunity to do better,” he said. “I feel great that I had the opportunity to meet so many people from up and down New England, New York, and also share our products.”
Fairgoers got the try all kinds of flavors the state has to offer like lobster rolls from Lenny and Joe’s with restaurants in Madison and Westbrook. Victor J. Rivera owns the Big E stand inside the Connecticut state house. He says their numbers are also higher than they were in 2019.
“We’ve been here for 17 days straight and definitely, has been a lot better than expected,” he said. “Looking to make some changes maybe some new items for next year and we’re excited to come back next year.”
More than 1.6 million people attended the Big E this year. Saturday, September 24th had the highest single-day attendance with more than 177,000 people visiting. Opening day drew in nearly 88,000 people. The last day brought in nearly 140,000 fairgoers.
Jared Cohen, an owner of Republic Gastropub with locations in Hartford and Bloomfield, said this was their best year of the four previous fairs they sold at.
“It’s good just to see people out,” he said. “This year was a lot better. Had a few rain days which always hurts but it was good overall.”
The business owners say, while rest is their first priority, they’re looking forwards to how and what they’ll bring next year to showcase Connecticut at the Big E. The 2023 Big E will run from Sept. 15th to Oct. 1st at the West Springfield fairgrounds.
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