A Sampling of Highlights from the Big E
There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned burger. There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned doughnut, either. Put them together and you get the Craz-E Burger, the Big E’s colossus of crispy bacon, gooey cheese, and juicy beef patty sandwiched between two halves of a glazed doughnut. At 1,500 calories (that’s maybe 75% of your recommended daily intake), it gives the phrase “to die for” a whole new meaning.
Avenue of States
Each New England state owns a replica of its original capitol. That means you can walk through all six New England states without leaving the fair! Each state hosts an exhibition day at the fair, when it shows off its unique foods, products, activities, and entertainment.
Storrowton Village Museum
Take a stroll through the centuries when you visit this collection of old American homes dating as far back as 1767. The village was born in 1926 when Helen Osborne Storrow, chairwoman of the Eastern States Exposition’s Home Department, decided that she needed a more authentic setting for her exhibits. Storrow’s dream was realized when her friend Arthur Gilbert agreed to sell her his 18th-century summer home for $200. The Gilbert Farmstead remains one of Storrowton’s nine old American buildings.
More than 600 pounds of butter are used each year to create the Big E’s traditional sculpture, crafted for the past 16 years by artist Jim Victor. Victor works for 10 days in a cube refrigerated to 55°, to maintain the butter’s consistency. Past sculptures have emphasized agriculture, with subjects such as a herdsman sheering a sheep, a barnyard, and a cow driving a dairy truck.
North American Midway
It may be the world’s largest traveling carnival. View the fair from the 115-foot-high Giant Wheel or the Alpine Swing, or, for adrenaline seekers, the gut-wrenching Drop of Fear. You’ll also find quieter rides and traditional games, plus your staple treats, including giant corndogs, pretzels, and popcorn.
Big E Cream Puff
The Big E’s signature dessert, this oversized pastry, which débuted in 2002, will celebrate its 10th birthday this year! Stop by the Cream Puff Bakery at the New England Center to view the creative process–flaky shells stuffed with two dollops of whipped 42% butterfat heavy cream–or grab one at the takeout window for easy access. Either way, this creamy treat is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Mardi Gras Parade
New Orleans meets New England each fall when this popular attraction marches daily through The Big E. The parade’s floats are built in New Orleans and sport themes from American patriotic to African, complete with jazz, lights, and colorful beads–so authentic you just might mistake The Big E for The Big Easy.
The Big E was extended from 12 days to 17 days in 1994 to alleviate overcrowding and traffic on weekends.
The Big E hosts the largest livestock show in the East, displaying many breeds of cattle, sheep, goats, hogs, and other critters from all over the world.
The Big E was originally founded to foster the development of New England agriculture through friendly competition. Today, that spirit of healthy rivalry remains, and New Englanders can take part in a number of contests and challenges in fields including livestock husbandry, creative arts, cooking and baking, Northeast wines, and pumpkin decorating.