Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito offers remarks at a rededication ceremony celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Massachusetts State Exposition Building at the Big E

(Photo courtesy of Mass Department of Agricultural Resources)

The Massachusetts State Exposition Building on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition turned 100, and that is cause for celebration this week at 103 Annual Big E states fair, which runs from September 13 through September 29. Last year the Big E fair attracted a record-breaking 1,543,470 visitors.

On Monday, September 16, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux joined state and local officials for a special Rededication Day.

As the first building located on the Avenue of States, which represents all six New England states, the Massachusetts State Exposition Building is an almost-perfect replica of the old Massachusetts Statehouse. Since opening in 1919, the Massachusetts building has showcased the finest in Massachusetts agriculture, culture, commerce, and tourism through informational, educational, promotional and retail exhibits. Read about the history here.

Governor Charlie Baker praised the “100-year tradition of showcasing Massachusetts from the Berkshires to Cape Cod to visitors throughout New England.  We encourage all Big E fairgoers to be sure to check out the many vendors and organizations in the building representing some of the best the Commonwealth has to offer.”

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said, “It is amazing to look back on the past century and see how the Massachusetts State Exposition Building has showcased the very best of Massachusetts agriculture, tourism and commerce. We want to thank all of the vendors and organizations that have exhibited over the years and those exhibitors today that continue the legacy of promoting the Commonwealth.”

The re-dedication ceremony included a speaking program, celebratory toast, and the dedication of a bronze plaque in honor of the building’s anniversary. The ceremony occurred 100 years to the date in 1919 when Lt. Governor Channing H. Cox dedicated the building on behalf of Governor Calvin Coolidge after its $50,000 construction.

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides noted that “the building’s exhibits have evolved through the years to reflect the changes in industry, agriculture and commerce while still preserving our history and culture.”

MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux, whose agency manages the Massachusetts Building, said, “We are excited to be the first building on the Avenue of States to reach this historic milestone and plan to celebrate its birthday in a fitting fashion with entertainment, giveaways, special vendors and of course, locally-made cake.”

Eastern States Exposition President and CEO Eugene J. Cassidy said, “It was the dream of our founder, Joshua L. Brooks, to create a premier showcase for the six New England states to display their character and products. It is my distinct pleasure to usher in a new century of the continuation of that dream.”

(Photo Courtesy of Phyllis Cahaly)

After the ceremony, Lt. Governor Polito joined MOTT Executive Director Keiko Matsudo Orrall at the Massachusetts Visitor Information Booth, where visitors can learn about made-in-Massachusetts products, talk to tourism specialists about vacationing in the Bay State, and pick up tourism-related magazines, brochures and maps.

Other special days for the Massachusetts Building will include Massachusetts Day on Thursday, September 19, 2019 and Harvest New England Day on Friday, September 27, 2019.

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