(WEST SPRINGFIELD) — Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, his wife Lauren Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito visited The Big E Fair in West Springfield to celebrate Massachusetts Day on Thursday, September 22.
Joining them at the Massachusetts Building were Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Bethany Card, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux, Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Doug Rice, Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) Executive Director Keiko Orrall and other state officials Massachusetts has been the host state of the Big E since its inception in 1917.
Governor Baker issued a Proclamation declaring Massachusetts Day at The Big E.
The officials kicked off the day with a speaking program on the front lawn of the Massachusetts State Exposition Building.
“We are proud to have an enduring presence here at the Big E dating all the way back to 1919 when the Massachusetts Building first opened to the public with the vision of spotlighting and highlighting our Commonwealth’s local agriculture and economy,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card.
“For over 100 years, this building has showcased the beauty and bounty of Massachusetts and supported countless small businesses and agricultural commodity groups and today, the Baker-Polito Administration continues that tradition in supporting and promoting the Commonwealth’s vibrant agricultural industry.”
The Massachusetts State Exposition Building is one of six original statehouse replicas representing each of the New England states that are part of the Eastern States Exposition’s Avenue of States attraction. Known more familiarly as the Big E, the Eastern States Exposition is the largest state fair on the Eastern Seaboard and 5th largest fair in the United States.
During the Big E, the Massachusetts Building exhibits the finest in Massachusetts agriculture, culture, commerce, and tourism through informational, promotional and retail vendors.
This year, the Massachusetts State Exposition Building will provide space for over 30 local businesses, state agencies, and agriculture associations to promote their products and services and engage visitors in what makes Massachusetts a destination state to visit.
Here is a list of local exhibitors in the building in 2022.
Visitors to the Building can enjoy the many offerings of the agricultural commodity groups and commercial vendors showcased throughout the building and outside promoting and selling Massachusetts products including maple syrup, Finnish pancakes, honey products, fresh apples and raspberries, wine, clam chowder, ice cream, craft beer and variety of baked goods.
Massachusetts small businesses will also be selling a variety of locally made goods such as sportswear, hand crafted candles, soaps, chocolates, jewelry, and artwork.
“For seventeen days each year, vendors and exhibitors come from all over the Commonwealth to showcase their products and services highlighting the amazing variety that Massachusetts has to offer,” said MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. “I encourage all fairgoers to visit our Building to experience Massachusetts and maybe even learn something new about us.”
The presence of the Massachusetts State Exposition Building at The Big E Fair and the thousands of visitors it attracts are important to the Massachusetts economy. According to the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT), in 2021, more than 22 million domestic and international visitors came to Massachusetts, supporting 111,000 jobs, while generating $16.6 billion dollars in direct spending and $1.3 billion in state and local tax revenue.
“The Big E Fair is a big deal for our tourism economy, offering visitors the finest foods and beverages from across the region, as well as unique Massachusetts-made products, cultural and agricultural activities and live entertainment,” said MOTT Executive Director Keiko Matsudo Orrall. “Additionally, many Big E Fair visitors stay to enjoy our foliage season, farms, colleges, cultural activities and iconic historical attractions across the Bay State, further contributing to our economy.”
The Big E runs until Sunday, October 2, 2022. Hours at the Massachusetts Building are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.