The Big E Begins

The Big E runs from September 13 to 29.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Try a massive cream puff or something fried at the Big E. They have fried strawberry shortcake, candy bars, Girl Scout cookies and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. (Published Friday, Sep 13, 2013)

    The 17-day Big E is an annual autumnal extravaganza that has become a tradition for many Connecticut families. 

    Known as “New England’s Great State Fair,” the Springfield festival offers lots of food, vendors, agriculture, and an impressive concert line-up. The Big E is so popular, it attracts more than a million people every day!

    It starts today and goes through Sept. 29.

    So what does The Big E have in store?

    Entertainment

    The Xfinity Arena Concert Series kicks off Saturday, Sept. 14 with Don Felder, the former lead guitarist of The Eagles. Felder is a member of The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and co-wrote The Eagles’ biggest hit “Hotel California.”

    On Sunday, Sept. 15, Tommy James & The Shondells will perform hits such as “Hanky Panky” and “Sweet Cherry Wine.”

    The 2012 CMA New Artist of the Year, Hunter Hayes, is scheduled to perform on Friday, Sept. 20. The 21-year-old country star is famous for his top songs “Crazy” and “Wanted.”

    On Sept. 27, the festival welcomes country artist Kix Brooks, of the famous duo Brooks & Dunn. Hits include “Moonshine Road” and “New to This Town.”

    The Beach Boys will close the concert series on Sept. 29. The great American rock band is famous for  top songs including “Surfin’ USA,” “Catch a Wave” and “Fun, Fun, Fun.”

    All concert events are free on a first-come, first-served basis, although premium reserved seats can be purchased starting at $25. Events will begin at 7:30 p.m.

    Court of Honor Stage

    Free performances will take place throughout the fair in front of the Coliseum. Featured acts include DJ Pauly D on Sept. 13, The Diamond Collection on Sept. 21, and Hilby the Skinny German Juggle Boy, who will perform every day of the fair.

    Food

    If you’ve been to The Big E before, you know to come hungry. The Big E features more than 141 food and beverage offerings. Aside from the classic fair foods such as fried dough, popcorn and cotton candy, the festival offers an array of other tasty treats.

    Some of the most popular foods include The Big E Cream Puff and the Craze-E Burger, a bacon cheeseburger sandwiched between glazed donuts. The Big E also offers German and Greek specialties, a classic diner and a food court.

    Healthy-conscious guests will find something too. The Big E offers salads, smoothies, wraps and other healthy options. 

    For those over 21, there are plenty of spots to grab a drink, such as The Big E Martini Bar, the Sam Adams Brew Garden and the Opa Opa Saloon.

    Agriculture

    The Big E wouldn't be complete without agricultural events dating back to the festival's origins.

    The Farm-A-Rama exhibit features live animals, giant crops and landscape ideas. Other activities include cow milking, giant-pumpkin picking and egg hatchings.

    The Ag in Everyday Life exhibit teaches kids and adults about the importance of agriculture and livestock.

    Additional Events

    Other featured events include a daily Mardi Gras Parade and circus entertainers.

    For more information about the entertainment schedule and how to purchase tickets, visit The Big E website.