2020 “Big E” Canceled

ANNUAL NEW ENGLAND “CELEBRATION” SHUTTERED DUE TO COVID-19

by Sharon Rondeau

VIVIANE6276, Pixabay, License

(Jun. 29, 2020) — On Monday Gene Cassidy, CEO of the annual Eastern States Exposition, or”Big E,” announced that this year’s fair is canceled.

The event, one of the largest of its kind in North America, spans 17 days between mid-September and early October each year and features agricultural exhibits, horse-racing, food, rides and entertainment, special shows and educational programs.

Cassidy said in a video released Monday as well as a press release that the decision regarding the popular New England event, held in West Springfield, MA for the last 104 years, was a “difficult and complex” one to make.

Without mentioning the coronavirus, the press release states that “for the safety of our fairgoers, staff, vendors, entertainers, exhibitors, sponsors, suppliers and the broader community, we have made the decision to cancel the 2020 Big E.”

“Our staff has spent the last few months working tirelessly to figure a way to bring our annual New England tradition to everyone this fall. Despite exploring all our options and planning extensively, we realized that The Big E experience that everyone has come to know and love would not be the same.,” the statement continues.

The fair draws a reported 1.6 million people each year, the press release states, and was not held during World Wars I and II. During the latter conflict, Wikipedia reports, the grounds were used by the U.S. military for “storage depots.”

Inclusive of six New England states, the fair features a replica of each state’s original capital building and products for which each state is known.

While dozens of events for 2020 were canceled or postponed due to COVID-19, some, beginning on July 9, remain on schedule as of this writing.

On September 21 of last year, a new record was set for single-day attendance at 176, 544.

“Thank you all for your support and we’ll see you September 17-October 3, 2021, when we can all celebrate together again,” Cassidy’s statement concludes.

An announcement on the organization’s website now reads:

Sept 17 – Oct 3, 2021
445 days until The Big E!

 

 

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