The 2014 Big E set a new attendance record of 1,498,605 as fair enthusiasts flocked to the annual regional event. Eager visitors also broke 1980’s single day attendance record on Saturday Sept. 20th when 170,612 visitors poured into the fairgrounds. This year’s attendance figures represent a healthy increase over 2013 when 1,481,917 visitors attended the Big E. The event’s success can only be interpreted as great news for local businesses and event participants since the Big E creates such a huge impact – to the tune of almost half a billion dollars – on the local economy!
Something for Everyone
Eastern States Exposition President Eugene Cassidy expressed his gratitude for the support of the North American agriculture community and visitors from the New England area and beyond. The popular fair, which lasted a total of 17 days, offered a little something for everyone. The Midway was crowded with rides and tasty treats and tempting fried food specialties. If that wasn’t enough, Ben & Jerry’s allowed fair visitors to sample their new “Two Wild and Crazy Pies” flavored ice cream. Continuing with the pie theme, Moolicious Farms also introduced its latest concoction, Smash-A-Pie, and Rondeau’s asked for Big E staff input as they created an original flavor of banana cream pie ice cream.
The Mallary Complex was filled to capacity with interesting attractions. The fair also featured 4H competitions and sheep shearing demonstrations. The traditional six-horse hitch showdown went off without a hitch, with no less than 14 hard pulling teams of powerful draft horses competing for the $5,000 prize. Mark Barie and his beautiful Belgians won the contest for the second year in a row. And, of course, what fair would be complete without an exciting goat milking competition?
As for music, the 2014 Big E offered some big time performances. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Little Big Town and Darius Rucker among others, satisfied the musical appetites of fair attendees.Although it was sad to see the 2014 Big E come to an end, Eugene Cassidy indicated that he was already looking forward to preparing for next year’s fair. Cassidy and his staff are also looking ahead to the Big E centennial in 2016.
There’s a good chance that this year’s attendance record won’t stand for long.