Travel with Val: The Big E
A major fair in Western Massachusetts lets fall visitors savor all the flavors of New England in just one day. YNN's Valarie D’Elia filed the following report.
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The leafy region known as New England spans six states, and one could spend weeks covering the territory on a road trip.
There is an "E"-Z way to see all of New England -- at the Eastern States Exposition. Fondly called the “Big E,” it’s been held in West Springfield, Mass. since 1917, satisfying generations of fair-goers.
Why is it called The Big E? It could be because of the big eating! The signature dessert of The Big E is the cream puff, two scoops of buttery badness, available here just once a year.
"We use 42-percent butterfat, heavy cream in there," says Ray Billie of Puff Daddy.
Over the 17 days of the fair, they sell 80,000 pastries.
The cream puff has some competition along the Avenue of States. There, inside small-scale replicas of the six original New England statehouses, excess has no boundaries. Visitors can tuck into Maine lobster rolls, stuffed potatoes, apple pie topped with Vermont cheddar cheese, Connecticut’s famous pizza, Rhode Island clam cakes and fresh raspberries.
After all that, thank heavens there is a tooth-brushing station.
The expo also pushes local products and has a daily parade, carnival-style rides, horse shows, petting zoos and displays of gimmicky products you never knew you needed.
The Big E runs through September 30. Admission is $15 for adults, $10 kids ages six to 12 and children under five are free. Mid-week specials include $12 tickets for seniors and $6 for everyone after 5 p.m. Parking is extra. For more information, visit www.thebigE.com.