The Big E sets attendance records with 1.4 million attendees


WEST SPRINGFIELD — It was another record-breaking year for the Eastern States Exposition with 1.4 million people who went through the gates.

In a press release Sunday night, The Big E fair officials said 1,418,042 people attended the exposition as it celebrated its 100th year.

In addition, five daily attendance records were broken, including Opening Day, Sept. 16 with 86,204 visitors; Sept. 17 hosting 116,602 fairgoers;  Sept. 20 where the Fair saw 56,424 come through the gates; Sept. 25 with 132,041 guests; and Sept. 29, when The Big E hosted 84,111 guests.

The 17-day event is known as the largest fair in the Northeast and attracted more than 1.3 million visitors last year.

“As always, we couldn’t have had this successful event without the unwavering support of the agriculture community, all six New England states and our thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly getting The Big E ready, up, and in operation each and every year,” Eugene J. Cassidy, president and CEO of Eastern States Exposition, said. “This year we looked back at the last 100 years of greatness, and we’re so excited to see what the next 100 will bring.”

Two people got engaged Friday night. Mike Barile popped the question and Tran Nguyen said yes in the front row of the concert. Barile had made arrangements with the singer’s management to pull the surprise off.

On Thursday night, no one was hurt when the ride called Wipeout malfunctioned. Firefighters used a ladder truck to rescue the 14 riders, most of whom were children. All rides are inspected daily. Wipeout was closed for the remainder of the fair.