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Big E canceled

Video Message from our President/CEO Gene Cassidy

The organizers of the Eastern States Exhibition in West Springfield announced today that the largest fair in New England has been canceled this fall due to Covid-19 concerns.

There is precedent in the Exposition’s 104-year history when the Fair was put on hold during WWI and for five years during WWII. We’ve made it through difficult times before...the Flood of 1936…the Hurricane of 1938 and, 9-11, and together we’ll get through these unprecedented times as well.

We know our faithful fairgoers will be disappointed. This decision was difficult and complex but we all know in our hearts that it’s the right thing to do for the health and safety of the 1.6 million people who support us each year.

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.

We care for each and every one of our fairgoers and our job is to help you make the best memories possible. Because of that, we must now switch our focus to the future. Please join us in doing that.

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Now I have to really work for it to step foot in each New England state in a single day in late September. Definitely can't accomplish it in minutes though.


This comment naturally got me thinking what the best way to do that would be. I would guess you could start in Enfield CT, drive up through the Pioneer Valley to Brattleboro, and then go across NH to Kittery, ME. After that, you'd drive down to Pawtucket, thereby hitting all six New England states in (thanks to playing around on Google Maps...) 4 hours and 58 minutes. A nice day trip, with enough spare time built in to stop for pancakes in Brattleboro and Del's in RI. But if there is a shorter route out there to go through all six NE states in a day, I am curious.

Well, you can at least get three in one here:


Don't miss the opportunity to visit Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg while you're there

There are different routes. I've done Cumberland, RI to Kittery ME in one long day (a neat century ride), hitting four states (RI, MA, NH, ME). A classic "did it to say I did it" ride.

If you are into Randonneuring, you can create a larger loop that gets all 6 in a single day. I guess that is some people's idea of fun.

A more leisurely route takes you in a loose loop that sees all the things over multiple days: https://www.bitrot.de/bike_newengland.html

Completely understandable, but a total bummer.


doesn't follow the Big E's lead.


The sign on I-95 which shows Topsfield's dates is blanked out. But surprisingly, their website says they still plan to have the fair (for now).

My post here is equally unprecedented. Never before has anyone, let alone myself, ever reacted to the misuse of the word unprecedented as I am right now.

Every minute of every hour of every day, we continually experience unprecedented things...no, wait, that's completely backwards. Every minute of every hour of every day was preceeded by the one before it. And some events, like pandemics, have happened before. And we could even learn from our collective past if we can only acknowledge and identify these precedents.

In fact, in their own fucking sentence they tell us about all the precedents for shutting down the fair and then tell us we will survive these currently unprecedented times!

Sigh. As a society, we've given up on experts. Part of that is due to this sort of abuse of language. Words have meaning.


this misuse of words is literally killing you?


I would not.

In these uncertain times, the only thing which is certain is unprecedented.

It's ALL precedented.

"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”-Ecclesiastes

No biggie.

The Big E is very big.... what other fair commands an entire letter of the alphabet?

(It really is a super-popular fair; sorry to see this and so many other big events cancelled.)

Big Y.