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“A new experience at the Big E”
Review of The Big E

The Big E
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 28 September 2015

A friend and I attended on Saturday afternoon with the intent to stay for the free Kansas concert. The weather was perfect. We arrived there to find there was no parking on the grounds, we paid 20.00 for a spot at a garage within walking distance of Gate 4. Tickets were 15.00 each. I was surprised to find they now search your purse before you purchase your ticket. It was an uncomfortable experience performed by an equally cold, impersonal individual.

We first took a general walk around to as a refresher to get our bearings, as well as to inhale all the good smells! We both had attended the fair in years past... just not recently.

The fair was fairly crowded,you pretty much moved or were moved by the crowd through the state buildings. Over the years the state buildings have changed, now each building is filled with vendors. I did not see anything in the state buildings from their tourism departments, or as in the past even the Maine Fish and Game Department. It was a little disappointing.There was a fair amount of what I call buy sell stuff in the tents for some of the states. That was disappointing to see mass produced items that were not made in the usa.... let alone the state on sale in some of the state tents.Sorry..... each state should be showcasing their state in each of their buildings.

Food met all of our expectations for fair food. It was the perfect place to be. The smells were great. There were the old favorite standbys.. Philly cheese steaks, sausage grinders, fries, cotton candy, fried dough and more! In addition there were fried Oreos, fried whoopie pies and even a fried Martini ! As well as Greek and Polish food. Wohoo.. what was not to like! ( We all know that fair food has no calories !)

There were a lot of vendor booths/tents ... even a dollar store tent! More than I remembered.There was live music at the Infinity Center thru out the day. There was definitely a lot to see and do..a petting tent place among the vendors, as well as the pony rides and a elephant ride. There was face painting, and palm reading ... not to mention a parade featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales. There were horse shows going on in the colliseum.. A great place to get off your feet and enjoy the beautiful horses with their skilled riders. Storrow Village was as usual.... a treasure tucked in the fairgrounds.

What we didn't like was the strong decline in the overall agricultural aspect of the fair. :-( . Seeing a dollars store tent, or almost being run down by teens on Segways.

Overall, if I had nothing to compare it to I would recommend this a fun day for the family. However my suggestion is to go during the week, arriving early in the morning to beat the crowds to allow you to enjoy the experience a bit more.

Date of experience: September 2015
Thank gardnbug22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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241 - 245 of 590 reviews

Reviewed 28 September 2015

Had a great time at the fair. It is very large fair. Lots of animals, food and vendors. Recommend going the first day of it. Also find parking outside the fairgrounds. Extremely bad traffic getting here but otherwise had fun.

Date of experience: September 2015
Thank Kamsamnicksmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2015

Have gone to the fair 4 years in a row, and find that while we enjoy the fair, once every 2-3 years would be more than enough. It doesn't change that much. The fair grounds have made good progress in improvements over the years. Parking is always a challenge, but have always been able to park at gate 9 if going for when fair opens.
Would like to see them stop having a vendor with an elephant ride.

Date of experience: September 2015
Thank kbouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2015

Been going to the Big E for many years. It's more like a weekend away, mini vacation. But they still have lots to see. Music groups for free. Lots of many Fair food. They have perment buildings to house evert TV product every sold. They all so have animal judging, biggest pumpkin, ect going on Horse competitions in different classes it's a fun day

Date of experience: September 2015
Thank Harry11940
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 September 2015

The Big E is immense. There's now an app ( like for Disney World) to help with allocating your time. The fairgrounds has cement or tar throughout so it's tough on feet and legs. Wear well cushioned, comfortable walking shoes and plan on alternating sitting with standing attractions. There's usually an event in the Colleseum with plenty of seating. There are bleachers in the agricultural area and benches in Farm-A-Rama. Affordable vibrating foot massage (Footsie) machines are strategically positioned throughout the fairgrounds. These help. Each day is a different event so check the app or online to pick your day at the fair. Weekend crowds are huge so a vacation day mid-week or raincoats and an inclement weather trip will get you the best experience. Food prices are in the $8.00 range but portions are large so plan on sharing. There seems to be a cross-fairgrounds fee for drinks ( min. $3.00) in 2015 so bring water to stretch your budget. Stay for the parade that circles the fairgrounds at day's end. Your first visit probably won't be your last.

Date of experience: September 2015
Thank andesalive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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