Sunday, September 13, 2009

the Big E Opens this Week

It's that time of year here in New England. The fairs are around us and you can fill each weekend through October with all sorts of harvest fairs.

One of my favorites is the Big E - The Eastern States Exposition. Since our counties in New England are generally for geographical purposes, the Big E is the mega fair for the six New England States. It began back in 1916 as a livestock exhibition. Today some 93 years later, it is seventeen days of great times, great food, amazing entertainment, livestock and agriculture, and last by not least the crafts!

My parents took us when we were small. I remember a special trip with the trailer to go up for a weekend. It was a WOW for me even though it was a bit damp and cloudy, yet that didn't matter. I can remember being taken through each of the states buildings, and learning something about each one of them. By then, us kids could point out different items in the buildings as we had seen them on our previous camping travels. Then the animal barns - watch eggs hatch, see the cows, goats and sheep. Get to see really different bunnies, alpacas and lamas. There were contests for those involved in FFA, and to see a kid our age run a pair of oxen through their paces was pretty exciting.

I've returned many times, I'd say most years as an adult. It doesn't get much better when you visit the barns. There is the milking barns, the one that contain the clydesdales, and I really enjoy seeing the sheep and the jersey cows. One year I was able to witness the birth of a calf! Then try to guess the weight of the giant pumpkin contest. I got caught up in the Craft Adventure, the juried show of crafts that would be displayed in the Big E if you got a ribbon. It was held several weeks earlier and you had an entire weekend to all the work submitted. It was a feast for your eyes. There were the quilters, hookers, lacers to name of few. If it wasn't for Helen Storrow, we might not have this part of the Big E. Storrowton village is the part of this - permanent exhibit - open most of the year, that tells the story of years gone by.

I'm going up there on the 23rd to volunteer as a lace maker. It is my luck it will also be Connecticut Day at the Big E. So come on by and take in a day, honestly there is something for everyone.

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