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Title: The Big E
Description: Eastern States Exposition

Ben James Ben - September 12, 2008 06:24 PM (GMT)
A topic to discuss The Big E, aka the Eastern States Exposition, in West Springfield, MA, September 12-28, 2008. I usually attend each year. It's a nice fair to visit, since it's so big.

The midway is run by NAME North American Midway Entertainment, the company that resulted when Conklin Shows merged with two other shows. They run The Big E's midway every year. Unfortunately, the rides aren't too exciting. Usually there are two coasters: The Mark 1 roller coaster and a newer Zamperla Crazy Mouse spinning coaster. Last year they had a swing tower instead of the usual giant Ferris wheel at the center of the midway.

This article indicates that the Ferris wheel might be back this year, though it also might be closed:
Accident closes Ferris wheel at Big E
Springfield Republican, September 12, 2008, by Peter Goonan

State officials on Friday were inspecting the giant Ferris wheel at the Eastern States Exposition after a security vehicle struck the ride's large loading platform and stairs.

The accident occurred at approximately 7 a.m. Friday, and the security officer driving the car was taken to the hospital, said Noreen P. Tassinari, director of marketing for the exposition. The name of the security officer was not released and the extent of injuries was not immediately available.

Friday is the first day of the Big E and it was not known when the Ferris wheel will open.

"At this time, the ride is being thoroughly inspected and tested," Tassinari said.

The accident is being investigated by the West Springfield Traffic Division.

Jimmymass - September 12, 2008 06:54 PM (GMT)
Hey Ben the Giant Ferris Wheel was there last year in pretty much the same spot it is in every year at the Big E. The swing Tower was there as well forget the location but remember watching the ride run a few times.

turkishtwistalltheway - September 12, 2008 11:29 PM (GMT)
What rides will be there? Or....should I say ARE there?

industrial kid - September 13, 2008 02:34 AM (GMT)
Oh man the big E's here i need to try and go my fmaily always talks about how big it is! not to mention the show that runs it is fantastic.

Ben James Ben - September 14, 2008 04:20 AM (GMT)
I went today. Let me try to recollect what rides were there: Ferris Wheel, Ring of Fire (I think), KMG Freak Out (but it was named Fire Ball), Orbiter, a drop tower, a swing tower (but I don't think it was running), the Crazy Mouse spinning coaster, Niagara Falls portable flume ride, a Zipper, a Himalaya (I think), Scooters, some sort of flying carpet, that pharoh-themed pirate ship ride.

No Mark I roller coaster. Just the Crazy Mouse. The midway wasn't anything exciting-- just the usual NAME rides. Also, I noticed that they went back to using paper tickets instead of the stored value cards.

James - September 14, 2008 04:26 AM (GMT)
What drop tower was it? The giant Moser tower? Or was it a smaller Moser Spring ride?

Midway seems kinda..small. No wave swinger? No new major rides? Is the Twinflip back from last year?

Ben James Ben - September 14, 2008 12:24 PM (GMT)
My list doesn't include all the rides. It just includes the ones I could remember off the top of my head.

I don't know what type of drop tower it was. I don't think it was a Moser. It was definitely a tall drop tower. I think that it was around 110-115 feet tall because it appeared to be the same height as the Zamperla Swing Tower.

Yes, there was a wave swinger at The Big E. No, I don't recall seeing a Twin Flip. Yes, the midway seemed a bit smaller than what I remember from previous years. I was thinking that the Freak Out and Orbiter appeared to be the most thrilling rides on the midway.

industrial kid - September 14, 2008 04:34 PM (GMT)

Ben James Ben - September 16, 2008 07:05 PM (GMT)
Since hoot usually asks about sideshows, I made a special effort to look for them. This year I saw four sideshows at The Big E:

Goliath, the world's largest horse. Alive!
Li'l Muffin, the world's smallest horse. Alive!
Bear Country/Big Bear Ranch. Alive!
Giant Snakes. Alive!

hoot - September 16, 2008 08:17 PM (GMT)

Ben James Ben - October 3, 2009 02:15 PM (GMT)
I'm recycling this topic, making it generally for The Big E. I went again in 2009. North American Midway Entertainment (NAME) once again ran the midway. All of the usually rides were there, Crazy Mouse, Ferris wheel, Ring of Fire, etc. This year they had a KMG Fire Ball, Fabbri "Banzai" Kamakaze II, Sky Swinger.

There were four sideshows this year: Lil' Muffin the world's smallest horse, giant horse, giant snake, and Porky the giant pig.

I'll try to post more details later.

turkishtwistalltheway - October 3, 2009 05:10 PM (GMT)
Hmmm......I might go to ride the KMG fireball and the Bonzai Kamikaze II. I've never been on either of them.

James - October 3, 2009 05:59 PM (GMT)
I rode the Kamikaze back at the Meadowlands State Fair in New Jersey after skipping it in Miami last year.

Its pretty smooth and comfortable, unlike the Zamperla make that I pretty much hate. (Seabreeze,Dorney) But I'd still take the amazing Vekoma model over them all (ex-SFNE Time W4rp)

The only downside of the Kami is the odd.. "grab bar" thing.. thats kind of.. In your face.
user posted image

Ben James Ben - October 6, 2009 02:52 AM (GMT)
There are just a few photos I took. I'll post some notes later:

For hoot:
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industrial kid - October 6, 2009 08:34 PM (GMT)
great photos as always ben!!!

as for this fair my friend went there this weekend to see a band.

Thrillride93 - October 7, 2009 12:06 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (industrial kid @ Oct 6 2009, 03:34 PM)
great photos as always ben!!!

as for this fair my friend went there this weekend to see a band.

was it seether if so my friend did to lol

Ben James Ben - October 7, 2009 03:13 AM (GMT)
My notes:

The Big E, Friday, October 2, 2009

- Arrived in Springfield 11:30am, then it took about 45 min. to drive the last 3 miles.
- parking $10, admission $15
- Took a look at the Christmas trees. There's a new variety called "Canaan Fir" that looks really nice.
- The butter sculpture was a countryside farm scene. Trees, barn, cows in a pasture.
- Saw the singing refrigerator.
- Today is changeover day for cows. Not as many cows on display.
- James Bond Stunt Car exhibit. Car on site. A short documentary film about the stunt and the movie shoot. pretty cool.
- Saw hucksters selling OMG smokeless cigarettes, a steam mop, and a rubber ball of goo that sticks to floors and walls.
- The Borner V slicers. Special only $20. That's less than what I paid for it 2 years ago. New curved design.
- Arnold Palmer indoor golf game.
- Ceramic grater dish, herb grinder.
- Saw a funny Power Step Plus exercise machine. You stand still on it, and the machine shakes you back and forth! Signs claimed that "10-15 minutes equals 1 hour workout"!
- Sideshows: World's Smallest horse. 19" actual shoulder height. Lil' Muffin. Alive. $1; Giant Horse. Alive. $1; Giant Snake. Alive. $1; Porky the Giant Pig. Live. 8 foot long 4 foot wide. Sausage to feed 1000 people. Still growing. Largest pig you'll ever see. $1.
- Saw a 4-H presentation, "How to be a Bunny Mommy", presented by a little girl. It was very informative.
- Big Eclairs. $3.50 Big E Cream Puffs. $3.50 Big E Cookies $4.50 for bakers dozen.
- Really huge line for the Foxwoods "free stuff" giveaway.
- There were sea lions for the sea lion show.
- Vermont Flannel Company, had the "Poop" t-shirts for sale. According to the shirts, the web site is but the site doesn't seem to be responding.
- Otter Creek Brewery. Beer $5.
- A little girl grabbed onto my arm by mistake in the Vermont building and walked with me for a while before realizing the mistake. What happened was that her mother was on the other side of her and told her daughter to "hold onto Daddy" not knowing that it was actually me there.
- Maine building. Wicked Whoopie pies $3 each. Lobster Rolls $8. Hancock Gourmet Lobster company. Sebastian Smokehouse. Smoked salmon on a stick $7.
- Huge line for maine Baked potatoes. Line to the outside of the tent. 2:20pm.
- Specialty food day isn't too special. Just some additional vendors outside the state houses. Bought some great "Pirate Spread" from the Naragansett Creamery Very tasty stuff.
- Massachusetts building, lobster rolls $7. But, the Maine rolls tasted better and were a better value despite the higher price. The Maine roll was an actual claw, not shredded meat.
- Some rides on the midway: Bonzai, KMG Fire Ball. Mardi Gras fun house. Mouse Trap dark ride. Niagara Falls flume ride, Alpine Bobs, Polar Express (which is a Himalaya, not an Alpine Bobs ride), Swing Tower, Ring of Fire.

industrial kid - October 7, 2009 10:35 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Thrillride93 @ Oct 6 2009, 08:06 PM)
QUOTE (industrial kid @ Oct 6 2009, 03:34 PM)
great photos as always ben!!!

as for this fair my friend went there this weekend to see a band.

was it seether if so my friend did to lol

yes it was seether lol.

Ben James Ben - September 26, 2011 02:33 AM (GMT)
FYI, they're doing work on the Route 5/57 bridge in Springfield (the bridge people also normally take
to get to Six Flags). Traffic is somewhat of a mess there especially coming back from West Springfield
to Springfield. I believe that The Big E suggests taking the Route 20 bridge instead, tough i didn't
go that route so I don't know what it's like. The Route 57/River Road underpass rotary was also
jammed when I went through, so I wasn't able to sneak around the back and take Route 57 to
Route 159 to Route 147 like I usually do.

canobie#1 - September 26, 2011 07:58 PM (GMT)
I will be visiting this thursday because i don't have school. I'll get a report going.

canobie#1 - September 30, 2011 02:03 AM (GMT)
Ok great day at the fair! Every ride was open and running perfect. Ride count
fireball [ring of fire]
fireball [street fighter]
alpine bobs
mouse trap [awsome dark ride!]
polar express
spin out
pharos phury
mega drop
sky swing
6 funhouses
niagra falls
2 bumper cars
crazy mouse <_<
cliffhanger [operating! :Ahh: ]
century wheel and giant wheel both operating
tilt a whirl
starship 2000
super slides closed due to rain
other kiddie ride crap



canobie#1 - October 6, 2011 12:17 AM (GMT)
I never knew ring of fires only run when its sunny

Ben James Ben - September 21, 2013 02:33 AM (GMT)

James - September 24, 2013 05:35 PM (GMT)
Ah, the Big E..... Remember when they had Drop of Fear?
good times.

Ben James Ben - September 29, 2014 01:10 AM (GMT)
I went to The Big E last weekend on the Saturday where they got the highest per-day attendance ever (170,612). It was the best time I've ever had at The Big E. But, leaving the parking lot at the end of the day was an ordeal.

For food, new in back of the Maine building is The Rib Truck barbecue where they serve a dish called Pulled Pork Parfait (beans, pork, and sauce in a cup). The pulled pork is exceptional. There's a new raw oyster bar, too. Apparently, someone was selling a beer-related dessert named "Beer-amisu", but I didn't see it. Lobster roll prices were $8 (Massachusetts) and $10 (Maine), and I again thought that the Maine rolls were a better value, with better pieces of lobster meat.

Saw a great Boston-based band, the Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra, including 10 singers. They mostly sang covers British rock music from the 60's and 70's. They were really good, and I stayed late to see their second show.

Timex wasn't at the Connecticut building this year.

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