AIC Students Attend the Big E

Motorcyclists perform at the Big E.

Alyssa Kelleher

Motorcyclists perform at the Big E.

Alyssa Kelleher, Staff Writer

West Springfield—The third weekend in September marked the reopening of The Big E in West Springfield. The Exposition proved widely successful, filled with new events and old classics.

The Big E (or Exposition) is New England’s largest festival, featuring the celebration of all six states in New England. The Big E had events ranging from a circus show to a petting zoo, and offered a smorgasbord of carnival food to guests from around New England.

Beverly Rosario rides a camel at the Big E. (Alyssa Kelleher)

I had the opportunity to attend on both Friday and Saturday. On both occasions, I was with a friend who had never heard of the Big E before, so I got a glimpse of the first-timer’s experience of the festival.

On Friday, I went with my friend from home, Beverly Rosario, who experienced her first circus, camel ride, and taste of the Big E’s eclectic food array.

Motorcyclists perform at the Big E. (Alyssa Kelleher)

Rosario, a 19-year-old real estate student at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Massachusetts, summed up her experience as “exciting!” She added that the Expo was “a great place for someone to be a little kid again.”

She also continued to be in awe as the show for the circus went on, which featured motorcyclist tricks, juggling, and an upside-down clown.

An acrobat performs at the Big E. (Alyssa Kelleher)

The food was also spectacular! As we toured the Massachusetts building, we saw a sign for maple bacon macaroni and cheese. If sweet and salty combinations are what you like, this dish is for you!

Maple Bacon Mac and Cheese at the Big E. (Alyssa Kelleher)

Also around the Massachusetts building was a pop-up for burger sliders that had a mix-and-match deal, which included a waffle bacon burger and a garlic bomb slider.

I also tried lobster mac and cheese bites from the Rhode Island building. Simply put: life-changing!

Saturday is when American International College’s Student Activities Board sponsored a trip to the Big E. This time I went with an AIC student Uwimana Liverpool, a 20-year-old theater major with an education minor. Liverpool is from Bronx County, New York.

We toured through the Avenue of States, and Liverpool discovered the “New England culture”—a mix of old colonialism, nature, history, and new innovations.

Jugglers perform at the Big E (Alyssa Kelleher)

Liverpool and I also took advantage of the free experiences the Big E had to offer–like the Horse Show, which Liverpool described as “fabulous, exciting, and fascinating.” Liverpool went on to explain how she grew up riding horses, and the show brought her back to that moment.

It’s safe to say that the pandemic has not slowed down the passion and spirit of the Big E, and this year’s exposition will be one to remember.