HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut’s agricultural businesses are returning to the Connecticut Building at The Big E after the 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the largest fair in the Northeast offering entertainment, exhibitors, fair food, and rides, this is also an opportunity for Connecticut farmers and agricultural organizations to showcase their products to a vast audience of fairgoers and potential customers.
This year’s fair starts today, September 17 and runs through Sunday, October 3, 2021 at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA. In 2019 The Big E attracted 1,629,527 visitors. Connecticut residents account for 47% of attendees according to Big E statistics.
One of the most popular attractions at the Big E is the Avenue of States, which includes all six New England States (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont). This year, The Big E’s Connecticut Day is scheduled for Wednesday, September 22. To celebrate Connecticut Day, the CT Department of Agriculture will be offering CT Grown apples and promoting the agency’s CT Grown brand campaign launched earlier this year.
In addition, a rotation of agricultural exhibitors throughout the fair will provide visibility to a number of organizations and businesses including:
Twin Pines Farm – September 17-19
Connecticut Farm Bureau Association – September 20
Bridgeport Aquaculture School – September 21
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station – September 23
Connecticut Milk Promotion Board – September 24
Killam & Bassette Farmstead – September 25-28
Super Soups – September 29
Newgate Farms – September 30-October 3
Sweet Wind Farm – October 1
The Connecticut Farm Wine Development Council will also be present with wine available by the glass from six participating wineries, including Brignole Vineyards, Bishop’s Orchard, Hopkins Vineyard, Jones Family Farm, Jonathan Edwards Winery, and Taylor Brooke Winery. Back by popular demand will be frozen wine, known as frose’.
The Harvest New England Association will again be coordinating Harvest New England Day at The Big E on Friday, October 1. Harvest New England Day will include the Passport to New England Agriculture program where fairgoers can visit each state building along the Avenue of States, plus the New England Grange Building, to answer a trivia question and receive a stamp. Once their Passport card is full it can be redeemed at the New Hampshire or Massachusetts building to receive a Harvest New England tote bag. For more information visit The Big E or follow the CT Building-Big E Facebook page for daily updates. To learn about opportunities to exhibit in 2022, please contact Rebecca Eddy at Rebecca.Eddy@ct.gov.
–Rebecca Eddy, Connecticut Department of Agriculture