On Thursday, I went with my friend Marilyn to the Big E in Springfield, MA. The Big E is difficult to describe but it truly offers something for everyone. Think of it as a giant agricultural fair - carnival - horse show - circus - eating, shopping, entertainment experience.
We attended a concert by a group called Odessey, three talented musicians who played thirty instruments throughout their performance. This photo shows a performance by another group later in the afternoon.
I have never gone to the circus at the big E before, but it was very good. The show lasted about an hour and there were a number of very fine acts. The last act was truly spectacular. A motorcyclist sped around a circular track suspended at the top of the tent while his partner hung from a spinning cantilever. The woman sitting beside me kept her eyes covered throughout this entire thrilling act.
Tip: If you ever decide to go, enter the circus tent forty-five minutes ahead of time to get a comfortable seat in a chair with a back instead of a backless bench. After hours of walking around, it's good to take a rest!
We strolled through the animal barns where we spotted this exhausted mother.
You can buy food everywhere.
There are also restaurants or you can purchase food in each of the five New England state buildings. For example, when you visited the Maine building, you might decide to have a loaded baked potato or a lobster roll or a slice of blueberry pie with ice cream. :-)
Did I mention that there is also a short parade every afternoon at 5:00?
With high school marching bands . . .
Celebrities . . . yes . . . Sparky the Fire Dog and Smokey the Bear!!!
Not one but two hitches pulled by Clydesdales . . . the Hallamore hitch AND the Budweiser hitch!!!
You can even see the magnificent Hallamore Clydesdales up close in one of the agricultural buildings.
Tip 2: Whenever you need a break, head to the building where they have the equestrian events.
There is always something going on, and it's wonderful to watch. I could sit there for hours.
Okay, now, for those of you who have been to the Big E before, I know you are waiting with bated breath to learn what this year's 600 pound butter sculpture will be. Here it is under construction . . . a cow being tended to by a little boy and girl.
Though we were there close to eight hours, we didn't get to see everything. We had a fun time as did I'm sure, the other 63,000 + people who were in attendance on Thursday. The amazing thing is that the area is so vast that it didn't seem even the slightest bit crowded. The weather was perfect and it would have been a totally perfect day if the traffic hadn't been so horrendous both going and returning.
Photo note: All of these photos were taken with a Nikon DX 35mm 1.8 lens which I purchased this summer from a fellow South Shore Camera Club member. The lens is very light, and I was quite pleased with it. I was amazed that the photos of the motorcycle act came out so well. Click on any of the images to make them larger.