Grow: Seen At The Big E, Eastern States Exposition

Because of recent conversations with people who have not ever been to The Big E in West Springfield, Mass., here’s a snapshot.

Livestock competitions draw from regional excellence. ESE photo.

Livestock competitions draw from regional excellence. ESE photo.

Yes, the sprawling event has rides and food and attractions – but the exhibits, agriculture, displays near the Mallary Complex, horse shows and livestock competitions? You will see the cream of the crop from the region and meet some incredible people. Truly.

Pick a weekday, try to go early. Wear comfortable walking gear. The landscaping and plantings are worth the visit if you love to grow things; hanging baskets, planters, container accents are everywhere. They are simply spectacular. An invisible battalion of people must be involved in the watering and spiffing up of all each day.

A 1939 Farmall seen at The Big E, from our archives.

A 1939 Farmall seen at The Big E, from our archives.


Yes, there are vintage tractors on display. A garden oasis with benches and running water nearby to rest awhile. Variations of asters grew there one year.

One passionflower in all its glory – seen while sitting down to take in the sights and sounds. One blossom, one day. And there are acres and acres to explore.

A passionflower in bloom on the grounds of Eastern States Exposition.

A passionflower in bloom on the grounds of Eastern States Exposition.

In 2016, the event will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Eastern States Exposition. Story in two parts of how it all got going, linked here (part one with the ESE CEO) and here (“This is America at its best.”).

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