A Mid-Week Big E Adventure
By Preston Young, MBA
Sometimes, all you need is a mid-week adventure to break the monotony of daily life and it’s even better when crowds are at their lowest! That's exactly what happened when Rachel and I decided to spend a Thursday at The Big E, also known as the Eastern States Exposition, to which surprisingly a lot of people I have talked to have never been. With Mason, our furry friend, dropped off at the groomer, we were on our way to see all of what New England has to offer.
The day started early, with Mason's appointment at the groomer scheduled for 8am. As we bid him farewell, we discussed the absolute, no doubt about it food, we must have. We hit the road towards The Big E, a mere hour's drive away from home. One of the advantages of visiting The Big E on a mid-weekday is that there aren’t as many people as you'd typically find on weekends. This meant shorter lines, more elbow room, and a more relaxed atmosphere.
Our first stop, of course, had to be for some breakfast, which was loaded tater tots and mini, warm donuts. As we loaded our mouths, we couldn't help but marvel at the Big E's ability to turn ordinary fair food into mouthwatering bites. With our appetites satisfied (for now), we decided to explore the Better Living Center, one of the main exhibition halls at The Big E. The center is home to a wide range of vendors, showcasing innovative products, crafts, food, beds, you name it.
The Big E is renowned for its state buildings, each representing one of the six New England states - Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. These buildings offer what each state is best known for, whether that is syrup, beer, pizza, bacon, potatoes, or a lobster roll along with many other things.
We started with the Maine Building, where we indulged in a baked potato topped with all the fixings. The potato line is always the longest line at the big E, no matter the day or time, yet it goes by pretty quickly. The potato, smothered in butter, sour cream, cheese, chives, and bacon bits was the perfect comfort food on a slightly chilly morning.
From there, we meandered our way through the other state buildings, sampling food and drinks and occasionally stopping at a vendor. Given that Rachel and I have gone to the Big E for 6 straight years (yes, even during covid when all it was, was a drive through), we know exactly where we want to stop and exactly what we want to purchase.
By mid-day, we had seen most of the Big E and our appetites had returned. This time, we went out of our comfort zone, with a slice of pickle pizza and a slice of street corn pizza. This year, more than any other year, there were a lot of pickled flavored food items; pickled flavored beer, pickled flavored pizza, and even pickled flavored cupcakes! Surprisingly, the beer and the pizza were not bad, but I couldn’t bring myself to try the cupcake.
From there, we finished our last 2 state buildings and decided to head on home. By now, it was around 3pm and getting home shortly after 4 was great as this gave us time to finish other errands. The Big E, now 6 straight years, never disappoints and is a day to let yourself eat and drink whatever you would like. The Big E gave us a reminder, that all you need is a mid-week adventure to rejuvenate yourself. We left with smiles on our faces, grateful for the simple yet profound pleasures of a day at The Big E.