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The Birthday Trip ’06

The birthday trip of ’06 was an overnight to West Springfield to attend The Big E. Dale went once many years ago (in fact, he saw his first reenactment there back in 1961) and I had never been so we decided a visit was overdue.

We spent Friday night lounging around the hotel room with beer, wine and room service. Not a bad evening at all. Saturday morning we headed out for our adventures at the fair. It took 90 long minutes to drive 2 miles. And don’t even get me started on the idiots who don’t merge when they are supposed to and then expect you to let them in the line in front of you. Grrrr.


When people say this is the Big E the emphasis really should be on BIG. As in huge. Because everything about the Big E is B-I-G.

Look at the horns on this sheep. Big.

And the size of these harnesses for the Budweiser Clydesdales. Big.

The pumpkin? Big.

The entertainment? Big. As in Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge. Okay, maybe not terribly big now but once upon a time? Big.

Cows? Big as sofas.

We managed to eat our way from one end of this big fair to the other, feasting on corn dogs and Italian sausages and pierogies and lobster rolls. And maybe a couple of big beers, too. There was a Mardi Gras parade complete with bands and floats and the throwing of beads. I’m guessing Amanda would laugh at a New England version of this event but it was a hoot. A big hoot.

And just in case you think that I didn’t think of you guys, take a look at this.


Yup. Me in a pink cowboy hat standing by a stand of even more pink cowboy hats. I resisted the urge to replace the one I had on my trip to Estes Park in 1981. Yee Haw.

This Post Has 45 Comments

  1. LOVE the pic of you in the pink cowboy hat. And those sofa cows! lol You two sure know how to party. I’ve never heard of the Big E, aside from the New Orleans version.

  2. What fun!! I’ve missed it the past couple of years, but we are going on Friday!! Hurrah! (I’m just pretending the rain forcast is incorrect.) Do they still have the alpacas there?

  3. I used to live in Agawam and went to the Big E a couple of times when I was little. Those Budweiser Clydesdales were the biggest animal I’d ever seen. They’re like beyond horses. And beautiful.

    Hope you had fun.

  4. Yee haw, indeed! You make a cute pink cowgirl. Did you make it to the Fiber Nook? The first time I went, just a couple years ago, I was high bid on a gorgeous merino fleece. $3 a pound.

  5. I went to the Big E when I was in college – what a gut buster! I don’t think I ate for a week afterwards. BIG INDIGESTION.

  6. You should have purchased the hat. It’s fabulous.

    When we went to San Antonio this summer, I did the dreaded bathing suit shopping, found one I didn’t loathe, and then stumbled upon a sale rack of straw cowboy hats. They were out of pink, but turquoise blue matched my suit perfectly and for 9 bucks I was pretty darn psyched.

  7. The Big E is a huge fair we go almost every year. We decided to skip it this year since we went to the Woodstock fair which is also fairly big. Great picture of you in the pink cowboy hat!

  8. What fun! I understand that whole romantic weekend thing, but next time you’re in my backyard, call! We haven’t been to the big E this year yet (yes, the traffic is a NIGHTMARE–there are buses, but even that can be a PITA). Glad you had fun, and yup, love the hat!

  9. from now on, i’m going to the big E on a week day. joe and i brought the parents to the big E on monday and it was just fine. sure, we didn’t see all of the huge animals, but i got to see a llama, and an alpaca’s ass. (yes, i got the ass AGAIN)

    did you try the deep fried oreos?

  10. I am so jealous!! I’ve never been to the Big E. Thanks for the pictures–those are beautiful cows. Who is Johnny Maestro and was he ever big?

  11. Great hat! I’ve never been. It sounds BIG! Aptly named. I love watching the Belgians and other draft horses in the “huss pullin'” at the Deerfield Fair. If you go to New Hampshire you have to say “huss pullin'”. Not horse pulling.

  12. It looks like you guys had a great time!

    We went on Monday (and I know the back way since I used to live in West Springfield so there were no traffic issues, thank God) and had a great time – I even managed to find the fiber-nook thingy and RR bought me roving ;o)

    Did you walk through the ‘state houses’? Those are my favorite – except they get so crowded :o\

  13. Great hat! 🙂
    I went last year and my guy got the biggest corn dog I’ve ever seen! Everything really is big there. Glad you had a great birthday. 🙂

  14. Oh! I’m going this weekend. I’ve never been, so these photos are a bit of a taste of what I should expect I suppose. (That is one GIANT pumpkin!)

  15. I, too, get the romantic weekend thing, but hey. I’m 15 minutes from the Big E (and I know the back way to go) and I’ve got a guest room that’s full of fiber.
    I’m just saying.

  16. I’m slacking in responding to comments and just replying via your blog, but yes, my new scarf is knit lengthwise on a circular needle. It was quite pleasant to knit, I must say 🙂

  17. Wow – what a lot of fun you had! I still love going to the fair. heh It’s the kid in me I guess. I’ve never heard of that fair/expo before but I guess that’s because I’m not from way far out east like y’all. hehe

  18. I don’t know why you’re hesitant to get another pink cowboy hat. It wouldn’t replace the old one, it would just be the beginning of a collection! You could buy pink cowboy hats the world over.

    Sounds like a fun trip!

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