The Big E set an all-time attendance record this year with nearly 1.5 million people visiting over its 17 days. We went last Friday, and here’s how we spent the day:
Pepper getting ready for the hang-gliding ride to start.
CPT America having a go – he’s still very much a kid at heart.
Something more my speed – the line for corn dogs.
Bear statues for sale outside of one of the states buildings. These would be fun on a front porch. Which one would you buy?
Inside the Massachusetts building – a regional specialty, and one of Ginger’s favorites. Yum!
Clydesdales getting spiffed up for the afternoon parade.
I always forget how enormous these are!
Sheep – fresh from the shearing demonstration.
Ginger’s a big fan of sheep.
And this one’s a “Mystery Sheep”.
(Actually, I think his owner is just trying to keep him clean for his showing).
Me, in line (again) – this time for a baked potato.
Sharing a deep fried candy bar with Ginger.
(I promise I did more than just eat at the Big E).
Some of the food I did not eat.
Ginger and Pepper, three stories up.
Giant pumpkins in the Farm-A-Rama building.
And, finally, my favorite photo from our day at the Big E.
The girls on the dragon ride.
I’m going to have a copy made of this picture for our refrigerator. I love to see the girls having this much fun – and when they’re having this much fun, together, well, that’s the absolute best.
From the dining room table, promising to show you something other than Big E photos in the next post,
The girls are older now, and taller, which means they can ride just about any of the rides on the Big E midway. They steer clear of the really crazy stuff, but Pepper takes after CPT America and loves a good roller coaster. She definitely wanted to ride The Mousetrap this year. It’s something of an annual tradition with her.
The problem is – she had to ride it alone. CPT America and I didn’t buy ride passes for ourselves, thinking the girls could ride together, and Ginger most definitely did not want to ride The Mousetrap. She’d been on it two years back and it had terrified her. She wanted nothing more to do with it.
So, rather than miss out on the ride, Pepper decided to go alone. She was sandwiched in line between a group of teenaged boys and a group of first graders.
“Please, Lord, don’t let her end up with the boys,” CPT America said under his breath, watching them load the cars.
And, to his relief, she didn’t. Pepper ended up in a car full of six-year-olds.
She wasn’t thrilled.
But then, something unexpected happened. Ginger decided to give The Mousetrap another try. She and Pepper got into line, and this time, Pepper ended up in a car with a mom, her son, and Ginger. The mom confessed that she hated The Mousetrap. She told the girls she was only riding it because her son loved it. And then she warned them she would probably scream.
Which she did.
Right along with Ginger.
Meanwhile, Pepper enjoyed herself immensely. Roller coasters are really so much better with someone you know.
From the dining room table, having just been assured by Ginger that she was only a little bit scared on the ride and that it was really very fun,
We visited “The Big E” today – aka the Eastern States Exposition. It’s the largest fair on the East Coast, and the sixth largest fair in the United States. It’s a pretty big deal around here.
We’ve been going to the Big E for years – ever since the girls were little. Back then, the draw (at least for them) was the rides. And, while the girls still like the rides, fair foods are beginning to capture their interest as well. In fact, weeks before the Big E got here, the girls and I were talking about the foods we were looking forward to eating. Things we generally eat only once a year.
Things like french fries…
No, not really. We eat french fries year round. But the fries at the Big E are different. They’re incredibly fresh. In some of the booths, vendors slice them up and fry them as you order.
The lemonade is pretty fresh too. Here’s Ginger sampling some. She kept exclaiming over the fact that it was made with real lemons – lemons the vendor squeezed them right in front of her eyes. She was flabbergasted.
(And, by the way, in case you think we’re a little overboard with our rapturous take on fair food – we aren’t the only ones. Lots of people love fair food. And check out the woman behind Ginger. She’s enjoying her fair food too.)
In general, I’m drawn to health foods. Like this baked potato.
There are several places to go for baked potatoes at the Big E. Usually I get one from the Maine building, but the line there was crazy today, so, I got one from a little booth on food row – and it was delicious too.
Fudge is another thing that’s available multiple places.
Pepper loves fudge and got hers in the Massachusetts building, where it comes in half pound “slices”. But you can see another fudge vendor above. Those shiny things on the tables that look like windows? Those are sheets of fudge. If you look closely, you can see rows of fudge on the shelves behind the ladies’ legs. I’m guessing they sell a lot of fudge at the Big E each year.
My preferred sweet is a deep fried candy bar.
This is the thing I look forward to most each year. Underneath all that breading and powdered sugar is a Snickers bar, but you can also get Oreos deep fried, and Girl Scout cookies, and S’mores, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and cookie dough…You get the idea.
And here’s Ginger, dousing some fried dough with powdered sugar.
It’s always fun when your dessert is as big as your head.
We gave her a few moments to nibble unmolested before we descended, begging for “just a bite” ourselves.
And now I’m feeling like you must think that we made spectacular pigs of ourselves at the fair today. And you may be right. But, in our defense…
1. We usually share. One person will buy something and then we split it four ways. This works well because then everyone gets a taste and no one gets a bellyache.
2. We do a lot of walking at the Big E. Today, it was close to six straight hours. So, I’m pretty sure we worked off at least some of what we ate. (At least that’s what I’m telling myself).
3. And, finally, the Big E only comes once a year…
…which means I have 364 more days until my next deep fried candy bar.
From the dining room table, wondering why everything tastes so much better deep fried,