Big E party counts down 100 days to centennial celebration (photos)

Jun 8 2016

The Big EThe 100th edition of The Big E begins on Sept. 16.

WEST SPRINGFIELD – Nobody throws a party like The Big E, and Wednesday night’s preview to the fair’s centennial was no exception.

The party began a countdown of 100 days, when the 100th anniversary celebration will be underway during the exposition’s run from Sept. 16 to Oct. 2.

Guests were treated to a cake so big it had to be made in five sections, Belgian-style beer from Spencer Trappists, music from The Big E Mardi Gras Band, prize giveaways and more.

Among a handful of speakers at the event was West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt, who called The Big E “a huge asset in the community.”

“It’s great to have them here… it provides a huge economic benefit for the corridor and the community in general, so we’re really happy to have this anniversary,” Reichelt said. “I’m honored to be here, and I look forward to the great celebration this year. Happy birthday.”

Eugene J. Cassidy, president and CEO of the fair, addressed the crowd of about 150 guests, and acknowledged the work of Noreen Tassinari, marketing director for The Big E, whom he called “Miss Centennial.”

“She has not slept for about five years; she’s been wondering about this centennial planning …,” Cassidy said. “But Noreen is driving the centennial bus, and we thank you for that.”

As dusk fell, a lighting ceremony saw the illumination of five large candles atop the Brooks Building on the exposition grounds. Elsewhere on the fairgrounds, trees are being decorated with crystal-like lights for the anniversary celebration.

Earlier in the day, The Big E announced on social media that several big-name entertainers are lined up to perform during the centennial.

The musical guests are X Ambassadors, on Sept. 23; Elle King, on Sept. 24; and Maren Morris, on Sept. 25.

More information about The Big E’s 100th Anniversary Celebration can be found at its website: www.thebige.com

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