Celebrate fall in New England at The Big E

Celebrate fall in New England at The Big E

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The 2013 Big E, the largest fair in the Northeast, continues this week with food, shopping, animals, rides and plenty of family fun.

The Big E runs through Sunday, Sept. 29, at 1305 Memorial Ave. Hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Buildings and exhibits open at 10 a.m., and Storrowton Village, the Yankee Candle Shop and Avenue of States are open until 9 p.m. The Village Craft Area is open until 10 p.m.

The North American Midway is open Sunday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The Big E Circus Spectacular, sponsored by Coca-Cola, is a free show put on daily at 1, 4 and 7 p.m. It features "America's Got Talent" winners the Olate Dogs, among other comedy and acrobatic acts.

Visitors can also be part of the daily Mardi Gras Parade. For $10, transform into a costumed reveler throwing beads for fair-goers to collect.

Concerts are put on daily, featuring Ides of March from Thursday, Sept. 26, through Sunday, Sept. 29; Kix Brooks on Friday, Sept. 27; Austin Mahone on Saturday, Sept. 28; and The Beach Boys on Sunday, Sept. 29.

Visit www.thebige.com for showtimes. Most tickets are free. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000, and include free admission to the fair when purchased prior to the show date.

While food is always a major draw of The Big E, there are some new additions this year.

The Big E Wine and Cheese Barn will feature winners of the annual Big E Northeast Gold Wine Competition and The Big E Gold Medal Cheese Competition. A New England Craft Beer Pub will feature craft beers from each New England state.

The Big E also prides itself on agriculture, decades after it was founded in 1916 by Josua Brooks. Since then, it has hosted competitions for prize-winning animals from across the country in the largest livestock show in the East. There are also exhibits on cow milking, spinning, weaving, and chick hatching.

Admission to The Big E costs $15 for adults; and $10 for children ages 6-12. Children five and under are admitted free. Seventeen-day value passes are available for $40 for adults and $20 for children.

Midway Magic Passes cost $25, and are valid any one day from Monday through Friday.

Visit www.thebige.com for a complete listing of events.