Pandemic prompts cancellation of The Big E

  • Salvation Army worker Brenda Gonzalez, of Saugus, Mass., left, distributes food to an unidentified man while others impacted by the coronavirus wait in line at a Salvation Army center, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Chelsea, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Diane Higgins, of Chelsea, Mass., right, unloads boxes of donated food at a Salvation Army while people impacted by the coronavirus wait in line for food, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Chelsea, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Salvation Army worker Brenda Gonzalez, of Saugus, Mass., left, distributes food to an unidentified woman, center, while others impacted by the coronavirus wait in line, behind, at a Salvation Army center, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Chelsea, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

Published: 6/30/2020 1:24:06 PM

BOSTON (AP) — The 2020 Big E, a multistate fair in Massachusetts that drew more than 1.6 million visitors last year, has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, organizers announced Monday.

The event was scheduled for Sept. 18 through Oct. 4 in West Springfield.

“For the safety of our fairgoers, staff, vendors, entertainers, exhibitors, sponsors, suppliers and the broader community, we have made the decision to cancel the 2020 Big E,” trustees of the Eastern States Exposition, the nonprofit that organizes the event, said in a statement. “Please know that this decision was not made lightly. In fact, it was one of the hardest decisions we, as an organization, have had to make in modern times.”

The fair was founded in 1916 and was put on hold during both World Wars.

Organizers looked at every possible way to hold the fair this year.

“Despite exploring all our options and planning extensively, we realized that The Big E experience that everyone has come to know and love would not be the same,” the statement said.

The event features exhibitions that highlight all six New England states, as well as nationally known musical acts, parades, fair rides and other entertainment.




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