New England's Big E Gets Underway

Big E's showcase of New England agriculture kicks off unofficially today and officially tomorrow, Friday, the 13th.

Published on: Sep 12, 2013

The Big E, New England's largest fair and livestock show officially runs Sept. 13 through Sept. 29 at the Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield, Mass. But it kicks off today with the Red and White dairy show and opening events of the Eastern States Expo Horse Show.

More than a million people will converge on this western Massachusetts fair during its 17-day run. One key new attraction will be the Swifty Swine racing pigs to the Mallary Rotunda, reports Donna Woolam, director  of agriculture and education for Eastern States Exposition. They'll do six races daily. And the Big E will host the national Lincoln and Border Leicester sheep shows.

Special days include 4-H and FFA Day on Sept. 14, Rhode Island Day on Sept. 17, Connecticut Day on Sept. 18, Massachusetts Day on Sept. 19, New Hampshire Day on Sept. 20, Vermont Day on the 21st,  Grange Day on the 22nd, Harvest New England Day on the 27th, and Maine Day on the 28th.

PULL BABES! Youve seen tractor pulls, horse pulls maybe even dog pull. But ox pulls are a New England thing, and Big E competition pops leather on Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 17.
PULL BABES! You've seen tractor pulls, horse pulls maybe even dog pull. But ox pulls are a New England thing, and Big E competition pops leather on Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 17.

The general public flocks in for the daily Mardi Gras parades and big-name grandstand entertainment. But the Big E is also New England's mecca for livestock competition.

The Big E Draft Horse Show, for instance, is one of the most popular events, running from Sept. 26 through 29, with competition for carts, tandems, unicorns, teams and fours. The show attracts audiences of all ages to watch Clydesdales, Shires, Percherons and Belgians perform. And the $30,000 Six-horse Hitch Showdown is set for the 29th.

FUN TIME: Daily parades roll out the best of New England agriculture.
FUN TIME: Daily parades roll out the best of New England agriculture.

Following is the daily schedule of key livestock events. For the full schedule, visit the website: www.thebige.com, or call 413-205-5115.

Big E Livestock Events
Thursday, Sept. 12
9 a.m.   Red and White Dairy Show

Friday, Sept. 13
9 a.m.   Polled Dorset Sheep NE Fall National Holstein
1 p.m.   Dorper Sheep
6 p.m.   Jr. Belted Galloway.

Saturday, Sept. 14
9 a.m.   Belted Galloway
Horned Dorset Sheep
2 p.m.   Shropshire Sheep

Sunday, Sept. 15
8:30 a.m.          NE Regional Oxford Sheep
Noon:   Market Lamb
2 p.m.   National East Jr. Hampshire Sheep

Monday, Sept. 16
9 a.m.   Southdown Sheep
10 a.m. Horse Pulling
1 p.m.   NE National Jr. Milking Shorthorn
2:30 p.m.          AOB Meat Sheep

Tuesday, Sept. 17
8:30 a.m.          Suffolk Sheet
9 a.m.   Oxford
9 a.m.   NE National Milking Shorthorn
9:30 a.m.          Ox Pulling
1 p.m.   Cheviot Sheep
4 p.m.   Sheep Supreme Champion

Wednesday, Sept. 18
9 a.m.   Jersey
3 p.m.   All Other Breed Beef
Followed by Jackpot Steer

Thursday, Sept. 19
10 a.m. Eastern States National Ayrshire

Friday, Sept. 20
9 a.m.   Corriedale Sheep
11 a.m. Jr. Hereford
1:30 p.m.          Regional Cotswold Sheep

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Saturday, Sept. 21
8:30 a.m.          National Lincoln Sheep
9 a.m.   4-H Beef Type
1 p.m.   Hereford
2 p.m.   NE Regional Tunis Sheep

Sunday, Sept. 22
8:30 a.m.          Youth Working Steer Jr. Cart
9 a.m.   Eastern Regional Natural Colored Fine & Medium Sheep
2 p.m.   National Border Leicester Sheep
5 p.m.   Youth Working Steer Sr. Cart

Monday, Sept. 23
8 a.m.   Youth Working Steer Pulling
9 a.m.   Rambouillet Sheep
1 p,m.   Romney Sheep
6 p.m.   4-H Beef Sale

Tuesday, Sept. 24
8 a.m.   Llama
9 a.m.   New England Guernsey Shetland Sheep
1 p.m.   AOB Wool
2 p.m.   NE Brown Swiss
4 p.m.   Sheep Supreme Champion

Wednesday, Sept. 25}
8 a.m.   Llama
Noon    Lowline Cattle (beef)
3:30 p.m.          Jr. Angus

Thursday, Sept. 26
8 a.m.   Lama
9 a.m.   Angus

Friday, Sept. 27
9 a.m.   4-H Dairy Goat
2 p.m.   Alpaca

Saturday, Sept. 28
8 a.m.   Alpaca
9 a.m.   4-H Market Lamb
4-H Sheep Breed

Sunday, Sept. 29
8 a.m.   Alpaca
9 a.m.   NE Classic Dairy Goat
Noon    Open and Youth Swine