Last day of the Big E leads to deadlocked traffic, record-high attendance numbers

Sunday was the final day of the 2023 Big E season, and almost everyone wanted to be there.
Published: Oct. 1, 2023 at 9:56 PM EDT
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WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Sunday was the final day of the 2023 Big E season, and almost everyone wanted to be there.

“It’s more traffic than I thought it would be,” said Danila Argentina

Tens of thousands of cars headed to the Big E throughout the day, backing traffic up for miles, Danila Argentina and her boyfriend only made it to the Savers on Memorial Avenue, about a mile walk to the fairgrounds before they threw in the towel. They waited for friends to pick them up, then all headed to the fair as a group.

On our way to the Big E, we caught a glimpse at just how badly the traffic was backed up. We left our Liberty Street studios around 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Our GPS estimated about an hour ride to the Big E, On a typical Sunday afternoon, this short drive takes us about 10 minutes.

but because of the miles and miles of traffic, we didn’t even get to West Springfield Town Hall until 5:30.

West Springfield Police Department’s LT. Patrick Dunphy tells us the rainy conditions leading up to the fair’s final weekend have got people flocking in for one final Big E experience.

“This is the kind of traffic you’ll see in the middle weekend of the fair, unfortunately, there was wet weather that kept people away. This weekend’s rain also impacted much of the fair’s parking. The public parking at Gate 9, turned a lot of it into mud, so they’re not able to fit the normal capacity that they usually are. Once Gate 9 fills up there are limited places for people to go in and park,” said Dunphy.

From there, we hit the road again, got to the fair around 7:00, and were able to get a bird’s eye view of the dense crowds packing the streets with Eastern States Exposition President and CEO Gene Cassidy.

“This is how the Eastern States are supposed to be. We knew when we saw the weather report we anticipated big crowds and were very happy to welcome all our guests to the fair,” said Cassidy.

Cassidy added that Sunday’s crowds could be potentially record-breaking.

“I do expect that tonight will be a new record for the Eastern States for a closing Sunday,” said Cassidy.