WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WHSM) -- A battle may be brewing over the Big E this year.

As of now, the much anticipated multi-state fair held in West Springfield is still on starting in September, but a local city councilor is asking for a COVID-19 plan now.

Councilor Brian Griffin said the Big E needs to answer public safety questions for both residents and businesses.

He said he is willing to work with the Big E organizers to help them still put on the annual fair which attracts thousands of people.

Griffin has not been in touch with the Big E, and they haven’t been in touch with him either, but he wants President and CEO Gene Cassidy to let the city of West Springfield know how will they be protected with such a large crowd amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“How will our first responders be effected from a stand point of our ambulance services? Our ambulance services are the ones that are in there,” Griffin said. “So let’s say when something happens, we may have to decontaminate an ambulance, so that will be out of service. That will be out of service to all of us in West Springfield, not only in the Big E, but all of us in West Springfield. How are you going to protect our residents and businesses for the future? And if you can answer that in an effective manner from a stand point of science and public health, I’m all for it.”

Western Mass News last spoke with Cassidy in April when he said the event is going full steam ahead.

He wasn’t available for comment Wednesday, but according to a spokesperson for the Big E, they do have a COVID-19 response team in place.

The mayor and the director of public health are on that team. They’re working on a plan which will be shared as soon as it’s complete.

Under Gov. Charlie Baker’s plan to reopen the Bay State, larger crowds won’t come into play until phase four, which could be at least nine weeks away. If COVID-19 cases don’t continue to go down, it could be longer.

Copyright 2020.  Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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(2) comments

Chammy19

Western Mass News, how can you have a headline "a battle brewing over the Big E" when nobody has picked up the phone to gather information on what they are looking for including councilor Brian Griffin. Maybe if he calls and doesnt get the answers he's looking for maybe then you can call it a "battle" .

mixer48

How in the world can they even think about packing 100k people a day in that place with no issues?? The state can barely figure out how to open schools in September.

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