WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The Big E is giving New England its own Willy Wonka experience and you have the chance to get a ‘Golden Ticket.’
Officials with the fair announced a lifetime pass opportunity that’s coming up this Wednesday.
After a year with no fair, Eastern States Exposition President Gene Cassidy is trying to bring a little Willy Wonka magic for 2021.
You won’t find these ‘Golden Tickets’ wrapped in a chocolate bar.
“I expect that they will sell out on Wednesday,” Cassidy explained.
Lifetime passes to The Big E are locked in a golden briefcase for now until Wednesday, when they’ll go on sale at 10 a.m. on The Big E’s website.
“One hundred tickets...$1,000 a piece for a lifetime of fun and enjoyment at The Big E,” Cassidy noted.
The limited supply of ‘Golden Tickets’ will entitle 100 people to free admission for themselves and a guest for life, plus free parking and other VIP perks to be determined.
“It seems trite to use the term ‘super fan’ but there are so many people who love the Eastern States Exposition, we thought this would be a great device to give them that connectivity,” Cassidy added.
If you and a guest were to go to the fair every day for it’s whole 17-day run and pay for parking, it would cost more than $500.
Cassidy told Western Mass News that’s not uncommon to see among those super-fans.
“It amazes me the number of people who buy 17 day passes and fully execute in using them,” Cassidy said.
Cassidy noted that he got the idea after COVID-19 canceled the 2020 fair and he had to lay off 30 percent of his staff.
His hope is that this promotion will jumpstart Willy Wonka-level excitement for not only fans, but for the struggling vendors and employees.
“People are very anxious to come back to work. We have generational employees who are grandparents and parents and their children work here,” Cassidy said.
It may not be quite like winning a candy factory, but if you are one of the lucky ones who can snag a pass, it could mean starting a new tradition after a year of staying at home.
That’s what Cassidy is hoping for.
“I don’t know that the fair is ever really going to make money on the deal,” Cassidy said.
The ‘Golden Tickets’ go on-sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday on The Big E website. Purchased tickets will be delivered in time for holiday gift-giving.
We asked and, while the tickets are not transferrable, it is possible - for example - for a parent or grandparent to buy one for a child.
For more information on the Golden Ticket pass, CLICK HERE.
The 2021 Big E is scheduled to run from September 17 through October 3, 2021.