WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - It's day seventeen, the final day of the Big E.

The Eastern States Exposition says they are preparing and expect big numbers.

Western mass news reporter caroline powers is getting answers on what made the 2019 fair a record setting year.

"The place is rocking. Our attendance is way up. People have been so supportive of the Eastern States Rxposition," Gene Cassidy, President and CEO of the Eastern States Exposition, tells us.

After nearly three weeks of food, rides, entertainment, and, let's face it, more food, the Eastern States Exposition is preparing to close out a record setting year for the Big E.

"It's the last day of the Big E and Foreigner is playing. We had to get over here. We need some Big E time. I had to get my fill this year. This is when all the good deals happen. You have to come. This is the day," says fairgoer Dunielle Demarco.

In 2018, 1,543,470 people visited the fairgrounds.

Saturday night's attendance set another record with 173,112 people, and by the end of Sunday, the Big E tells Western Mass News they're expecting to set another record with more than 1.6 million people in total.

"Just a few years ago, we were struggling at 1.2 million, but folks have been so supportive. Most people don't realize the fair is our annual fundraiser. It's a fundraising event to support our agricultural programming, so it really helps New England agriculture on a big scale," continued Cassidy.

President Gene Cassidy says, in his twenty-six years with the fair, this year's weather is the best they've ever had.

"A great deal of it has to do with fine weather. We've had really good weather and on the days it did rain it didn't really impact attendance. It didn't rain hard enough. We've been blessed," said Cassidy.

And big changes to entertainment have helped draw in more people.

"Every year, we've rammed up the number of entertainment opportunities for the fair going public. This year, we had ninety artists performing 174 different events on three different stages on the fair grounds, so I think, in large measure, people come out. There's such a variety of things to see. People have to come more than once to take it all in," explained Cassidy.

"Love it. I've been here all my life. My family's from right here and it's epic. It's the Big E people, come on," added Demarco.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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