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Friday, September 26, 2014

The Big E 2014 (Eastern States Exposition)

I made my annual pilgrimage to the Big E again this year for the 98th Annual Eastern States Exposition. To avoid the record crowds I always opt to visit during the week and this year I took  the day off work to attend. The weekend prior the Big E broke its daily attendance record 170,612  people passing through the turnstiles.

As is customary the first stop of our day was at the Big E Circus Spectacular where we Ty McFarlan returned as Ring Master. Shows are held three times a day at 1, 4, and 7pm and this year include a full cast of performers.

Tomas Aguilar, Mexico’s master juggler extraordinaire dazzeled the audience with his juggling skills. He juggled not just with his hands but with his mouth everything from balls to candlepins and even hats. The speed of his juggling was the most amazing part.

The Minnestrelli Canines, first time in America, from Russia, amazing & delightful doggies performed a series of well choreographed routines and acrobatic flips. These playful pups being new meaning to well trained and energetic partners.

After the Dogs we were treated to the upside-down, topsy-turvy acrobatic stars known as the The Risley Brothers. George and Miles performed a series of acrobatic feats known as Risley which is the art of juggling people instead of props. While they are not actual brothers they must have the trust and strength of that type of relationship to perform the show.

Throughout the show we were entertained by Rob Torres who I had seen before. He was the clown at the Big Apple Circus I saw for my birthday. I didn't think he was as polished here as he was there. Many of his tricks seemed to have complications and as a seasoned performer he just kept going but they were noticed.

Next up was Mayya Panfilova with her adorable performing housecats. I have seen many other animals perform at the circus but housecats I had not seen before. I think of house cats as independent self absorbed creatures who never do what you want when you want but instead when it suits them. Mayya proved us wrong as her cats performed  a variety or acts from jumping through loops, high wire, climbing ladders and even jumping from heights.
The Original Dancing Gauchos described as a whirlwind display of South American fury perform a fanciful display with drums and flaming whips. Their energetic performance definitely keep the energy in the tent high.

The last performance was by the Sensational Cybertrons. Their performance included the mid-air motorcycle and aerial acrobatic skills of Galaxy Girl & Johnny Rockett. Galaxy Girl hung from her teeth and from only her feat as she was twirled around by Johnny Rockett's motorcycle. Even he took flight at one point and spun on his bike.

While it was an entertaining show as a whole it wasn't as fantastic as years past.  I felt a good portion of the performances were what I would call safe rather then being a true spectacular. The clown while historically funny fell flat and the Dancing Goucho's  didn't wow me with their loud performance. I enjoyed the Juggler, Risley Brothers, the animals both cat and dog since I am a complete animal lover but the two final acts were a let down.
After the circus we were all hungry and made our way towards the many food vendors. I picked up my usual traditional greek Gyro while Dan went for a corn dog, Part of going to any fair for me is the delicious food and the Big E is no exception. After finishing lunch we picked up a Famous Big E Cream Puff and headed to the Avenue of States.

Where else can you visit every state in less then an hour. The Big E is the only fair in the country that has participation from multiple states.  Each state has a replica of its state building built to a smaller scale. The Avenue of States is an opportunity for each state to showcase themselves through vendors, food and other ways.  You can also purchase lotto tickets from each state.  I picked up a blueberry pie in Maine and and enough cheese in Vermont to tide me over for hours. I also picked up a Del's Lemonade Christmas ornament I think will pair nicely with my food theme'd Christmas tree.

After finishing all the states we walked across the street to Storrowton Village where we picked up a Sam Adams from the pub. I picked a Cherry Wheat which is one of my favorites. Next we headed back to the Better Living Building to explore the many as seen on tv style items you can buy. There is lots of cool stuff and many worthless things to be found but I did manage to pick up a new heat/cold pad with an activator button that I used that night on my knee.

With most things done and having been walking around all day we opted to call it a day and head home. It was another great year at the Big E/

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