By Kassondra Granata
This weekend, a group of good friends and I took a trip to the Big E. After discovering that I have never been to the Big E, and my appreciation of the season, the group believed that it was a must that I experienced it.
I was beyond excited the whole ride up, anticipating the new experience. I was told about the attractions at the Big E, and that it is nothing that I have been exposed to before. Needless to say I had high expectations.
The Big E, also known as The Eastern States Exhibition, began in 1917 and is deemed to be New England’s greatest state fair. Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont are the states represented in the exhibition. In each state house, one can view the vendors and exhibits that portray each state. The apple crisp in the Vermont house is to die for.
While I was walking around, I noticed that the framework of the grounds reminded me a lot about the Chicago World’s Fair. Over the summer, I read a book titled, “The Devil in the White City,” by Erik Larson.
In this novel, Larson intertwines two nonfictional stories of two very different characters into one narrative. Larson brings Chicago circa 1893 to life unfolding the story of the World’s Fair and recounting the two stories of Daniel Burnham, the architect behind the fair, and Dr. H. H. Holmes, a serial killer who used the fair as a ploy to bring in his victims.
The World’s Fair was one of the most admired events at that time, for the United States aimed to surpass the French Exhibition in Paris. They created the World’s Fair to commemorate Columbus and his discovery of the “new world.”
Chicago was chosen to hold the fair due to it’s developmental status. At the time, Chicago was known as one of the most industrialized states in the nation, and the team built up Jackson Park into the infamous fair.
The World’s Fair in Chicago introduced many different monumental products, such as Cracker Jacks, Juicy Fruit, the Ferris Wheel, and other events such as Columbus Day and the Pledge of Allegiance. Walt Disney’s father, Elias, also worked on the fair, and thus inspired Walt when he was constructing his own famous theme park.
At the end of October, a group of The Recorder staff and I will be visiting Chicago for the National College Media Convention. There, we will attend sessions to learn more about producing a high-quality publication and grow as journalists. I hope to have the opportunity to take a dive into history there and be able to visit Jackson Park and see where all of these events actually took place. It’s going to be a memorable trip.
The Big E was a beautiful sight. The different crowds, the delicious food, and the company made my experience unforgettable. It definitely started out my falltivities season with a bang.