Big E workers, police and fire keep fair running smoothly - Tucson News Now

Big E workers, police and fire keep fair running smoothly

Posted: Updated:
WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Day one of the Big E fair kicked off Friday.

While it may be all about fun and food for 17 days, a lot goes into making it happen, and keeping it running smoothly.

"Obviously it's a Herculean lift but we're really blessed at the Eastern States," said President of the Eastern States Exposition, Gene Cassidy. 

It takes quite a team to put on a 17 day fair that's touted as one of the biggest and longest running in the country.

"We draw 1.36 million people in the 17 days of the fair. There are no other events that can compete with that," Cassidy said. 

It's Cassidy's second fair as the President of the Eastern States, but he's been here for 24 years.

He stopped by CBS 3 Springfield's Big E studio Friday to talk about what it takes to make it run. He chalks it up to the nearly 1,000 employees that come back each year.

"As big a deal as it is, with all of us working cooperatively together it's easier than you think," Cassidy said. 

West Springfield's police and fire departments step in as well.

"Nothing stops in the rest of the city, everything's still going on, we still have calls, we still have a number of things we have to respond to, so this is in addition to what we have," said West Springfield Police Chief Ronald Campurciani. 

At any given time there are 20 firefighters and 50 police officers right on the grounds.

"We have a full medical staff that has a doctor, two nurses, ambulance driver and that's augmented by firefighters," said Gerard Kiernan, the director of operations at the Eastern States Exposition. 

All of these elements make the fair come together every year.

This year just like the rest, they kicked off the fair by thanking the armed forces, like Kyle Toto who runs a website for veterans services called massvetsadvisor.org. He says he loves coming to the Big E year after year.

"It's really rewarding to be here, we get to be with other veterans, and with veterans from different eras. I'm an Afghanistan veteran but we've seen Vietnam veterans, World War II veterans that were here today," Toto said. 

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Ovation guitar factory in Conn. closing

    Ovation guitar factory in Conn. closing

    An Ovation guitar factory in the western Connecticut hills that has produced instruments for music legends from Paul Simon to Cat Stevens to Glen Campbell will be closing after 47 years.
    An Ovation guitar factory in the western Connecticut hills that has produced instruments for music legends from Paul Simon to Cat Stevens to Glen Campbell will be closing after 47 years.
  • Robber threatened workers with syringe 'full of AIDS'

    Robber threatened workers syringe 'full of AIDS'

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:15:22 GMT
    Portland police say a robber used a syringe to threaten workers at an ice cream shop by claiming the needle was "full of AIDS."
    Portland police say a robber used a syringe to threaten workers at an ice cream shop by claiming the needle was "full of AIDS."
  • $160 Million superyacht cruises Hawaiian islands

    $160 Million superyacht cruises Hawaiian islands

    Saturday, March 29 2014 12:08 AM EDT2014-03-29 04:08:35 GMT
    A $160 million mega yacht has been cruising the Hawaiian Islands this month and on Thursday docked off Waikiki. The VAVA II is owned by Swiss/Italian pharmaceutical tycoon and billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli
    A $160 million mega yacht has been cruising the Hawaiian Islands this month. The VAVA II is owned by Swiss/Italian pharmaceutical tycoon and billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli
Powered by WorldNow