The BIG E multi-state fair is held in West Springfield, Massachusetts from September 15 until October 1, 2023. Project Big E is an amateur radio exhibit at The BIG E. The ham radio exhibit will be located in booth #103 in the Better Living Center, the largest building at the fair at 123,000 square feet.
The Big E, formerly known as The Eastern States Exposition, is billed as “New England’s Great State fair.” It is the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard and the sixth-largest fair in the nation. In 2022, the Big E had 1.6 million visitors.
2023 Big E Special and State Days
Friday, September 15 – Be A Kid For A Day/Military Appreciation Day
Saturday, September 16 – 4-H & FFA Day/Maine Day
Sunday, September 17 – Storrowton Day
Monday, September 18 – Salute to West Springfield
Tuesday, September 19 – Rhode Island Day/Salute to Holyoke
Wednesday, September 20 – Connecticut Day
Thursday, September 21 – Massachusetts Day
Friday, September 22 – New Hampshire Day
Saturday, September 23 – Vermont Day
Sunday, September 24 – Grange Day/ Chocolate Milk Day
Monday, September 25 – Salute to Springfield
Tuesday, September 26 – Salute to Chicopee
Wednesday, September 27 – Salute to Agawam
Thursday, September 28- Salute to Westfield
Friday, September 29 – Harvest New England Day
Saturday, September 30 – October Fun Day
Sunday, October 1 – Salute to Special Olympics
2023 Project Big E
Project Big E (the Amateur Radio event) was conceived in 2021 by Larry Krainson, W1AST, and other members of the Hampden County Radio Association. They envisioned a ham radio booth that would demonstrate the many aspects of modern ham radio, and provide an avenue for people to sign up for information and courses in their local area.
Some of the Project’s ideas include:
- an EmComm display
- D-STAR and/or other digital mobile mode demo
- Digital HF modes on a big screen
- SSB, CW and digital modes
- Demonstrations of portable stations for field operation (i.e., Parks On The Air, Summits On The Air)
- Highlight youth in ham radio
W1AST hopes that volunteers from different states’ radio clubs will staff the booth during State Days and Theme Days.
Project Big E intends to secure a great location for the booth (#103) inside Door 6 of the Better Living Center, at the end of an isle near the restrooms. Like last year, a large number of pedestrians will walk by the booth.
The Big E Project has applied for a grant from the Amateur Radio Digital Communications, a private foundation that exists to support amateur radio and digital communication science and technology.
The monies will be used to help fund Project BIG E.
How Can I Help?
Such an undertaking can only succeed if there is a sufficient number of volunteers and radio clubs who agree to participate in the event. Visit our signup form at: <https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1YdW57tREYSlDdPp8YSKBYUqNkl6OVrAbpcVCclvT4Hw>.
A special Groups.io mailing list group has been established to promote exchange of dialogue and ideas for the event. To join, send an email to ProjectBigEfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Please mention Project Big E to your ham friends and fellow radio club members. Discuss it on your club nets. A press release can be found at: <https://nediv.arrl.org/project-big-e-press-release/>.