AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul R. LePage and Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry officials promoted Maine products Saturday at The Eastern States Exposition, known as “The Big E,” in Springfield, Mass. The Big E is the largest fair in the Northeast, with nearly 1.4 million fairgoers setting a new attendance record in 2012.
The governor was joined at the Big E’s Maine Day by Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walt Whitcomb.
“The Big E is a great way to promote Maine companies, products and outdoor recreational opportunities in a fair-like environment,” said LePage in a prepared statement. “It helps our economy by supporting Maine businesses and providing exposure to what we have to offer as a state.”
Commissioner Whitcomb emphasized the significance of the governor’s visit to the Northeast’s largest fair. “The importance of Gov. LePage’s presence here cannot be understated,” said Whitcomb in a press release. “Wherever he goes, the governor energetically pursues opportunities to create new business opportunities and strengthen existing ones.”
Whitcomb also highlighted the many Maine food products that could be sampled in the State of Maine building at the Big E. “Fair visitors enjoyed seeing and tasting Maine potatoes, blueberries and last year’s winner of the ‘most healthy food at the fair,’ Maine salmon,” Whitcomb said.
The Eastern States Exposition began in the fall of 1917. Maine became the second state to have its own building on the Avenue of States in 1925 after the Maine Legislature approved a sum of $25,000, matched by private businesses in the state, for the construction of an exhibition hall.
Each New England State has its own building on the Avenue of States. Through a fairground deed, visitors to the Maine building are in part of Maine. Each of the six New England states has its own “state day” during the 17-day event.