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Forty-three Vermont Vendors & Exhibitors Prepare to Host Over 1 Million Visitors in The Vermont Building at Eastern States Expo

This Friday marks the 100th anniversary of the “Big E” Fair at Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA.  This milestone fair, which runs from September 16th through October 2nd 2016 will be the largest celebration of New England agriculture in history. The Vermont Building on the Avenue of States will once again be a main attraction for over 1 million fairgoers who return year after year to eat, drink & shop the best Vermont has to offer.  This year’s special events include Vermont Day, held on Saturday, September 24th, attended by Agency of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Jolinda LaClair, Vermont Legislators, and building trustees, and Harvest New England Day, held on Friday, September 30th, attended by Governor Shumlin and featuring 10 additional guest Vermont businesses on exhibit.

“I am excited to be visiting the Vermont Building at Eastern States Exposition this year. One hundred years is a major milestone for the Big E,” said Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin. “Not only does the Big E represent an opportunity for Vermont businesses to build great relationships with out-of-state consumers, it also helps to strengthen the Vermont brand, increasingly known around the world for quality and authenticity.” 

A popular fair attraction, the Avenue of States is lined with smaller-scale replicas of the six original New England State Houses. Each building features vendors and exhibitors exemplifying the heritage, food, traditions, and products from their respective state. The Vermont building, which is owned and maintained by the state of Vermont and managed by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) will showcase over 40 vendors & exhibitors sampling and selling Vermont made foods, drinks and wares, including: maple, ice cream, beer, cheeses, meats, jewelry, clothing, furniture & wood products, prepared foods, and much, much more.  Vermont musicians will entertain visitors on the front lawn, while, the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing (VDTM) promotes Vermont attractions, events and recreational opportunities to our southerly neighbors.  Click HERE to watch the Vermont Building Big E video!

“The Vermont building offers a unique opportunity for Vermont’s businesses to showcase the range of high quality products and innovation emerging from Vermont’s working landscape to over a million New England consumers,” said Secretary of Agriculture, Chuck Ross. “We have made some exciting improvements to our building this year, including a brand new cider tasting room that will enhance ‘The Vermont Building Experience’ for visitors and vendors alike.”

The Vermont Building has been a significant economic engine for participating vendors, completing over $10 million in total sales with gross sales growing over 30% since 2010.  To accommodate growth and increasing interest from vendors and fairgoers, VAAFM has made significant investments in the building and vending spaces over the last two years.  A new building was constructed on the back lawn adding five new vendor spaces, and, for the first time this year, the Vermont Building will feature a cider tasting room where visitors can enjoy Vermont cider from Champlain Orchards and Hall Home Place throughout the 17-day fair.

The Vermont Building showcases some of Vermont’s finest products, brands and organizations from across the state. The 2016 exhibitors are as follows:

• Agricola Farm, Panton^

• American Flatbread Company, Waitsfield

• Bear's Den Carving, Towshend

• Ben & Jerry's, Waterbury

• Bruce Baker Studio, Middlebury

• Champlain Orchards, Shoreham*

• Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Waterbury Center

• Danforth Pewterers, Middlebury

• Gringo Jacks, Manchester

• Hall Home Place, Isle La Motte

• Halladays Harvest Barn, Bellows Falls

• Hempfully Green Healing House, Putney^

• Joe’s Kitchen at Screaming Ridge Farm, Montpelier*^

• Johnson Woolen Mills, Johnson

• Long Trail Brewing Company, Inc, Bridgewater Corners

• Mother Myrick's Confectionary, Manchester Center

• Rockledge Farm Woodworks, Reading*^

• Sap! Maple Beverages, Burlington^

• Seedsheet, Middlebury^

• Sweet Crunch Bake Shop, Hyde Park^

• The Village Peddler, East Arlington

• Vermont Bee Balm, Craftsbury

• Vermont Cedar Chair Co., Hardwick

• Vermont Cheese (J & P Bonita Enterprises), Berlin

• Vermont Clothing Company, St Albans

• Vermont Cookie Love, North Ferrisburgh

• Vermont Flannel Company, East Barre

• Vermont Hand Crafters, Williston

• Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Assoc., Statewide*

• Vermont Peanut Butter Co., Morrisville

• Vermont Morgan Horse, Westford

• Vermont Prime Emu, Brandon

• Vermont Smoke & Cure, Hinesburg

• Vermont State Police, Statewide

• Willow Bend Publishing, Goshen

*Working Lands Enterprise Initiative Grantees
^First time exhibitors in 2016

About the “Big E”
The Eastern States Exposition, home of the “Big E”, was founded by Joshua L. Brooks in 1916 when he convinced the National Dairy Show to hold its annual event on the grounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1917, the first Eastern States Exposition took place. Brooks’ desire was to bring together all six New England states in one location to share ideas and improve regional agriculture. Learn more about the “Big E” here: http://www.thebige.com/

About The Vermont Building
The Vermont Building was built in 1926 at a cost of $60,500, and it is owned by the State of Vermont, along with the land it sits on. Management of the Vermont Building is a team effort among three state agencies: Agriculture, Food and Markets; Buildings and General Services; and Commerce and Community Development. Learn more about the Vermont Building at the “Big E” here: http://agriculture.vermont.gov/news_media/big_e

See you at the “Big E”!