The True Big E Experience

George Attwood, Staff Writer

The size. The sheer size is the first thing that catches your eye. Next the smell. The smell of fried brownies and fried Oreos. Anything you could possibly want to fry is there.

The noise. Thousands upon thousands of New Englanders talking and shouting. Everywhere you walk, there are shout-y people enjoying themselves. 

Everywhere you walk, something is fried. It feels like every other stand serves fried food. They range from the traditional corn dog to the outright crazy fried Pop Tarts. It is the most American thing I have seen. Fried Pop Tart. The concept intrigues you. Even though it is the weirdest sounding food, something about it excites you. Where else in the world would you find a food so outlandish and bizarre?

The next thing that catches your eye is the sheer volume of football jerseys — Pats jerseys. Everywhere you look, there’s a Brady, Edelman or Gronk jersey. New Englanders showing passion for their world-renowned side. Passion is a big part of the Big E. All around you, people are passionate about something.

If you raise your eyes upwards, you see amusement rides so outlandishly high up that you would fear for your safety if you decided to go on such a ride. Rides like the Super Loop, which suspends you upside down for what seems like an eternity. Just as you feel like you are going to plummet to your death… woosh. The ride continues and you whizz around the loop, back to your starting point. Your organs, which had dropped down towards your head, realign inside your body.  You feel dizzy and slightly disoriented, but the excitement and thrill are worth it. 

Possibly the greatest thing that you could purchase at the Big E is fried cheese. Hands down one of the best foods you will ever eat. The thought of fried cheese excited me. It was something I had to experience. I walked up to the counter and within seconds, eight golden cubes of joy were handed to me. The smell alone told me I had made the right choice. As I took my first bite, they took my breath away. The nugget of fried cheese created a golden river between my mouth and the rest of the nugget. Once you have one, you’re hooked. I barely stopped to take a breath as I stuffed my face with the glorious creation of fried cheese nuggets. Upon completion, I wanted more. I could have easily eaten another 16 of these nuggets of sunshine.

The carousel. If there is anything in the world that makes you feel like a seven year old, it is a carousel. The sheer joy and excitement it brings you is unrivaled. I had not been on a carousel in over 10 years. I initially got on as a joke, to have a laugh with my friends. The experience reminded me of the film “Mary Poppins,” when they jumped into the chalk painting and competed in the cartoon horse race. Joy. The biggest feeling the carousel gives you is joy. The bright lights make you feel like the world is watching you go round and round on your horse. There is something about a horse. They are usually associated with royalty. Or if you know your sports, then horse racing. Riding on the pretend horse, situated in a racing pose, gives you the sensation that you are racing in the Grand National. One of the most prestigious races in the world.

It’s bizarre that something as simple as a roundabout with horses on it can give you so much joy. The feeling of elation does not wear off quickly. It stays with you like that piece of gum you get on your shoe. Sticks to you like glue. 

Upon leaving Big E, you feel a sense of pride. Pride that your internal organs survived the grease and fat you consumed.