A visit to The Big E in West Springfield, Mass., would not be complete without going to the Massachusetts building, since you're in Massachusetts anyway. Like all of the New England states on the Avenue, the building is a replica of the state's original State House and offers delicious food specialties from the state.
The State Soup
A visit to New England requires that you consume some clam chowder (or, as it's known around here, chowda) and a lobster roll. During my 2005 Big E eatfest, the lobster rolls were being sold in the Massachusetts building for just $5 (which was $3 cheaper than the one I had already eaten in the nearby Maine building).
Koffee Kup Bakery
For those needing some caffeine after a long day of walking around The Big E, Koffee Kup Bakery from nearby Springfield and Holyoke was set up in the Massachusetts building to provide a hot cup of coffee, along with corn muffins, whoopie pies, Boston cream pies and chocolate chip cookies. Mmmmmm.
Down to the Dairy
The Massachusetts Dairy Farmers offered a selection of delicious dairy items, including shakes (choose from Maple, Chocolate, Coffee, Vanilla, Strawberry or Mocha), soft-serve ice cream (vanilla, chocolate or twist), tomato cheddar soup, and three kinds of milk (white, chocolate or coffee). For bargain-conscious parents, they offered a free cup of white milk to kids 2 years old and younger.
Collectible Chocolate Milk
One of the definite highlights of my visit to The Big E was getting this commemorative 16-oz glass bottle of Massachusetts chocolate milk. (Don't confuse this with the 75-cent small or $1.25 large cups of milk on the sign above. This collectible bottle wasn't listed on the sign and cost $2.50.)
For many, the highlight of the Massachusetts building is probably this tent outside, which allows visitors to participate in a very popular Bay State pastime, buying lottery tickets (especially scratch tickets).