Tag Archives: West Springfield

Northeast Reenactors Fair (West Springfield, MA)

Date Of Event: February 24, 2018

Location: Mallary Complex, Eastern States Exposition Center (1305 Memorial Avenue
West Springfield, MA)

Cost: $10 per person (2 day passes are also available for $20)

Parking: $5 to park for the day. Parking is ample.

Website: Northeast Reenactors Fair

Highlights: Items and people in costume from various eras

Hello fellow bloggers and readers, I have been out of commission for a while due to a back injury. But, I am recovering and I should be back to my normal blogging schedule soon. Thank you for your support and I look forward to posting more of my adventures!

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The Eastern State Exposition Center in West Springfield. MA, was in a time warp the last weekend of February.

The Northeast Reenactors (formerly the New England Reenactors) descended upon the Big E to show off their attire, sell their era-appropriate merchandise and celebrate the days of yore.

There were reenactors of every era in costume at the fair.

 

While there were reenactors from every time period, there were quite a lot of Vietnam War era reenactors.

 

The weapon in this photo, an M29 Mortar, is still used today, with some slight modifications. If you never thought you would ever use geometry, think again. The trajectory of the projectiles use a lot of geometry and other mathematical formulas to direct the mortars accurately. Also, it took five people, yes five people, to operator (the squad leader, the gunner, the assistant gunner, first ammunition bear and the second ammunition bearer). One of the projectiles can be seen to the right of the M 29.

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There were also vendors selling their wares. Many of the products being sold were home made replicas of the items of previous eras.

 

There were also various displays of the popular attire, books and other items from the various eras.

 

Check out the cameras used during the Vietnam era. Maybe I should consider trading in for one.

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It was such a big event, even two presidents showed up.

President Madison

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And, of course, President Lincoln.

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If all that wasn’t enough, there was also entertainment at the reenactors fair. Singers performed a variety of songs from the past.

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Below is a video of one of the talented performers.

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New England Nomad


Wheels & Waffles (West Springfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: August 19, 2017

Location: Eastern States Exposition Center,  Avenue Of The States, 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA

Cost: Free

Parking: There is ample parking located at the entrance

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Wheels N Waffles

Highlights: classic cards dating back to the early 1900s, waffles

Tips:

  • The “Avenue of the States” (where the event was held) got the name because it has a replica of each state’s house of each state in New England on its premises
  • The Wheels & Waffles event is usually held at the Eastern States Exposition Center twice each summer, annually

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What goes better together than wheels and….waffles?  Well, that was what was on the menu at the Eastern Exposition Center last month.

There were some novelty card there too like this “General Lee” Dukes Of Hazzard replica car.

And this replica of Herbie The Love Bug

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If only I was better at identifying cars with the years they were built.  Unfortunately, that’s not my forte.  But, I still appreciate the curves, style and power of these vehicles.

Look at those fins and designs.  Those beautiful, beautiful fins…

Not all of the cars were from the 50’s and 60’s.  In fact, some of you may have owned some of these more recent classics.

I’ve always loved long, shapely cars.  So, of course this was my favorite.

Of course, as the name of the event suggests, there waffles provided by the Storrowton Tavern.

 

The “Avenue Of The States” didn’t get its name by accident.  The grounds have a replica of each original state house for each of the six New England states.  Below is the original state house of Massachusetts.

Here is what the Boston State House actually looks like (courtesy of everstockphoto.com)

Wheels & Waffles is a dog friendly event and I’m really not sure what I thought were more beautiful, the dogs or the cars.  OK, it was the dogs.

CJ is a 5 or 6 year old Jack Russell Terrier.

Lola is a 3 year old Lab.

Gunner is a 2 and a half year old Lab mix.

Below is a video of the Wheels & Waffles event

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Hudson Valley Arabian Horse Show (West Springfield, MA)

Date Of Event: May 13, 2017

Location: Eastern States Exposition Center, 1305 Memorial Avenue
West Springfield, MA, Coliseum Building (Gate 2) (about 2 hours west of Boston, and 10 minutes west of Springfield, MA)

Cost: Free

Parking: Ample free parking was available at the Exposition Center

Website: Hudson Valley Arabian Horse Association

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Arabian horses, horse judging contests

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If it’s spring time it must be horse showing time at the “Big E.”  There are several horse shows scheduled there this spring and summer.  Since the weather in New England has been less than “spring-like”, I felt a nice indoor event watching beautiful horses would be the perfect event for a washed out weekend.

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Hawk is an Arabian/Pinto horse.

It’s always nice seeing the horses with their riders and trainers.  You can see the care they take with each horse and just how much they love their horses.

The Arabian horse show took place over the weekend of May 12-May 14.  I attended the morning show on May 13.  During my visit, the horses and the riders were being judged.  The horses were judged on appearance in the first event.

Then, the horses and riders were judged on their riding skills.

People of all ages rode.  The youngest group of riders was the 10 and under group.  I am always amazed at how someone so young can control a horse and not show an ounce of fear.

Dogs also like to watch horses apparently.

The person who was dog sitting this dog didn’t know the dog’s name.

This cute little is called Gingo.

If you missed the Hudson Valley Arabian Horse Show, fear not.  There are many more horse shows (specifically shows sponsored by the Arabian Horse Club of Connecticut) scheduled in the upcoming weeks and throughout the summer at the “Big E.”  See below for a schedule of events at the Exposition Center.

Eastern Exposition Calendar of Events

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North American Alpaca Show (West Springfield, MA)

Dates of Event: March 31-April 2, 2017 (photos taken April 1)

Location: Eastern States Exposition Center, Mallory Building, 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA (2 hours west of Boston, MA)

Cost: Free

Parking: ample parking is provided, free of charge, at the rear and side of the Mallory Building

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: Alpacas, Alpaca shows, products made from Alpaca fleece

Web Site: North American Alpaca Show

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Known for their seemingly ever present signature smile and calm demeanor, alpacas are one of the more popular animals in the New England area.  Alpaca farms have been springing up more and more in the Northeast area.  In fact, the New England Alpacas Owners and Breeders Association (NEAOBA) lists 85 breeders in the New England and New York area.  Many of these breeders and owners met last weekend at the Eastern States Exposition Center in West Springfield, MA.  The owners and breeders came as far away as Phoenix, New York and parts of Maine and Vermont.

Besides being absolutely adorable and generally calm animals, alpacas are said to be very smart animals.  They often tend to pack together, you know like you expect from alpackas.  Okay enough word play.  For now.  As you can see from the photos below, they do like to be close to each other.

But, I did manage to get a few Alpacas on their own to photograph which was hard to do since they were all packed in there together (I told you I wasn’t done with my word play).  There are so many different colors and sizes.  Fun facts: the average alpaca can grow to be 150 to 175 pounds!  They also have a life span of 15-20 years and can grow to be as tall 3 feet at the shoulders and 4.5 feet tall by the head.

I also liked this “Alpaca photo bomb”

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Alpacas are shown and judged (they all received ribbons from to last place) and they are generally calm while they are being shown, except when their personal space is encroached.  But, overall they were very graceful.

Some of the alpacas appeared to mouth the metal fencing of their pens.  This is not uncommon.  In fact, one owner said he keeps baby teething rings for his alpacas and they enjoy using them.

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Most of the alpacas were very friendly, albeit a little guarded.  But, once they warm up to you, they were very social.  In fact, they seemed to pose for me.  That is what I noticed most about them.  They seem to have a lot of personality.

There were also several people selling many products made from alpaca fleece.  They sold a variety of products made from  alpaca fleece.  They were even selling alpacas made from alpacas (fleece). Being an animal lover, I inquired about the shearing process and I was informed that it is a simple, quick process that does not hurt the animals.

One of the cool things about these cuties is how they communicate to each other in a variety of ways such as through posture, the movement of their tails and some of them even make a noise the owners and breeders call “humming”.


Amherst Society Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show (Eastern States Exposition Center, West Springfield, MA)

 

Dates Of Event: January 28 and January 29, 2017 (it’s usually held the last week of January or the first week of February each year at the Eastern States Exposition Center)

Location: Eastern States Exposition Center, 1305 Memorial Avenue
West Springfield MA, exhibits are in three buildings (the Mallory Building, the Stroh Building and The Better Living Center, they are all adjacent or connected to each other)

Hours: Saturday, January 28, 2017 – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday January 29, 2017 – 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Cost: Adults: $14.00 per day
Children 15 and under: FREE Accompanied by an Adult
EASTERN STATES PARKING: $5.00 per day

Tickets may be purchased online or at the site.  Tickets go on sale a the ticket booths one hour before the event

Parking: Parking is available for a $5 fee (not included in the ticket price) at the Gate 9 entrance.  Get there early as it does fill up

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: model trains and train sets, vintage model trains, elaborate train sets, family friendly

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The annual Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show proved trains are not just for children.  The fact of the matter is the hobby show is fun for people of all ages.  In fact, watching some of the older men and women get into their train sets and even get dressed up as conductors is one of the best parts of the show.

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But, the best part is watching the children get excited to play with and watch the trains.

There are many activities at the hobby show geared for children.  There is an instructional event where children can learn how to make their own model trees, a table which has buttons for the children to use to move the trains or turn the lights of the train set off and on.  There is also a tor train that kids can take, with their parents or guardians, that makes a short journey inside the exhibition hall and other fun activities for children as well as a clown.

There were dozens, if not hundreds, of train sets set up.

While the trains were cool, I actually liked looking at the little accessories that people used to dot the landscapes of their sets.

Some of the city and town layouts were pretty elaborate and detailed.

There was also a cool Lego display.  Everything on this display was made out of Lego pieces.

What made this display cool were the hidden characters and objects in the display such as the Beatles crossing Abbey Road (and about to be hit by a truck)

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Batman (and friends)

Some famous vehicles

There were a lot more hidden surprises in the display,  Can you find more in these photos?

Not all of the trains were small, though.  These model trains were displayed at the show.  But, they did not have a track big enough for them!

And, of course, there was the steam locomotive displayed outside the event.  Children could goon the locomotive and, if they were lucky, they could hear the train toot and spray some steam into the air.  It’s a great way to end a day of looking at just model trains.

Video of a dinosaur train, you read that right,…and perhaps the most famous train


Northeastern Poultry Congress (Eastern States Exposition Center, West Springfield, MA)

Dates Of Event: January 13, 14 and 15, 2017 (photos taken January 14)

Location: Eastern States Exposition Center (1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA), Mallory Building, Gate 9

Hours: January 13 3:00 p.m. -8:00 p.m., January 14 9:00 a.m. – 4:00  p.m., January 15 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Cost: Admission is free

Parking: Free ample parking is located at or near the Mallory Building parking lot

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, the Mallory Building is handicapped accessible

Dog Friendly: Service dogs may be allowed

Web Site: Northeastern Poultry Congress

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Duck, duck, chicken?  That is the theme at the Northeastern Poultry Congress this weekend at the Eastern States Exposition Center in West Springfield, MA.

The poultry congress has chickens and other poultry of all kinds.

In fact, there were rows and rows of chicken being displayed and/or sold.

I had never considered the beauty of a chicken, or other fowl, before.  They really are beautiful and interesting looking.  The chickens and other poultry were available for purchase and somee were being judged.  Adults and children could be seen carrying chickens for purchase.  I  was surprised how the chickens and other fowl didn’t seem to resist or peck when they were being held (always with their face toward the persons body).

There were also chicks in an incubator.

These turkeys made it through the holiday season.

There were also events for children such as an event where the children both judged and exhibkited different poultry.

Concession stands were also available, although I didn’t see fried chicken on the menus.

There were also vendors selling art, nick knacks and other items.

The poultry weren’t the only cute animals at the show.  One of the vendors brought her own little pet with her to the show.

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The Northeastern Poultry Congress usually only stops by the Eastern States Exposition Center once a year.  But, you may be able to catch it at other venues throughout the year (refer too the web site shown above to see if it is stopping by a venue near you). So, don’t be a chicken!  Stop by and visit the lovely poultry if you do notice it is in your area.


The Wall That Heals (West Springfield, MA)

Dates Of Exhibit: August 18 – 21, 2016 (the exhibit will be making another appearance in New England October 20 when it arrives in West Haven, CT and will then go to New Milford, CT, Leominster, MA and the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT)

Location: Eastern States Exposition (Gate 9) , 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA

Hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: Parking was free for viewing the memorial (it is usually $5 to park there).  There were about 70 parking spots.

Dog Friendly: No

Highlights: Replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, Mobile Educational Center, military memorabilia and vehicles, helicopter liftoff

Website: The Wall That Heals

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The traveling replica of the Wall That Heals spent the weekend of August 18-21 at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts before continuing its tour.  It is presently in Princetown, New York until August 28.  Click below to see the entire 2016 schedule for the wall

The Wall That Heals 2016 Tour Schedule

A half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., the Wall That Heals has been to more than 400 cities throughout the United States.  It was dedicated on Veteran’s Day (November 11), 1996.

The Wall That Heals is meant to not only act as a reminder of all those who died in the service of their country during the Vietnam Conflict it also is meant to help veterans cope and heal from the pain they still harbor and hopefully help them heal.

There is also a mobile Education Center which has educational information on the walls of the truck.  In one section of the exterior of the truck there was a list and photos of the people from Massachusetts lost in Vietnam.  Another section showed the names and photos from the area where the truck was parked (Western MA) and a final video screen displayed all of the victims of the war.  There is also timelines of the war and additional background information of the war.

You can’t help but to be moved by seeing all of the names on the wall.  All of those names had dreams, hopes, futures that were snuffed out much too early.  I kept thinking how much more they were meant to accomplish.  They were supposed to fall in love and have children and outlive their parents.  What really got to me was seeing the photos, notes, flowers and flags that were left behind.  Even decades later, the wounds are still fresh for so many.

The 250 foot long wall has over 58,000 names.

 

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On a lighter note, one thing I have always respected and admired about people in the service and veterans is their sense of humor and ability to turn just about anything into a joke.  This signpost, presumably a replica of a sign at one of the American camps in Vietnam details the distances (from West Springfield, MA) to Camp Pendleton (2,494 mi), Ia Drang (8,599 mi), Vietnam Wall (371 mi) and, of course, Disney World (1,236 mi).  Home is wherever you are so that shows 0 miles.

There were also tables with military gear from the Vietnam War era and military vehicles also from that era.

We were also treated to a helicopter liftoff (video of the liftoff follows below) by an Army Black Hawk Medevac.  The things on the side are either gun pods or for launching torpedoes. Watching them prep for the liftoff showed me just how much care and preparation goes into every flight and just how meticulous they are about checking their flight gear.

Below are videos of a walking tour of The Wall That Heals (I only walked half of the wall with the video recording because it was a high traffic area) and the Blackhawk helicopter liftoff.

Places With Similar Monuments I Have Visited In New England:

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Fort Taber/Rodman Park

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Veteran Greens Memorial Park

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