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Big E's 'Golden' Tickets Grant Lifetime Free Admission - If You Can Get One

The Big E, undated photo
The Big E, undated photo Photo Credit: By liz west from Boxborough, MA - food and flags, CC BY 2.0,

In an unprecedented move for this fare, the Big E has printed 100 life-time-admission tickets to the annual New England state carnival.

Organizers are calling them “golden tickets” in a nod to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, where a golden ticket unlocked a world of pure imagination for the lucky holders.

Unlike Wonka, the tickets are not hidden. 

Each golden ticket costs $1,000 and includes free admission for life for the ticket holder and a guest (the guest can change day-to-day) as well as free parking, the Big E said.

The ticket is non-transferable and an ID will need to be shown upon admission.

The Big E is a huge, two-week carnival featuring concerts and wares from all over New England, crazy food, and rides located on Memorial Avenue in West Springfield. Due to COVID-19, the Big E was mostly canceled for 2020. Organizers held a “drive-thru” Big E for people who still wanted to chow down on tasty fare food.

In 2019, 1.6 million people visited the Big E.

The Big E estimates that for two adults to attend all 17 days of the Big E and pay for parking, the cost would be nearly $700. Admission is typical $15 with various discounts available. 

The 100 golden tickets go on sale on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 10 a.m. and can be purchased online at the Big E. It's first-come, first-served.

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