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2017 Creative Arts at The Big E

2017 Creative Arts at The Big E

2017 Creative Arts at The Big E

14 April 2017

We are already thinking about what we will enter into the 101st edition of The Big E. This year the fair will be held from Friday September 15 - Sunday October 1.  The Big E is the state fair for all the New England states. In addition to all the great food, rides, games, music, and animals, the Creative Arts exhibit at The Big E is one of the most exciting annual handcraft displays in the country.

This year we are doing it again! The Sheep Shoppe wants YOU to enter up to three items for your chance to win ribbons and cash awards, and for your work to be seen by over a million fair visitors. Attendance for the 100th Anniversary of the fair in 2016 was 1,418,042, and interest and attendance continue to grow year after year.

Start thinking about any knitting, crochet, felting, needle felting, weaving, or spinning projects you have completed within the last 3 years that you are especially proud of and would like to see on display at the fair. If you have a WIP that looks promising, finish it up!

With your entry, you will receive 2 tickets to The Big E that you can use to attend any day of the fair.

Here's how it works: Read the Rules and Regs, decide which of your fabulous handmade projects you will enter (up to three items!) and send in your entry form by August 1. Next, fill out your entry tags and attach them securely to your items. Then bring your items to The Sheep Shoppe between August 14-29. We will drive them up to Springfield on drop-off day and turn them over to the Creative Arts people for judging and display.

We'll also pick up your tickets, which you can then pick up from the shop. Plan your trip to The Big E between September 15-October 1 to see your pieces hanging with the stunning handwork of fine crafters from all over New England and the US!

When the fair is over, we will return to Springfield to collect the items along with your ribbons and prize money, and bring everything back to the shop where they will be available for you to pick up.

We want to see everyone enter something! In addition to knitting, crocheting, weaving, and spinning, Creative Arts is looking for good representation of felted and needle felted entries. Youth entrants in all categories are especially encouraged.

We want to make it easy for you to enter so we've posted a guide for you below.

“The purpose of a fair is to educate; to help people learn about life and what is good; to find out what is new and how to improve; to understand about our heritage and agriculture; to find out what is profitable and what is enjoyable; and to learn how to adjust better to change, how to be better people, how to be responsible and better citizens, and how to be more self-sufficient”
-Author unknown.


These are the steps for entering your work into Creative Arts at The Big E.

First, check out the Creative Arts home page here. Scroll down to the first picture and click, it will take you to this page. Be sure to read the General Rules and Regulations for entering, it is the first link at the top of the page. When you fill out the entry form, you will need to specify which department each item falls under. The department links are on the same page.

The next step is to download the entry form, also found under Quick Information on that page. Fill out the form and mail in with a check or your credit card info for $5 per entry by August 1. If you prefer you can enter online, but you will have to register and create an account. The deadline for entering online is also August 1.

Registration is just to let them know that you will be entering these items. Don’t send the items with the entry form, but bring them to The Sheep Shoppe and we will take them to Springfield on the designated drop-off day.

The next step is to download the entry tags on this page under Quick Information. You will attach an entry tag to each entry. Make sure when you attach the tag to your item, that it is attached on the lower corner at the back of the item. The tag is designed to fold so that your name and address are on the back of the tag, while the rest of the info (title, department, etc) is on the front. Fold it and glue to a blank manila tag to make it look neat and professional before attaching it securely to the entry.

attach your entry tag to the item as shown here, with your name on one side, and the item information on the other side

Then, drop off your item at The Sheep Shoppe. You will be entered into our contest to win a $100 gift certificate and we will safely deliver them to The Big E for you. When the fair is over we will collect them along with your prizes. Everything will be available for pick-up at the shop after October 3rd.

Following are the dates to be aware of!

-August 1 - last day to mail in your entry form along with $5 entry fee for each item (and/or $2 per skein)
-August 15- last day to send in your late entry form along with $10 late entry fee per item (or $4 per skein)
-August 14-29 drop-off your entries at The Sheep Shoppe. We will then deliver them to The Big E in Springfield MA to be judged and put on display in the Creative Arts exhibit.
-October 3-31 pick up your entries along with your ribbons and prize $$ at The Sheep Shoppe

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments below

Creative Arts at The Big E weaving display

Weaving display (this was only a small portion of all the weaving entries)


The Best in each category wins a purple rosette along with a blue ribbon!

Creative Arts is looking for volunteers to help with mounting the display as well as giving demonstrations of craft techniques. If you think you would like to volunteer, you can find the form under Quick Information on this page and send to




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