With the Big E set to kick off tomorrow, (Friday) there's one thing you better not forget to bring.

Just days before the official start of the Big E, the town of West Springfield, Massachusetts held a public hearing to announce a mask mandate for the annual fair.

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Now don't panic just yet, the mask mandate will only be implemented for inside attractions. Despite the objection of local small businesses who fear the mandate will put their businesses in danger of closing, the overall decision was based on the growing concern for the increase in COVID-19 cases in the area due to the Delta Variant.

The mandate immediately goes into effect, and includes all indoor facilities throughout the entire town of West Springfield, not just the Big E. The mandate status includes everyone, even those who are vaccinated.

The Big E already lost two major headliners for their concert series due to COVID concerns. Earlier this summer, just after the entertainment lineup was announced, country superstar Brad Paisley canceled his scheduled appearance, and late last month the British group Modern English, "Melt with You",  canceled their entire tour over COVID concerns, and one of their tour stops was scheduled to be at the Big E.

On the Health and Safety page of the fairs website, there's not only an outline of the new mask mandate, but it includes all the other safety protocol put in place for this year's fair.

According to wwlp.com, there has been an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the area over the last few weeks, so the town had no choice but to issue the mask mandate especially with thousands of people expected to attend this years fair.

Many of the fair merchants were actually in favor of the mask mandate citing that there will be younger children and teens attending, and the main concern is to keep them and everyone safe.

The Big E starts tomorrow, Friday, September 17 and continue until October 3.

Here's a quick tour of some of the Avenue of the States at the Big E.

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