Today is Connecticut Day at the Big E

The Connecticut building at the Big E. (WFSB photo)

Connecticut Day at the Big E kicked off on Wednesday morning.

As the Eastern States Exposition celebrates its centennial, more than 60 Connecticut companies, artists and groups will be the focus of the festivities.

"It's Connecticut Day," said Cat Hays of Wethersfield. "You've got to go on Connecticut day."

One of the draws to this year's 17-day fair is a big beer garden.

Organizers said there's also barbecue restaurants, llama farms, hand-rolled cigars and Connecticut-grown apples.

Later in the week, chowdafests will also be part of the fun.

A year ago, organizers said about 80 percent of those who attended the Big E stopped by the Connecticut building. That's a million people. This year, they said that number could jump.

"We're drawn to it, every year we come," said Dan Roman of Wethersfield.

Another draw is locally-made soda.

With one sip, Patrick Quint of East Hartford said he was only getting started.

"Right now, just the soda," he said. "But I'm sure I'm going to try a lot more."

The Connecticut building is part of the Avenue of States and is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Later in the afternoon, Channel 3's Mark Zinni and Mark Dixon will be on hand in the Early Warning Weather Tracker to greet fans.

The Big E itself kicked off last Friday and runs through Oct. 2.

Gates open at 8 a.m.

Adults are $15, children ages 6 through 12 are $10 and children under 5 are free, according to organizers.

For more on the Big E and Connecticut Day, check out the Big E's website here.

Check out photos from the Big E here.

See photos of the food at the Big E by clicking here.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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