Upcoming Events In Western Mass
We strive to post the most current and accurate event information but changes and cancellations do occur so please check the official event website to confirm all details.
When you think back to some of your favorite childhood moments, very few of them probably happened when you were sitting at home watching TV. Instead, your most poignant memories probably revolve around that time you ended up with the home run ball at a baseball game, and the crowd cheered and you felt like a rock star, or at least like Babe Ruth.
Or maybe it was that time your family attended The Big E together and your dad bought you cotton candy and let you get all sticky-faced, and you watched your mom beat the midway games, and you felt like your heart was going to overflow with contentment and happiness.
In Western Massachusetts, events bring us together to celebrate our successes and recollect on our heritage. We’ve put together a list of some of the top yearly events in Massachusetts, things we and our local friends love doing to feel connected to our area and our community.
Top Yearly Western Massachusetts Events
Because of the beautiful area where we live, there are distinct Western Massachusetts-specific events that take place in each and every season. From leaf peeping in the fall to river rafting in the spring to skiing in the winter, you can find a wide range of things to do throughout the year, and some of our local events reflect the joyous beauty of our seasons.
Top Western Massachusetts Events for Spring
Springfield Annual Pancake Breakfast
Does anything scream “neighborly get-together more than a pancake breakfast? If your mouth is already watering over the thought of fluffy, buttery, syrupy goodness, you’re not going to want to miss the Springfield Annual Pancake Breakfast, typically hosted in May in downtown Springfield.
Bring your appetite, because it’s billed as the World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast, and be ready to feast on both good food and friendly conversation.
Paradise City Arts Festival (Northampton)
This Paradise City Arts Festival is ranked among the best in the country, and includes exhibits from more than 250 artists in all mediums. Artists flock to Western Massachusetts from around the country to be part of this visually dazzling display.
Come out to enjoy the weather that’s not quite summer, not quite spring, and stay to buy way too much from the vast selection of contemporary art pieces on display.
Brimfield Outdoor Antique Show
With spring in the air, you’ll want to get out and enjoy the largest outdoor antique and collectible show in the country. The Brimfield Outdoor Antique Show features over 5000 dealers throughout the quaint country town of Brimfield. And once is never enough – they do this in July and September, too!
Top Western Massachusetts Events for Summer
Baseball Season Opening Night
Baseball is the quintessential American pastime, and there’s really nothing that can top the nostalgia of being present on opening night.
The Westfield Starfires and Valley Blue Sox will kick off their seasons right at the start of the summer, and both promise to bring plenty of excitement to the community. Be sure you arrive ahead of gametime to root, root, root for the home team.
Yankee Candle Christmas in July
We love the unforgettable scents of the holiday season. Fir and balsam, spicy gingerbread, warm apple cider – the list could go on and on.
So naturally, Christmas in July is a must. At the flagship Yankee Candle Village, you can enjoy the holiday season, snap selfies with Santa (who might have traded in his traditional red velvet for a more relaxed Hawaiian shirt vibe) and enjoy crafting with Mrs. Claus.
It’s just what you need to get a little dose of holiday spirit and deal with the fact that you probably won’t be decorating your tree for at least a couple more months.
Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement
Meet Basketball’s best in the birthplace of the sport! Each summer, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame enshrines the best in the sport in Springfield. Rub elbows with the greatest to play the game and save time for a tour of the Hoop Hall.
Top Western Massachusetts Events for Fall
The Big E
Would this even be a reliable listing of Western Massachusetts events if The Big E weren’t included? The community gathering, more formally known as the Eastern States Exposition, is the biggest and best county fair you could imagine.
Every fall, The Big E brings together amazing food, parades, musical entertainment, agricultural exhibitions, car shows and more. There’s so much to see, do and taste – you’ll need more than one day to fully enjoy all The Big E has to offer.
Six Flags New England’s Fright Fest
Each autumn, Six Flags New England transforms into a fright-filled funzone for teens and adults. You’ll find scary shows, walk-through attractions and thrill rides that make the most of the season.
Top Western Massachusetts Events for Winter
The Springfield Thunderbirds are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League affiliated with the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues. Based in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Thunderbirds play their home games at the MassMutual Center.
Springfield, Parade of the Big Balloons
Can’t quite make it to New York City for the Thanksgiving parade? We’ve got you covered, with the Parade of the Big Balloons in downtown Springfield.
Enjoy bands, community gatherings and balloons that represent the best Western Mass has to offer – our favorite is definitely the 75-foot Cat in the Hat balloon.
Bright Nights at Forest Park
Holiday memories are made at Bright Nights at Forest Park. It’s just not the holiday season until you’ve driven through this holiday lighting extravaganza! Look for Santa’s Magical Forest, Dinosaur World and Seuss Land – it’ll become an annual tradition after the first mile.
Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Run, walk or float over to the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This celebration of Irish heritage brings more than 400,000 guests to the community for a parade, music, food and fun.
It also includes traditional performances by the Holyoke Caledonian Pipe Band and the Road Race, Western New England’s largest race (featuring a 10k, a 2 mile walk and a Kids Fun Run).
Community events help us to celebrate what we have in common – a love of the arts, of sport, of nature. The human connection these events create is so important to both mental and physical well-being.
If you’d like to learn more about these community events and dozens of others coming up in Western Mass, or about the top yearly events in Massachusetts, check out our Events listings and customize a schedule just for you. Or, contact us, and let our team of knowledgeable locals help you prepare for a fun and unforgettable Western Mass adventure.
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Basketball Hall of Fame, “Rock n’ Hall” Enshrinement Concert
September 12 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
Enshrinement Weekend and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame is making that extra trifecta shot by teaming up with the Springfield Business Improvement District and Westfield Bank to produce a free concert with local party favorite Darik and the Funbags and NBC’s The Voice finalist and local favorite Michelle Brooks-Thompson outside at the Basketball Hall of Fame. The concert will take place on Sunday, September 12th from 1pm – 5pm and is free to the public.
Additionally, the Hall of Fame will offer a limited number of tickets to the public to view the newly renovated museum for just $10 each (normally $28.00.) Tickets must be booked online and used on September 12th. To purchase for a visit that day, please go to: www.hoophall.com/plan-your-experience
This concert is a culmination of the Enshrinement Ceremony celebrations taking place on Saturday, September 11th, at the MassMutual Center. One of the most elite nights on the basketball calendar each year, the Hall of Fame Class of 2021 will be formally enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in a nationally televised ceremony. 2021 Enshrines include Paul Pierce, Chris Bosh, and Chris Webber. For tickets to the Class of 2021 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony, visit hoophall.com.
At the concert, in addition to Max’s Tavern, Plan B, Cold Stone Creamery, and Pizzeria UNO’s, Hot Oven Cookies Food Truck and Cantina Curbside Food Truck will be on site offering food and drinks. White Lion Brewing Company will be pouring their latest Legend Series #1 Enshrinement NEIPA among many other local brews. The Basketball Hall of Fame will be open from 10:30am – 4:30pm. A Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic will be on site supported by the Springfield Health and Human Services Department and generously underwritten by Westfield Bank. The clinic is free to the public, and will be open from 11am – 4:30pm.
The #TIMMYSTRONG Foundation will be present accepting donations in the name of East Longmeadow’s Birchland Park Middle School Principal, local basketball star and current Longmeadow High School Girls’ Varsity Basketball Coach, Timmy Allen, who is recovering from a massive heart attack last month. In addition to providing money for the Allen family, #TimmyStrong has been supporting the promotion of CPR and the placement of AED’s throughout the community. The KEVS foundation will be present which focuses on heart health, as well as 16 Lyrics; an anti-racism organization which Timmy helped create.
Come see the all new Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is a fantastic destination for everyone from lifelong basketball fans to families with children who are just beginning to explore the world’s most popular sport. The Hall of Fame is located in “The Birthplace of Basketball”, beautiful Springfield, Massachusetts. The city is easily accessible from no matter what direction you are traveling from.
The Hall’s $23+ million renovation includes the refurbishment of its iconic dome, in addition to a new technologically advanced visitor experience including the following:
- “High Above Center Court” – An all new exhibit set beneath the iconic dome, High Above Center Court features a series of photo opportunities where guests can “measure up” against cut outs of their favorite players and take a tour through artifacts highlighting key moments in history, such as the “Phenom” exhibit featuring LeBron James or the “Fashion” exhibit featuring Dennis Rodman.
- “Hall of Honor” – The all new signature exhibit of the Hall of Fame is the Hall of Honor. Enjoy this reverent space while learning through a series of interactive kiosks. With over 24 hours of video content, the experience can become as deep and vast as guests chose.
- “1891 Gallery” – Experience the time period surrounding the game’s invention by Dr. James Naismith. Learn about the original rules, which notably haven’t changed much! See artifacts such as a piece of the hardwood from the original YMCA and uniforms worn by the first female trailblazers of the game.
- “Players Gallery”– Take a deep dive into players’ signature moves, such as Kareem’s Sky Hook, Ray Allen’s art of shooting the three-point shot or the euro-step which has taken scoring to new heights.
- “James Goldstein Superfan Gallery” – Take a journey through the all new superfan gallery and experience the game through the legendary superfans such as James Goldstein and Nav Bhatia. Explore memorabilia from the amazing collection of late Superfan Penny Marshall.
- “Jerry Colangelo Court of Dreams” – Be sure to shoot baskets on the all new Court of Dreams featuring a wowing LED screen that runs highlights of legendary players and moments in basketball history.