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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Bay Path University, Talk
October 7 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT
An Interview with Producer/Actress Kristen Anne Ferraro ’08
Springfield native Kristen Anne Ferraro ’08 will talk about the making of A Deadly Legend and what it means to be a producer while also acting in a film. In A Deadly Legend, Joan Hunter, a real estate developer, buys an old summer camp unknowing that the property has a dark history of supernatural worship and human sacrifice. A celebration weekend turns deadly when construction uncovers the mythical Stonehenge of America, and spirits awaken and kill to gain control of the supernatural gateway. Unable to escape, Joan and her family must fight for survival. Ferraro plays the role of Joan Hunter alongside stars Corbin Bernsen, Lori Petty, and Judd Hirsch.
CO-SPONSORED WITH BAY PATH UNIVERSITY’S ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
About Kristen Anne Ferraro
Kristen Anne Ferraro was born in Springfield, MA to Ralph, an Educator/Writer, and Anne Marie, a Nurse/Hospice Chaplain. She has one older brother and two younger sisters. She is a proud second-generation Italian-American. Her father was born in Martone, Reggio Calabria in Southern Italy and immigrated with his mother to Ellis Island in New York. Her mother is of Irish, English, and French descent and is a former Catholic nun.
At the age of 10, Kristen began her journey in the performing arts, starting in local theater productions. Over the next several years, Ferraro would actively perform in leading roles in both straight plays and musicals throughout Western MA and CT. At the ages of 14 and 16, respectively, she won awards in local theater competitions for Best Performance by an Actress for her role in “Artichoke” (dir. Carroll Britch) and Best Performance by a Supporting Actress for her role in “Graceland” (dir. Robert Freedman).
Upon high school graduation, she was the recipient of several art scholarships for her long-standing presence as a performer in theaters throughout Western New England with close to 50 roles under her belt.
While a college student, she consistently played lead roles in summer stock, university musicals and was often a featured soloist in inter-collegiate chorale concerts. During this time, Ferraro was named one of the countries most talented college students by “Who’s Who Amongst College and University Students.”
After graduating from Bay Path University, she headed to New York City where she studied the Meisner Technique at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater. After completing the first year of the program, Ferraro was accepted as a 2nd year student among a small and select group of students. At the NP she studied with well-known industry powerhouses such as Richard Pinter, Ron Stetson, Gary Ramsey, Ian McRae, and Ron Shetler.
Ferraro quickly began working professionally, after graduation and headed out on the National Tour of “To Kill a Mockingbird” in the lead role of “Scout.” Works that followed included the leading roles in an independent-feature film, multiple NYC-area theater performances, and spending lots of time learning on-set doing TV extra and stand-in work.
After entering the corporate world, Ferraro spent time working as a successful business professional in the areas of creative direction, strategic marketing, and communications at companies such as NBC, Forstmann Little & Company, MassMutual, and Cigna. While running her marketing firm, she was honored with the “40 Under 40” award for her business and non-profit contributions in New England under her former married name Kristen Kellner (Kellner Consulting). Ferraro also holds a BS, Business Mgt., from Bay Path University, Longmeadow, MA. In October 2018, Bay Path University presented Ferraro with its “Young Alumni Award” for her ongoing success in business, philanthropy, and the arts.
In 2018, Ferraro established REMcycle Productions and REMcycle Media based in New York State to work on creative-based projects in the areas of film, television, theatre, and corporate consulting.
Her first feature film as a producer, “A Deadly Legend”, will debut in 2020.
She will also be launching “Blueprint for Kindness” in 2020, a personalized program to incorporate acts of kindness into one’s life.
Kristen lives in New York in the USA.