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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Deerfield Memorial Hall Museum, Lucy Terry Prince Day
July 11 @ 10:00 am - 4:30 pm EDT
A Day in Old Deerfield with America’s First African American Poet.
July 11th is “Lucy Terry Prince Day,” marking the bicentennial of the first known African American poet’s death.
Lucy Terry Prince’s (c.1730-1821) life from birth and captivity in Africa c.1730 to enslavement in Deerfield, MA, to her death as a free woman in Vermont in 1821, encompasses signal events in the lives of enslaved people.
- On-the-half-hour, starting at 10am, tours of Lucy’s first home in Deerfield, the present-day Historic Deerfield, Inc. museum house known as the Wells-Thorn House, 52 Old Main St., Deerfield.
- Memorial Hall: on-going activities 10am-4:30pm in Memorial Hall Museum at 8 Memorial St., Deerfield.
- Lucy Terry tours of the Memorial Hall galleries connecting her story with that of the African American community of her day —and with English Deerfield people such as her minister Rev. Ashley, and places like the meetinghouse on the common where she attended; the house where she lived; and places in Deerfield where she worked both as an enslaved single woman, but then as a free married woman of color.
- Self-guided Tour handouts (one for Memorial Hall Museum and for Old Deerfield village) exploring the web of Lucy Terry’s life along the Street in Deerfield as well as a Self-guided Driving Tour Map to the site of the 1746 Mill and Bars Fight (where a fight between Deerfield settlers and Native Americans occurred on August 25, 1746), the subject of her only surviving poem.
- A morning and afternoon demonstration by an African American doll artist, Belinda Lyons Zucker—both traditional and contemporary dolls—who just donated a Lucy Terry doll to the PVMA collection. Held in the Deerfield Teachers’ Center at 10 Memorial St., Deerfield.
- Indian House Children’s Museum: on-going activities 10am to 4:30pm at 107 Old Main St., Deerfield. Visitors of all ages are invited to explore Lucy’s work and education through a variety of hands-on activities. Chores to try might include using a yoke to carry buckets of water, sewing a straight line with the tiniest stitches possible, and carding and spinning wool. Since Lucy worked in a one-room tavern in the original Indian House, visitors can examine historic images to discover what activities took place in one and learn about the laws governing the patrons and tavernkeepers. Lucy was taught to read and write at home by her owner, Mrs. Wells. Some of her lessons might have come from a “hornbook” and visitors can find out more about them and experience a lesson from one or try writing with a quill pen.
Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association is a vibrant regional organization, maintaining Memorial Hall Museum, a research Library, Deerfield Teachers’ Center, Indian House Children’s Museum, and Community Outreach projects.