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.
- This event has passed.
Historic Deerfield, Spring Forum
April 10 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm EDT
Historic Deerfield will present a virtual forum, “Invisible Makers: Textiles, Dress, and Marginalized People in 18th- and 19th-Century America,” on Saturday, April 10, 2021 from 9:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. ET.
Globalized manufacturing in the 21st century has stimulated a greater need to understand where, how, by whom, and under what conditions our clothing is made. In the past, the weaving of textiles and making of everyday clothing has largely been perceived as anonymous, most especially with regard to marginalized people living in white societies. Research into the efforts of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color to design, produce, acquire, and modify textiles and dress within the Anglo-European, North American framework has historically been difficult to quantify because of a paucity of surviving evidence as well as limited attempts both past and present to record and credit those efforts. This forum details contributions of often-overlooked populations in American society to the textile and clothing trades, and promises to enrich and deepen current conversations about fashion both past and present.
Join Historic Deerfield on April 10th to hear lectures from a dynamic roster of academic and museum professionals discussing examples of the important roles and contributions of BIPOC textile and clothing producers and consumers in the 18th and 19th centuries. Presented as case studies, the research includes textiles and clothing produced by forced labor within plantations; people of color working as tailors and dressmakers in Massachusetts; and marginalized people who fashioned their dressed bodies using Anglo-European garments in ways that both subverted normative styles while expressing “other” cultural identities.
This program will be presented live via Zoom webinar. The link to the webinar will be sent to registrants prior to the event. Recordings will be available to registrants for a period of two weeks after each session.
The cost for the webinar is $60 ($50 for members), $85 for new members* (*includes membership) and $45 for students. Register online at www.historic-deerfield.org.
Speakers and Topics:
“Someone Knows My Name: A Framework for Researching the Lives and Experiences of Under-represented Craftspeople in Early America,”
Dr. Tiffany Momon, Assistant Professor of History, University of the South, and founder, Black Craftspeople Digital Archive
Panel 1: The Fabric of Enslaved Labor
“From Home Spun to Household Industry: Textiles in the Archives of the William Floyd Estate on Long Island,” Dr. Jennifer L. Anderson, Stony Brook University (SUNY)
“‘Rachel made Moses a scarlet waistcoat’: The Contributions of Enslaved Women to Clothing Production at Rose Hill Plantation, 1814-1845,” Dr. Ann Buermann Wass, Independent Researcher
Panel 2: Fashioning an Appearance as Negotiation and Self-Expression
“Luxury Slaves, Negro Governors, and Jim Crow: Black Dandy Beginnings,” Dr. Monica L. Miller, Professor of Africana Studies and English, Barnard College, Columbia University
“‘A boy’s shirt for Waghrosra’s wife’s son’: the global history of an early American Indigenous trade garment.” Dr. Laura Johnson, Linda Eaton Associate Curator of Textiles, Winterthur Museum, Gardens, & Library, and Affiliated Assistant Professor, University of Delaware
Panel 3: Following the Threads of Dressmaking and Tailoring
“‘Dresses set beautiful’: Black Craftswomen in the Nineteenth-Century Connecticut Valley,” Dr. Marla R. Miller, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
“Behind the Seams: Enslaved Labor in the 1770s Boston Tailoring Trade,”
David E. Lazaro, Curator of Textiles, Historic Deerfield