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.
Holyoke Community College, Black History Month
An event every week that begins at 12:00 am on Tuesday and Wednesday, repeating until February 23, 2021
Holyoke Community College is celebrating Black History Month this Feb. with a series of weekly online events that includes conversations about the 400-year span of African-American history, voting rights, and health issues such as COVID-19 and their disproportionate impact on communities of color.
All events will be held virtually and advanced registration is required.
Feb. 2, 2021
7 – 8:30 p.m.
Historically Speaking: Four Hundred Souls – A Conversation With Ibram Kendi & Keisha N. Blain
Renowned scholars Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, and Keisha N. Blain, author of Set the World on Fire, have assembled 90 extraordinary writers to document the four-hundred-year journey of African Americans from 1619 to the present. Entitled Four Hundred Souls, each contributor writes about a five-year period of 400 years of American history using essays, short stories, personal vignettes, and fiery polemics. They approach history from various perspectives: through the eyes of towering historical icons, the untold stories of ordinary people, as well as landmarks, laws, and artifacts. An extraordinary, moderated discussion featuring editors Kendi and Blain will focus on historic eras such as Slavery, Reconstruction, and Segregation, and their sustained impact on the United States.
Contributors Herb Boyd, City University of New York, Kali Nicole, Gross, Emory University, Peniel Joseph, University of Texas, and Annette Gordon Reed, Harvard University will join Prof. Kendi and Prof. Blain in a discussion about the impact of the African American community on social justice trajectory of American History. Mary N. Elliot, NMAAHC curator will moderate.
Feb. 10, 2021
The Legacy of Poor Health: Communities of Color From 1619 to COVID
HCC anthropology professor Vanessa Martinez, Ph.D., will share important data regarding the legacy of American racism and how it amplifies the challenges of living during COVID-19, especially for communities of color. By using a historical anti-racist perspective and health equity lens, she will share some concrete ways we can improve the lives of our most vulnerable communities.
Feb. 17, 2021
Watch & Discuss: Fannie Lou Hamer: Voting Rights Activist
Voting rights activist and civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer, born in 1917 in Montgomery County, Mississippi, was the granddaughter of a slave and the youngest of 20 children. Raised by hardworking parents who were sharecroppers, she was no stranger to poverty or hardship. An inspirational speaker and writer, she used her powerful voice to raise the cause of equality and freedom for all blacks in America and became a defining force in the fight against social injustice during the early years of the civil rights movement.
In this rare documentary, her struggles and triumphs are expressed through Hamer’s own words as well as those of friends and colleagues. While attending the 1964 Democratic National Convention, Fannie Lou Hamer posed the defining question: “Is this America? The land of the free and the home of the brave? Where we have to sleep with our telephone off the hook, because our lives be threatened daily because we want to live in peace as human beings in America?” She will be remembered for winning the right to vote for Black Americans and exposing America’s poverty by giving a voice to those in need. This program is an inspiration to anyone who has ever faced oppression and acts as a powerful reminder of what one individual is capable of achieving in the face of adversity.
HCC history professor Maura Henry, Ph.D., will lead a discussion following the viewing.
Check back soon for registration information.
Feb. 23, 2021
Community Read Discussion Led by Gaylord Saulsberry
All members of the HCC community are invited to read the book One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson as part of a campus community read. Copies of the book are available for free as an ebook through the HCC Library. HCC history professor Gaylord Saulsberry, Ed.D., will be leading a community discussion on the history of voting rights and Carol Anderson’s book.