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

Springfield Thunderbirds

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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Norman Rockwell Museum, Imagining Freedom Series

October 23, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

Join illustrators, authors, and scholars for this series of programs in conversation about historical and contemporary notions of freedom, and the role of imagery to shape public perception, decision-making, and cultural narratives. Each event will explore the aspirational ideals of Freedom from Want, Freedom of Worship, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom from Fear that Americans continue to work toward within the framework of democracy.

Exploring the Four Freedoms
Friday, October 23 • 7 p.m. on Zoom
Join three Imagining Freedom catalogue authors – outstanding scholars who will bring little known aspects of the Four Freedoms and Rockwell’s famed paintings into view. What did these stand for in their time? How did they shape perception and generate support for the war effort? Who were they speaking to and who was left out? What do they mean to us today?
Commentators include:
Allida Black, Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Millner Center/UVA and historian and advisor to Hillary Clinton; D.B. Dowd, Professor of Art and American Culture Studies, Washington University in St. Louis; James McCabe, Chief Collections Manager, The Henry Ford Museum.

Freedom from Want: Food Security and Environmental Health
Friday, November 13 • 7 p.m. on Zoom
How can society meet the needs of all Americans for food sustainability, shelter, and global health? Join a conversation with noted scholars and artists to explore the history of need in our nation and new strategies that are being developed to meet the challenges.

Freedom of Worship in a Pluralistic Society
Friday, December 11 • 7 p.m. on Zoom
Conscience is the individual’s most sacred right. How do multiple belief systems benefit a pluralistic society and why should freedom of religion be a fundamental human right? Join religious leaders from diverse faith traditions in a conversation about Freedom of Worship and its role in sustaining our democracy.

Freedom v. Fear and Freedom of Speech: A Century of Illustration
Friday and Saturday, January 15 and 16
A Symposium Presented by the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies and D.B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library at Washington University in St. Louis

Join us for this series of conversations with illustrators, authors, and scholars who will share historical and contemporary notions of freedom from fear, freedom of speech, and the role of illustration as a force in shaping public perception. Does published imagery affect decision-making, public policy, and cultural understanding? Participate in all or some of these compelling conversations.

Freedom v. Fear: A History of Anti-Fascist Art: A Conversation with Steven Heller
Friday, January 15 • 7 p.m. on Zoom
Author and illustration and design historian Steven Heller will explore how graphic symbols through time endure and influence life—for good and evil—for generations. A nuanced examination of the most powerful symbol was examined in his recent book, The Swastika and Symbols of Hate. Steven Heller has written extensively on and design/illustration. For thirty-three years he was art director at The New York Times, originally on the OpEd Page and for many years with the New York Times Book Review. Currently, he is co-chair of the MFA Designer as Author Department and writes the Visuals column for the New York Times Book Review. He also writes The Daily Heller for Print magazine.

Freedom of Speech & Artistic Expression
Saturday, January 16 • 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Zoom
Throughout history, illustrators and cartoonists have responded to the world’s challenges and upheavals with brilliance and ferocity. Navigating the technical and distributive realities of their times, artists create potent visual symbols and narratives that establish new visual metaphors and repurpose old ones, sometimes borrowing conventions from other media.

Working in tandem, as well as in concert with important individuals, the Norman Rockwell Museum and Washington University Libraries propose a two-day online event to accompany a significant digital exhibition, planned to occur on October 23 and 24, ten days before the election of 2020.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day | Considering Freedom’s Legacy
Monday, January 18 • 1 p.m. on Zoom
Franklin D. Roosevelt made clear that the Four Freedoms were “no vision of a distant millennium.” Their odyssey did not end with FDR, nor with Rockwell. Eleanor Roosevelt, who championed the late president’s legacy, ceaselessly touted the Four Freedoms as an appropriate summation of democracy and human rights. Enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Four Freedoms are a testament that arose from the ashes of war to affirm the precious nature of freedom everywhere in the world; these aspirational ideals have continued to play a prominent role in national and international thought.

Reservations for interactive Zoom sessions with live Q&A are required and can be reserved here.
Virtual programs are FREE for NRM Members; $10 for live Zoom and Q&A with the speakers; or free to stream on the Museum’s YouTube channel. Complimentary participation passes for schools and educators are available; see website for details.



October 23, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT


Norman Rockwell Museum
9 Route 183 (Glendale Ave)
Stockbridge, MA 01262
+ Google Map
(413) 298-4100