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, 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.
Norman Rockwell Museum, OPEN!
July 28 - August 9
Wake up! Summer is in full swing and the season isn’t complete without a visit to the Museum. Looking for the perfect lunch spot with manicured grounds and outdoor sculpture to stroll? The Runaway Cafe on the Museum terrace is open for everyone, and you don’t even need to pay Museum admission.
We’re excited to welcome you back with two new timely exhibitions, Liza Donnelly: Comic Relief,and Rose O’Neill: Artist and Suffragette featuring a selection of recent acquisitions to the Museum’s extensive illustration collection. In addition, due to tremendous popular response, the Norman Rockwell Virtual Museum will continue engaging audiences everywhere with new online content, videos, audio tours in multiple languages, and interactive programs added weekly.
Liza Donnelly: Comic Relief features her work as an accomplished cartoonist, visual journalist, and writer, and highlights her belief that humor can open conversations and open doors to new ways of seeing, connecting us in ways that words alone cannot. Known for her illustrations in The New Yorker, Forbes, The New York Times, and other publications, Donnelly has created humorous, buoyant drawings that reflect upon important societal concerns while providing much needed comic relief in anxious times. Sharing visual commentary in real time through daily live digital drawing sessions, Donnelly also captures compelling moments as they unfold in our world.
Rose O’Neill: Artist and Suffragette presents a rare and exceptional collection of original artwork from the Museum’s growing illustration collection, and commemorates the centennial of the 19th Amendment (August 18), ensuring women’s right to vote. At a poignant moment during the outpouring of support for civil rights, this exhibition illustrates the history of past civil injustice. One of America’s most noted female illustrators during the early twentieth-century, O’Neill became involved with the women’s suffrage movement marching in parades, giving speeches, and illustrating posters. Her most popular creation, “The Kewpies,” drawn characters inspired by Cupid, were beloved by the public and recreated as widely-sold Kewpie Dolls. O’Neill’s child-like, winged, elfish creatures “whose one idea is to teach people to be merry and kind at the same time,” in her words, demonstrate her belief in the importance of compassion.
In conjunction with these new illustration exhibitions, a special installation will examine Rockwell’s powerful imagery for Look magazine, created in support of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s, with a focus on his 1965 Murder in Mississippi. Additional themed galleries highlight other aspects of the artist’s work, including Norman Rockwell and the Twentieth-Century Woman which takes a lively look at Rockwell’s approach to painting women and girls. Norman Rockwell: Outdoors shows comforting scenes of Americans enjoying the outdoors. Additionally, Americans at Work depicts working Americans across a broad range of employment sectors and the artist’s process. Rockwell’s Civil Rights imagery is featured in an online exhibition and expanded curriculum on the Virtual Museum available here.
The Museum now requires the purchase of timed-tickets in advance of your arrival. Time segments are available every 30 minutes during our hours of operation.