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.
Old Sturbridge Village, Craft Weekend
September 19, 2020 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm EDT
An event every day that begins at 9:30 am, repeating until September 20, 2020
At this celebration of artisans, the Village will showcase New England crafts and trades from the early 19th century. The Village’s craftspeople will showcase their skills by crafting more complicated or unique items that are not usually displayed at the Village. From textile work to woodworking, experience “handmade” from the past.
All of the artisans have a passion for the traditional elements of their trade and for bridging techniques between the past and the present as well as sharing their talents with visitors. This weekend will give guests the opportunity to take a step back from their busy lives to focus on the importance of these crafts and their relation to modern life. Visitors can observe how much effort and time goes into these hand-made pieces, and we hope that learning about these crafts will encourage them to think in innovative and creative ways.
New to this years’ event is our Exhibition of Craft, which invites the public to enter objects that they have crafted to be displayed alongside those of other visitors and Village staff. This event is about bringing together the entire craft community touched by our museum and will not be judged.
The Village’s potters will also fire the 15,000 brick kiln outside the Pottery Shop. The 24-foot tall kiln must be heated to 1,900 degrees Fahrenheit during firing, which requires three cords of wood stoked over 24 hours. When it is fully loaded, the kiln can hold 800 pieces stacked 10 feet high! It certainly is a sight to see.
The reproduction kiln at Old Sturbridge Village was built in 1979, based on what OSV researchers knew about Hervey Brooks’ kiln. Archeology at the original site of the Brooks’ Pottery Shop and kiln told us the kiln’s footprint and how big the base was, but not how tall it was. The Village-based the height of the reproduction kiln on pictures of similar kilns from the time period and based on how much pottery the kiln had to be able to hold based on Brooks’ record books. So, in the early years, the kiln was taller than it currently is. After using the reproduction kiln for more than a decade, Village potters realized that the chimney did not have to be as high as it was, and would probably work better with a lower chimney. The chimney was altered in the early 1990s. Today, it stands 24 feet tall and 4-brick thick walls contains approximately 15,000 bricks.
All visitors and members will be required to purchase and/or reserve their tickets online to manage capacity in accordance with Massachusetts reopening guidelines. Available tickets will be released weekly on each Wednesday prior and arrival time blocks must be chosen. Purchase or reserve your tickets and see our current policies here.
We are extending our Kids Free promotion to help parents and grandparents provide an outside history experience for their kids and grandkids, especially since so many children are attending school remotely for the foreseeable future. Up to three kids 17 and younger are admitted FREE when accompanied by an adult paying full admission now through November 28, 2020, thanks to our generous sponsor Country Bank!
Virtual Village: Repairing Chains in the Moses Wilder Blacksmith Shop
Some of the most common jobs for blacksmiths to do in early 19th-century rural New England included shoeing horses and oxen and repairing farm and cooking tools and mill parts. In this short video, watch our Coordinator of Historic Trades repair a chain that we use on the farm!
We want to thank you for your support. Old Sturbridge Village relies on donations big and small to deliver the best experiences and programming to our community both in-person and online, as well as to preserve our historic buildings and collections. We hope you will consider a donation today. Give online here.