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.
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Old Sturbridge Village, Textile Weekend
August 15 - August 16
Have you ever wondered what was involved in making and maintaining all the clothing for a family in the 1830s? If you have, please join us at Old Sturbridge Village on August 15 & 16, 2020 for our annual Textile Weekend, Clothing a Family. Visit the Asa Knight store to discover what kind of fabrics, trims, and sewing supplies were available at a country store. See how many pieces of clothing for family members were sewn at home. Learn about the tailors, dressmakers, and bonnet makers whose expertise helped to make specialized pieces of clothing. Find out how much work it took to properly mend and launder the clothing for a family each week. Explore how wool was processed, dyed, and knitted into warm winter clothing. Learn about the extensive home-based industries that produced shoes and straw hats & bonnets for New England and beyond. See original advice books of the 1830s, from the Old Sturbridge Village Collection, which instruct about clothing construction, knitting, netting, and crochet.
“Pinafores and saccarines are worn chiefly by children of both sexes, and of every age, also by house-maids, while making beds, or persons engaged in particularly dusty or dirty employments.” From The Workwoman’s Guide (1838) by Sarah Josepha Hale, Page 130.
The pinafore from the Old Sturbridge Village Museum Collection is most likely from the mid 19th century and is very similar in style to the “Waste-not Pinafore” pattern from The Workwoman’s Guide by Sarah Josepha Hale. It is made out of cotton fabric with a pink and cream all over vine pattern.
Costumed historians will be making a “Waste-not Pinafore” during Textile Weekend. You can also download the pattern here.
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.
In case you missed the announcement last week, we are extending our Kids Free promotion through Labor Day! That means that up to 3 kids are admitted for FREE per adult paying full price (or adult member) now through September 7, 2020!
On any given day during our normal hours of operation (Wednesday – Sunday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm), visitors can watch historical demonstrations like tin work, wool processing, and woodworking outside, take a horse-drawn ride, see 400+ varieties of heirloom plants, meet our new team of oxen-in-training Red and Don, and more. You may also see some preliminary work being done for our new Cabinetmaking Shop!
Has the Village inspired any of your craft projects recently (such as sewing, woodwork, watercolor, knitting, metalwork, and more), you may also be interested in entering our new Exhibition of Craft! Learn More about the Exhibition of Craft and enter your project here.
Extend Your Stay!
The Reeder Family Lodges, owned by and located adjacent to Old Sturbridge Village, feature outdoor entrances – so your contact with other guests will be minimal! Every stay also supports the mission of Old Sturbridge Village.
Learn more and book your stay here.
In August, we’re also offering a members-only room rate special! Members can book a room for just $39 Sunday-Thursday or $49 Friday-Saturday! This offer is valid in August 2020 only. Call 508-347-5056 with your member ID number at the ready to take advantage of this deal!