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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Springfield Museums, à la Carte Lectures

April 1 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

The popular Museums à la Carte lectures take place Thursdays at 12:15 p.m. in the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts.  This month’s lectures include:

May 7: Tyrus (documentary film)

His art inspired Bambi. His art will inspire you. Tyrus is Pamela Tom’s tour-de-force documentary about 105-year old Guangzhou-born, Los Angeles based visual artist, Tyrus Wong and his breathtaking scope of work across multiple artistic mediums and his personal and professional journey navigating racial bigotry in 20th century America. Tom’s film makes meticulous use of Tyrus Wong’s exquisite art, archival footage, illuminating interviews and commentary from Wong himself to document how his unique style, melding Chinese calligraphic and landscape influences with contemporary Western art, helped the Disney animated film, Bambi (1942) specifically, and early Hollywood in general establish their signature visual styles. The film makes a critical contribution to the documentary tradition and to American society in correcting a historical wrong by spotlighting this seminal, but heretofore under-credited figure.

May 14*: Reimagining Rome: Piranesi’s Vision and Legacy: Maggie North, Acting Curator of Art, Springfield Museums

The artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) spent his career studying, illustrating, and imagining the Eternal City of Rome. His dramatic depictions of monuments and ruins were so impressive that Grand Tourists who visited the city after seeing them were sometimes disappointed by the reality they found. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Fantastic Ruins: Etchings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, this lecture will explore Piranesi’s vision, world, and legacy.

May 21: The JFK Assassination: Exploring the Why: James M. Bates, Major Gift’s Officer, Springfield College

This will refer to the Assassination, as an end, to what transpired during the Kennedy Presidency. We will explore the myriad of conflicts this President was presented with, his handling of the same and how he “polarized” his Presidency, which resulted in his assassination, if it was a conspiracy.

May 28*: Suffragettes in Corselettes: The evolution of underwear and our 19th amendment: Grounded Goodwife, Ehris Urban, author, herbalist, holistic nutritionist, AND Velya Jancz-Urban, author, teacher, expert on “herstory unsanitized”

A Centennial Tribute to the Suffragettes. For centuries, women have allowed themselves to be squeezed, twisted, and squished to conform to desired shapes. The history of underwear reveals a lot about women’s changing roles in society—how we perceive ourselves, and how we’re viewed by others. The 1910s saw an end to the hourglass figure with a tiny waist – women were finally able to breathe and move more freely. Did the demise of tightlacing help women gain the right to vote in 1920? Underwear matters.

This presentation is hands-on and participatory. Tight corseting exerted 22 pounds of pressure on internal organs—find out what that actually feels like! Experience the difficulty of completing everyday tasks while wearing a corset. Have you ever relay-raced in a hobble skirt?!

June 4: Process and Pleasure, Paintings by Ken Scaglia: Presented by Ken Scaglia, Assistant Professor of Art at Western Connecticut State University and member of the International Guild of Realism

The artist discusses his process for creating photorealistic paintings, relying on some traditional methods as well as his personal preferences.

June 11: Looking Things Over: Zora Neale Hurston: Presented by Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti, dramatist, historian, and storyteller, Woventales Productions LLC

A central figure in the Harlem Renaissance, Zora Neale Hurston was a woman of enormous intelligence and talent. An outstanding novelist, journalist, folklorist, and anthropologist, Hurston believed in the beauty of black expressions and traditions. Her books Mules and Men and Their Eyes Were Watching God celebrate African American culture.

Although her work was praised by many, some attacked it, focusing on Hurston’s lifestyle and personality—her audaciousness, independence, and arrogance.

June 18: Edith Wharton’s Lenox: Presented by Cornelia Brooke Gilder, Berkshire historian and author

In 1900 Edith Wharton burst into the settled summer colony of Lenox, long-frequented by her husband’s gentle, conservative family. Still in her thirties and merely an aspiring novelist, she was already a ferocious aesthete and intellect. Amidst the shingled country houses of the Berkshires, she and Teddy planned a defiantly classical villa. There at The Mount she became a bestselling novelist with The House of Mirth in 1905.

As a hostess, designer, gardener and writer, Edith Wharton set high standards that delighted many—including Ambassador Joseph Choate, and sculptor Daniel Chester French—but she could also alienate potent figures like Emily Vanderbilt Sloane and Georgiana Welles Sargent with her perceptive and sometimes tactless pen.

Admission is $4 ($2 for members of the Springfield Museums); visitors are invited to bring a bag lunch (cookies and coffee are provided by Big Y).

All lectures marked with an asterisk * are followed by a members-only continuing conversation led by a Museums docent or curator.

Free onsite parking is available. For more information about Museums à la Carte, call 413.263.6800, ext. 488.

Details

Date:
April 1
Time:
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Venue

Springfield Museums
21 Edwards Street
Springfield, MA 01103
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Phone:
(413) 263-6800
Website:
www.springfieldmuseums.org