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.
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Springfield Museums, Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!
It’s fun to have fun and we’ll show you how at the Springfield Museums Celebration of the 117th Birthday of Dr. Seuss. Springfield native Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss was born March 2, 1904.
The Springfield Museums present Hats Off to Dr. Seuss! A month-long celebration of Springfield-native Theodor Seuss Geisel, the author who revolutionized learning to read by making it fun!
Beep and Greet, Saturday, March 6, from 1-5 pm
From the social distance of your car, wave to your favorite Seussian characters—The Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, and the Grinch: We hope everyone will wear a funny hat to wave at the Cat in the Hat as they say hello! The Beep and Greet will take place in the parking lot adjacent to the Welcome Center. All cars must be in line by 4:15.
Free and open to the public
Capping off the celebration is “31 Books for 31 Days: Hats Off to Reading Book Giveaway.” In order to be included in this random-drawing giveaway, visitors must share a message to the Museums about the book they read that day and/or their favorite Dr. Seuss Book. They can enter in person by dropping their entry into the Book Giveaway box or via social media (tag @SpringfieldMuseums) for daily random drawings. This reading celebration is presented along with the Springfield Library’s Reading Success by Grade 4 program. One book per family.
We’re celebrating the children’s author and Springfield native who revolutionized learning to read by making it fun!
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Please note that while the birthday activities will be open to all visitors, timed tickets for the Dr. Seuss Museum will sell out fast–order advance tickets today!
Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, wanted to engage children in reading that was exciting and fun, not like the old Dick and Jane primers most teachers in the 1950s used to teach reading to children. In order to create a new and better early reader, Geisel considered a list of words for beginning readers. After some contemplation, he decided to begin his story with the first two words that rhymed: “cat” and “hat.” The rest is history. Although The Cat in the Hat (1957) didn’t at first find favor with teachers—the cat was too mischievous, too zany—children loved it. Some said the book sold by “playground word of mouth” as children told other children how wonderful the page-turner was. In other words, Dr. Seuss revolutionized learning to read by making it FUN!
The Cat in the Hat also found acclaim with book reviewers. In 1957 New York Times writer Ellen Lewis Buell was impressed by the simple vocabulary and lively illustrations. “Beginning readers and parents who have been helping them through the dreary activities of Dick and Jane and other primer characters are due for a happy surprise,” she wrote.
The Cat in the Hat sold more than a million copies by its third year of publication and remains to this day among the top sellers for children’s books. Many of Dr. Seuss’s books remain on best seller lists, notably Green Eggs and Ham (1960); One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (1960); Dr.Seuss’s ABC (1963); and Oh, the Places You’ll Go! ( 1990).