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 Technical Community College, STEM Week
October 19, 2020 - October 23, 2020
The theme for the third annual statewide STEM Week is “See Yourself in STEM,” with a particular focus on the power of mentoring. The initiative represents an opportunity to learn about interesting and exciting real-world applications of STEM.
The following are events that will be held live through Zoom video conferencing. For more information and to register, visit stcc.edu/stem-week.
- Monday, Oct. 19, 11 a.m.-noon, “Farming While Black: Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty:” Naima Penniman, program director of Soul Fire Farm, will give a talk about the importance and value of food production. The presentation will explore racism in food distribution, access, and other related topics. etc. This is a collaborative event with HSI STEM, the Officer of Multicultural Affairs, the School of STEM, and the Urban Studies program.
- Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2 p.m.-3 p.m., “Know Where Your Food Comes From:” Speakers include Ibrahim Ali, co-director of Gardening the Community; Dr. Raja Staggers, assistant professor of sociology; Jose Lopez-Figueroa, director of Center for Access Services (CAS). The event features a panel discussion on the importance of food security, the prevalence of food deserts in our inner cities, the need to know where your food comes from, food access within the greater Springfield community. This is a collaborative event with HSI STEM, Multicultural Affairs, the School of STEM, and the Urban Studies program
- Wednesday, Oct. 21, 10 a.m.-noon, “Virtual STEM Careers Symposium:” Hosted by the STEM Starter Academy at STCC, this event features UMass professors and STEM industry leaders who will participate in an interactive symposium on STEM pathways and careers.
- Friday, Oct. 23, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Dell Technologies webinar: Dell Technologies will host a webinar about employees’ experience with the company
STEM Week will also feature recorded presentations featuring faculty in specific STEM programs. The following are planned:
- Physics: “The Science of Sports and the Engineering Behind Sports Equipment”
- Engineering: “Computer Application in Engineering”
- Optics and Photonics: “What is Optics & Photonics?”
- Math: “The Mathematics Behind Bin Packing”
- Manufacturing: “Extreme Precision: Splitting Hairs on a CNC Machine and Measuring Them in the Metrology Lab” and a video created in the Governors America Corp., an electronics manufacturer in Agawam
- Robotics: A demonstration of a Fanuc robot functioning as a pill sorter with Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC).
- Computers/IT: “What is Computer Systems Engineering Technology?
While there is a concentration of events planned for STEM Week, STCC offers STEM-themed discussion and presentation for students and the public throughout the year. In early October, STCC STEM Starter Academy joined students and researchers from UMass Amherst, Florida International University, and other universities and organizations from across the globe as part of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) Global Symposium on Commons Without Borders: Global Multiscale Ecosystem Frameworks. A playlist of the symposium’s presentations is available on STCC’s YouTube channel.
STEM Week 2020 is organized by the Executive Office of Education and the STEM Advisory Council in partnership with the state’s 9 Regional STEM Networks. It is a statewide effort to boost the interest, awareness and ability for all learners to envision themselves in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and employment opportunities.