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.
- This event has passed.
The Zoo in Forest Park, Brew at The Zoo
August 17, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT
Join us Aug. 17, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. for our 3rd annual Brew At The Zoo! This unique, 21+ event will feature tastings from amazing local breweries, live music, games, and interactions with The Zoo’s animal inhabitants.
This year’s event will feature signature craft beer tastings from a dozen local professional brewers, including Fort Hill Brewery, Vanished Valley Brewing Co., Iron Duke Brewing, Two Weeks’ Notice Brewing Co., Drunken Rabbit Brewing, White Lion Brewing Company, Abandoned Building Brewery, Rustic Brewing Company, Loophole Brewing Services and Sam Adams Boston Brewery.
For the first time, Brew at the Zoo will also feature a home brew competition, with beer tastings from One Way Brewing, Catseyesoup Brewing, Clear Headed Brewing, Down to Earth Brewing, Coalescent Brewing Co., Beech Hill Brewing, Stockade Brewing, Strongman Brewing Company, Drawing Board Brewing Company, and Process Brewing Project.
Live music will be provided by Jonny Taylor Music. Four food trucks will be on hand from Cantina Curbside Grill, Murphy’s Pub, North Elm Butcher Block, and Gran-Val Scoop.
The Zoo will be closed to the general public on Aug. 17 as we welcome 10 professional and 10 home brewers to this unique fundraiser.
Featured breweries include:
Fort Hill Brewery – Easthampton, MA
Vanished Valley Brewing – Ludlow, MA
Iron Duke Brewing – Ludlow, MA
Two Weeks Notice Brewing Co. – West Springfield, MA
Drunken Rabbit Brewing – South Hadley, MA
White Lion Brewing – Springfield, MA
Abandoned Building Brewery – Easthampton, MA
Loophole Brewing – Holyoke, MA
Rustic Brewing Company – Indian Orchard, MA
Sam Adams – Boston, MA
The Home Brew Competition features:
OneWay Brewing – Longmeadow, MA
Stockade Brewing – Southwick, MA
Catseyesoup Brewing – Northampton, MA
Clear Headed Brewing – Wilbraham, MA
Beech Hill Brewery – Granville, MA
Coalescent Brewing Co. – Enfield, CT
Down to Earth Brewing Co. – Suffield, CT
Strongman Brewing Company – Enfield, CT
Drawing Board Brewing Company – Belchertown, MA
Process Brewing Project – Agawam, MA
You can strap on the old feed bag, visiting one (or all) of the four food trucks scheduled to attend: Cantina Curbside Grill, Murphy’s Pub, North Elm Butcher Block and Gran-Val Scoop. Live entertainment provided by Jonny Taylor.
Please note this is a 21+ event. IDs will be checked at the door. No one under 21 will be permitted inside The Zoo on Aug. 17.
To purchase your tickets, click here. VIP tickets are $50. General admission is $40, and Designated Driver tickets are $20. Gates open for VIPs at 12 p.m. General admission begins at 1 p.m. If available, general admission tickets will be $45 at the door. For more information, contact Brooke Johnson at [email protected] or 413-733-2251 ext. 304.
All funds raised from Brew at the Zoo support the 180 animals that call The Zoo in Forest Park their home, 365 days a year. More than 90% of The zoo’s animals are elderly, disabled, injured or otherwise deemed non-releasable. Located on 4.5 acres inside Springfield’s Forest Park, The Zoo is an independent nonprofit focused on education, conservation and rehabilitation.