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 Thunderbirds

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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Yiddish Book Center, Online

November 23 - December 1

“Ritz with a Shvitz”

By Shulamith Berger and Jai Zion
From Pakn Treger #59 (2009)

In 1926, 20,000 people gathered on the corner of Chrystie and Delancey Streets for the grand opening of Libby’s Hotel and Baths. Billed as New York’s first and only all-Jewish luxury hotel, the opulent, twelve-story building was meant to rival the grand hotels of Europe. Among other features it boasted a glamorous lobby and lounges, an ornate swimming pool, an epic Turkish-Russian shvits (steam bath), two kosher restaurants, and its own Yiddish radio show. For three years Libby’s “brimmed with energy and activity,” until predatory lenders foreclosed and the building was demolished.

Read the story of Libby’s Hotel

“Kibbitzing in the Cafés of the New World”

With Shachar M. Pinsker
A Live, Virtual Program Recorded September 17, 2020

Literary scholar and cultural historian Shachar Pinsker offers a multimedia presentation on the place of coffeehouses in the creation of modern Jewish culture from the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. Drawing from his recent book, A Rich Brew: How Cafés Created Modern Jewish Culture, he describes the role of coffeehouses in a time of migration and urbanization and explains why, from Odessa, Warsaw, Vienna, and Berlin to New York and Tel Aviv, Jews became their most devoted habitués.

Watch the program

“Vrastata Trasmata!”

A Story by Jonah Rosenfeld, Translated by Rachel Mines
From the 2020 Pakn Treger Digital Translation Issue

According to translator Rachel Mines, “’Vrastata Trasmata!‘ is typical of Rosenfeld’s writings. It features a main character who struggles with unexpressed feelings of alienation, having just arrived in New York as a virtually friendless immigrant from a European shtetl. The author foregrounds the frightening sense of dislocation many such newcomers experience on first entering a new environment with its unfamiliar lifestyles, social and class structures, landscape, and language. This story, however, is unlike many of Rosenfeld’s works in that the narrator’s observations of his new country and his feud with his landsman—someone from the same shtetl in the Old Country—do not play out as tragedy. Although Rosenfeld raises questions about displacement and belonging, the story is essentially comic, highlighting the breadth of the writer’s talents—not only as a tragedian and explorer of the dark side of human nature, but also as an author sensitive to the nuances and possibilities of humor.”

Read the story

Do you know any college students or recent graduates who have studied Yiddish? Or any who should? If so, we hope you will tell them about the Yiddish Book Center’s Steiner Summer Yiddish Program and Fellowship Program for recent graduates.

Now in its fourth decade, the Steiner Summer Yiddish Program offers college students and recent graduates, ages 18-26, an opportunity to take a full year of Yiddish-language courses (worth up to six college credits) in seven weeks, tuition-free, at the Yiddish Book Center. Beginner and intermediate level students deepen their language skills, gain substantive knowledge of Central and Eastern European Jewish history and culture, and build a community of yidishkayt in a supportive residential setting. Intermediate students also have the opportunity to participate in paid internships and gain professional experience working on Yiddish-based projects at the Center.

The 2021 Steiner Summer Yiddish Program runs May 30 to July 16, 2021. Learn more and apply by February 7.

Our Fellowship Program is for recent college graduates with strong academic backgrounds, at least a working knowledge of Yiddish language, and a commitment to learning more. Fellows spend a year as full-time staff members, learning valuable professional skills and contributing to the Center’s major projects: bibliography and digital collections, communications and publication, educational programs, exhibit planning, translation, and Yiddish education. Each fellow receives a stipend of $32,000 plus health insurance.

We are now accepting applications for the 2021-22 Fellowship Program, which runs from September 2021 to August 2022. Learn more and apply by January 4.


November 23
December 1


Yiddish Book Center
1021 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
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(413) 256.4900