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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Yiddish Book Center, Online

July 1 - July 9

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

Lisa Newman interviews LA Times film critic and former sportswriter Kenneth Turan about Aviva Kempner’s award-winning 1998 documentary on Hank Greenberg. Not unlike Jackie Robinson, Greenberg overcame pervasive prejudice to become one of the greatest ball players of all time. In 1934, when his two home runs helped the Tigers clinch the pennant, the Detroit Free Press ran a Hebrew headline in his honor, and Jews everywhere kvelled. “Even people like my father,” Kenny recalls, “who couldn’t tell the difference between baseball and football, they knew who Hank Greenberg was.”

Listen to the podcast

Articles, podcast interviews, and short films about Yiddish and modern Jewish literature and culture; Yiddish works in translation; news from the Yiddish Book Center; Yiddish language learning tools; and our Great Jewish Books Book Club.

Over the past forty years, the Yiddish Book Center has rescued over a million Yiddish books, providing a window onto a thousand years of Jewish history that was almost lost, and launched a wide range of innovative bibliographic, educational, and cultural programs to share these treasures with the world. This month, in honor of the fortieth anniversary of the Yiddish Book Center in 2020, we’re featuring items that speak to our history, accomplishments, and dreams for the future.

Yiddish Literature

Profiles and essays about Yiddish writers and literature, drawn from our collections and publications

Yiddish in Translation

Read new translations of Yiddish literature, learn about the Yiddish Book Center’s translation initiative, and White Goat Press.

The Shmooze

The Yiddish Book Center’s podcasts include conversations with Jewish culture makers, plus news and stories related to Yiddish language, literature, and culture.

Recordings of the Yiddish Book Center’s Virtual Public Programs

These live stream video events were presented as virtual online programs and recorded. Offered weekly, these live online public programs will be recorded and posted here following the program.

The Yiddish Book Center’s Decade of Discovery

A new initiative of the Yiddish Book Center’s designed to foster a deeper understanding of Yiddish and modern Jewish culture.

Our English-language magazine carries on the tradition of the original <em>pakn tregers</em>, who traveled from shtetl to shtetl in Eastern Europe bringing books and news of the outside world.

Pakn Treger

Our English-language magazine carries on the tradition of the original pakn tregers, who traveled from shtetl to shtetl in Eastern Europe bringing books and news of the outside world.

From the Vault

Unexpected finds from our collections and the stories behind them.

Bronx Bohemians

A blog about the salon of Yiddish poet Bertha Kling.


Each month, the Yiddish Book Center asks a member of our staff or a special friend to select favorite stories, books, interviews, or articles from our online collections.

The Wexler Oral History Project Presents…

Short films that tell personal stories about Yiddish culture, from the Wexler Oral History Project

Heft (Notebook)

Articles, essays, and multimedia features about Yiddish and modern Jewish culture

Learn the Yiddish Alphabet

Exercises to help you learn the alef-beys—the Yiddish alphabet—from alef to sof

Heymarbet (Homework)

Our monthly worksheet will help you brush up on your Yiddish.

Celebrating 40 Years of the Yiddish Book Center

Today, although our building is closed, the Center itself remains open. Despite facing unprecedented challenges, we are forging a new path forward thanks to the ingenuity of our staff, who are finding ways to accomplish more with less while working remotely.

After working relentlessly for forty years to build this organization, there’s no way we’re going to back down now. There’s also no way, however, that we can get through this alone.

Clearly this is no ordinary appeal. We’ve made painful budget cuts already, and we’re preparing for worse still to come, including scaling back programs and, if necessary, restructuring our staff. It won’t be easy—it will, in fact, be heartrending. But even after all that, we will still need to raise $400,000 in order to stabilize our losses by the end of the current fiscal year, so that when the crisis finally does end we’ll be strong enough to rebuild.

Your support at this critical moment is essential—so much so that a board member, Ira Wagner, and his wife Marcia have made a $200,000 challenge. Whatever you give, they will match it, dollar for dollar.

If you have donated already, thank you; we have already reached half of our match and are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support during this difficult time. If you haven’t already donated, please, won’t you help us meet the match by sending your most generous, tax-deductible contribution today, when we need it most? 

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