We have accomplished a lot over the last few weeks, but we have more to come!  This includes tonight's Public Safety Night at Bright Nights, Court Square Holiday Lighting on Friday and the Free Holiday Concert by the 215th Army Band on Sunday.

Get all the details here and on the new brightnights.org created by Wild Apple Design and spiritofspringfield.org.

Happy Holidays!

Judy Matt 
Tonight Bright Nights Public Safety Night

On December 2, Bright Nights entrance will be flanked with American Flags as Springfield Fire Commissioner Joseph Conant, Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri, and Brigadier General Paul Smith (retired), Massachusetts National Guard, welcome firefighters, police officers and active military.  Members of the Springfield Veterans Activities Committee will be there to check ID's. 
In addition to free admission to Bright Nights for the first responders, the children will receive a ticket for a free ride on the Santa Train or the carousel located just outside Santa's Cottage. 

Barney Carriage House Hosts Bright Nights Events
For some, Supper with Santa has become a tradition.  This year, Bright Nights is starting a new one, Frozen Fantasy with the Winter Sisters, Winter Prince and the Friendly Snowman. 
December 4, 11 and 13, Santa will sit down for supper at the Barney Carriage House.  He will take a seat at each table to listen to holiday wish lists.  The menu is kid-friendly with chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and cupcake for dessert. 
December 29 and 30, Frozen Fantasy will feature sing-a-long, a lesson in prince and princess etiquette, and decorating a snowflake or crown cookie.  Times are 5:30PM, 7PM and 8:15PM.
Reservations can be made by calling the Spirit of Springfield weekdays at 413-733-3800.
Elf Yourself at Bright Nights 
Slip your face in the cutout and become one of the elves from the Bright Nights' North Pole Village.  The cutouts can be found just outside Santa's Cottage
They are there with the Santa Train, carousel and giant snow globe which features the Barney Mansion display in the background.  Have your photo taken inside or out.
City of Bright Nights Ball Sparkled
The décor was stunning.  The co-chairs, Mercy Medical Center and Six Flags New England were gracious.  Sponsors gave generously.  Bidders had fun with the mobile bidding.  Live auctioneers entertained and garnered high bids. 
All in all, the City of Bright Nights Ball was a great success raising funds to offset costs associated with the Spirit of Springfield's free, family-friendly events like the recent Parade of the Big Balloons.
Compliments to all involved including the Sheraton Springfield, whose culinary staff lead by Executive Chef Chris Walls "wowed" the palettes of all in attendance, and Kristen Muszynski who served as the event's Social Caterer and Sales Manager.  
Recording-Breaking Temps for Parade of the Big Balloons
Parade of the Big Balloons, sponsored by Tower Square, stepped off to temperatures in the 60's and a crowd of more than 60,000 lined from Lyman Street to Locust Street.  It was led by a large contingent of family of U. S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan.  They were honored as the Parade Marshals.
Spectators watched in awe as more than 200 volunteer balloon wranglers carefully guided the helium giants by and through traffic and street lights.  They danced along with students from Dream Studios and En Motion Studio.  The characters from Bright Nights' Frozen Fantasy waved from a convertible and the Friendly Snowman welcomed hugs.  A special guest was Toni McKay, President of StarBound Entertainment.
The stars of the show were the helium giants and Santa, of course.  The team working behind the scenes were members of the Massachusetts Army National Guard and Gleason Johndrow Landscaping.
Read what Santa had to say about his Parade of the Big Balloons experience in Ladder #1. 

Bright Nights 21st Opening Night
With some help from a Santa, Gleason Johndrow Landscaping, Mayor Domenic Sarno, Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt, Board Chair Jane Albert, Patrick Sullivan, Executive Director of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management and Bright Nights sponsors, the 21st season came to light just outside Santa's Cottage. 
With a countdown from ten and Santa's magical touch, Santa's Train, carousel and giant snow globe were lit.  Children ran to them to take the season's inaugural rides.
Bright Nights 5K Road Race
Results for the 10th annual 5k Bright Nights Road Race are in.  500 runners gave the race and the post-race soup supper rave reviews.

Dr. Thomas Keenan, who first contacted the Spirit of Springfield more than 10 years ago requesting to host a run through Bright Nights, was honored when trophies for overall male and female winners were presented in his name.

The 2015 Bright Nights 5K Road Race was sponsored by Health New England, MedExpress Urgent Care with additional support from Freedom Credit Union, New England Orthopedic Surgeons, and In Memory of Rosie. 

For race results, visit coolrunning.com.
Downtown Springfield Holiday Market
The Springfield Business Improvement District and the Springfield Central Cultural District have partnered to present the first Downtown Springfield Holiday Market.  The month long shopping event is filled with dozens of local retailers that sell a wide variety of gifts for everyone's taste.
The Holiday Market offers free validated parking with every purchase in Tower Square, and compliments of the Springfield Parking Authority Parking, in the MassMutual Center Garage. 
In addition to great gifts to share with friends, there are many events to experience including Santa on Saturdays and a Springfield Falcon's block party.
The Spirit of Springfield was pleased to offer its expertise to launch the holiday market in Downtown Springfield.

For more information, visit springfielddowntown.com
Springfield Museums Gingerbread Exhibit
The Springfield Museums' annual Gingerbread Exhibit is one of theregion's best-loved traditions. This year's theme is "Seussian Holiday," with gingerbread creations inspired by Springfield's own Dr. Seuss. The exhibit opened Friday, November 27, and remain open through January 3.
The Museum Store has great gifts for all ages and tastes, plus free parking and giftwrapping.
For more information, visit springfieldmuseums.org or call 413-263-6800.
The Spirit of Springfield is a private, non-profit corporation
which produces high-quality,
large-scale events in the city of Springfield.
Our mission is to promote community events and
encourage civic pride.

Celebrating 25 Years of Springfield's
Biggest, Best and Brightest 
In This Issue
Bright Nights Public Safety Night
Barney Carriage Hosts Bright Nights Events
Elf Yourself at Bright Nights
City of Bright Nights Ball Sparkled
The U. S. Air Force Band & Singing Sergeants
Bright Nights 21st Opening Night
Historical Groundbreaking for Bright Nights
Historical Groundbreaking for Bright Nights
Historical Groundbreaking for Bright Nights
Guest Column - Santa
  Guest Corner 
North Pole 
During this holiday season of giving and reflecting on what we are thankful for, Santa is thankful for his good friends at Bright Nights.
While it is a busy time of year for me, my elves at the North Pole do extra duty so I can meet with all the good little boys and girls who stop to see me in Bright Nights at Santa's Cottage. I'll be there every night, but I'll be leaving earlier than usual on Christmas Eve, and I don't have to tell you why.
Santa also has his own play land this year, where kids of all ages can ride a winter carousel and on my very own Santa Train. There's even a giant globe where the snow falls that you can walk into and have your picture taken against the backdrop of the Barney Mansion. And, you can visit with my reindeer this year in a new barn outside Santa's Cottage.
Santa also gets to live out his lifelong dream of being a DJ on his own radio station - WELF Radio - broadcast throughout Bright Nights. Special thanks to my good friend Keith O'Connor, who is the Public Affairs Specialist at Baystate Medical Center, for selecting the music for me, and to his co-workers Charlie Breguet and Patricia Gagnon from Baystate's Team Member Engagement & Communications department, for lending their talents, too. They are all on Santa's "Nice List." Charlie and Pat also produce the television and radio commercials for Bright Nights, and Charlie even put Santa into the video this year! Be sure to look for me!
While we're not much for politics up at the North Pole, Santa also wants to give a "Ho! Ho! Ho!" to Springfield's own political consultant Anthony Cignoli for his "secret" contribution to WELF Radio. And, if it wasn't for Springfield Police Officers Sean Sullivan and Ricky Viruet who placed the transmitter in Forest Park, there would be no music to accompany everyone's magical journey through Bright Nights.
In the words of my little buddy Tiny Tim, "God bless us, every one."
P.S. Don't forget to sign up to have "Supper with Santa" on Dec. 4, 11 and 13.

215th Army Band Holiday Concert
Sponsored by Mercy Medical Center
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