This is the busiest time of the year for the Spirit of Springfield. 
The three of us, Amy, Nicole and I, with the support of the Spirit of Springfield Board, generous supporters and hundreds of volunteers, entertain more than 260,000 people from November and into January.  We would not want to have it any other way.
We hope you have had or will have a chance to join us for the holiday festivities.
May your season be filled with holiday light and delight!

Happy Holidays!

Judy Matt 
Frozen Fantasy at Bright Nights

For the first time, the Winter Sisters, Winter Prince and the Friendly Snowman will bring frozen fun to Bright Nights at Forest Park.  On December 29 and 30 at the Barney Carriage House, they will lead guests in a sing-a-long.  They will also provide a lesson in proper prince and princess etiquette, assist in decorating a wintery cookie and present each child with a crown.  The menu for Frozen Fantasy includes snowy cupcakes, hot chocolate and hot apple cider. 
Reservations are $20 per person with seatings at 5:30PM, 7PM and 8:15PM.  They can be made by calling the Spirit of Springfield at 413-733-3800.
The Winter Sisters will also make a special appearance at Santa's Cottage on New Year's Eve.
Bright Nights Cams
Visitors curious to see how busy traffic is at the entry and how much fun guests are having outside Santa's Cottage can visit and select Live WebCam.  The two cameras provide live feeds of the cars as they enter from Sumner Avenue and of the carousel and other activities. 
This is the second year for the front gate camera and the first for the  Santa's Cottage Camera.  These have been made possible thanks to the ingenuity of the Springfield Police Department Radio Division.
Bright Nights Public Safety Night
Springfield Fire Commissioner Joseph Conant, Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri, Colonel James Keefe, Wing Commander for the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard, and Brigadier General Paul Smith (retired), Massachusetts National Guard, waved, shook hands and greeted first responders at Bright Nights Public Safety Night on December 2. 
More than 600 families took advantage of the free admission and a free amusement ride located just outside Santa's Cottage. 
Downtown Springfield Aglow
The center of the city is glowing with holiday lights.  Court Square came to light with a ceremony on December 4.  Musical entertainment was provided by Vanessa Ford, Brad Shepard and Richie Mitnick.
The holiday lights in Court Square were made possible by MGM Springfield.  They will enhance the snowflakes on Main Street and the many buildings that are already lit in Downtown Springfield.  These include Tower Square, Monarch Place, TD Bank Building, One Financial Plaza, Berkshire Bank and The Colvest Group.
215th Army Band Shared Holiday Sounds
The 215th Army Band from the Massachusetts Army National Guard filled Springfield Symphony Hall with the sounds of the season and patriotism.  The free concert, sponsored by Mercy Medical Center, was held December 6 and was enjoyed by more than 1,800 area residents.
The band's selections included "Sleigh Ride," "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," "Armed Forces Melody," "America the Beautiful," and "Stars and Stripes Forever" and more.  A 40-member chorus made a guest appearance for some of the selections.
Bright Nights Selfie Gallery Has Begun

Bright Nights guests are sharing their selfies with  They show the fun visitors are having while driving through the magnificent holiday lighting displays, and when they stop at Santa's Cottage.
Some ride the carousel, visit with Santa, and get in to the giant snow globe, while others opt for a ride in Santa's Train, the horse-drawn wagon or carriage.  Many stop to pose in front of the trio of elves or transform themselves in to a Bright Nights elf.

Check out the gallery at
Spirit of Springfield President Out and About
Promoting Bright Nights at Forest Park and spreading holiday cheer, Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt has been seen out and about.  She was on Mass Appeal with Ashley Kohl and reading to some tots at the Eastfield Mall.   
Thank you for being a loyal Spirit of Springfield Newsletter Reader. Click, print and save at Bright Nights at Forest Park.
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
Frozen Fantasy at Bright Nights
Bright Nights Cams
Bright Nights Public Safety Night
Downtown Springfield Aglow
215th Army Band Shared Holiday Sounds
Bright Nights Selfie Gallery Begun
Historical Groundbreaking for Bright Nights
Article Headline
Guest Column - Patrick Sullivan
  Guest Corner 
Patrick Sullivan
Executive Director
Springfield Department of Parks, Buildings & Recreation Management
It is hard to believe 21 years have passed since the opening of the Bright Nights display in Forest Park. It has been a rewarding experience working with the staff of the Spirit of Springfield, and Park staff to create this holiday lighting extravaganza.  The display provides a festive holiday season for residents and visitors alike and is ranked as one of the top lighting shows in America.

Bright Nights at Forest Park has provided the funding for many improvements to the park including the restoration of the Rose Garden, and the fountains at Fountain Lake, improvements to the playscape outside the zoo, installation of lighting along park roads, and building repairs to the Senior Drop-In Center, Carriage House and Barney Stone House.  The original intent of Bright Nights was to create memories for families, but in reality it has funded park improvements that can be enjoyed by everyone throughout the year.

The 21st anniversary marks another milestone by bringing yet another great project to Forest Park. The City of Springfield and The Spirit of Springfield through their partnership have secured $1.6 million dollars in funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) for the construction of a new Bright Nights Storage/Technical Training Facility.  Congressman Richard E. Neal and Mayor Domenic J. Sarno provided the leadership to obtain this grant.

For 20 years, the Springfield Park Division has been maintaining and storing the hundreds of displays in various locations. The current storage facility is outdated and has been difficult to operate and costly to repair. The new facility will not only provide proper housing for the Bright Nights displays but also offer local unions a facility in which to provide skilled training for their trades to City residents. We look forward to collaborating with the Regional Employment Board to initiate training of our residents for future jobs this spring. For use by the general public, bathrooms will also be installed. This will be a welcome addition for the clay and hard top tennis courts in the spring and summer season.
It has been an honor to celebrate the Christmas season with the millions of residents and visitors who have enjoyed Bright Nights over the years. When you look back, Bright Nights has played an integral part in the restoration of Forest Park. The Park Commission and Staff at the Springfield Park Department wish you and your family the best during the holiday season and good health in the New Year!


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