Spirit of Springfield preparing for 2021 Bright Nights season | News

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November is here and soon, Forest Park will be lit up for the holiday season and residents we spoke with said they’re really looking forward to this year’s Bright Nights.







SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — The start of Bright Nights in Springfield is less than a month away and crews are hard at work getting everything ready.

November is here and soon, Forest Park will be lit up for the holiday season and residents we spoke with said they’re really looking forward to this year’s Bright Nights.

“We live in the neighborhood and though it kind of interferes with traffic…It’s exciting, it’s just part of the tradition, and we look forward to it,” said Barbara Moskal of Springfield.

Moskal told Western Mass News she does a neighborhood walk through Bright Nights with her friends every year. Crews are already hard at work in Forest Park getting everything ready.

Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt told us set-up usually takes about a month and a half and these crews have been working eight hours a day since the start of October. Matt also said the lights festival will look a lot more like the community is used to this year, compared to last year when COVID-19 restrictions were in place.

“We’re going to open up the gift shop area and the concession area, which we had to close last year,” Matt said.

There will still be some pandemic protocols in place. Santa will be waving to kids as they drive in and employees will work to maintain a touchless environment.

“My people are all going to be wearing masks at both the front gate when they’re taking money and also at the gift shop and the concession area,” Matt added.

However, she said now that Springfield has relaxed its mask policy, guests will not be required to wear face coverings at this year’s event. You may also remember hours were shortened last year amid the city’s curfew, but things are back to normal this year.

Bright Nights opens November 24, the day before Thanksgiving, and will run until January 2.

Matt said Bright Nights will be open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, but she’s relieved they won’t have to turn anyone away.

“It’s been our tradition to never cut off the line, so we’ve always waited until the last car came through,” Matt noted.

One change they are keeping in place, Matt explained, “We instituted a new program last year with tickets where everything was done online. Probably the majority, I’d say close to 90 percent of all the ticket sales will be done online, so you just put your phone up to the window and they’ll scan it.”

The annual 5k is also back this year after it was canceled in 2020. That will take place the first Monday after Bright Nights opens and Matt told us it’s already sold out.

Another date of note – December 1 – tickets are free for all military and public safety workers.

“I’m just grateful we’re able to do it again this year and to try to get back to normal,” Matt said.





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