Whether you’re nine or ninety-nine, you will find yourself delightfully entertained at Tower Square the day after Thanksgiving during Tower Square’s annual Holiday Open House.
Kicking off immediately following the Tower Square Parade of Big Balloons outside on Main Street, both retail levels inside will be alive with some of the most beloved family friendly performers and holiday events in the region.
Here is our line-up of entertainment just for you:
To make this day even more exciting, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield will also be opening the Festival of Trees and offering free admission during the Holiday Open House from 11am – 2pm.
To make your visit to Tower Square even better, our merchants will be providing FREE PARKING voucher tickets with your same day purchase beginning November 24th through December 31.
Scroll down for details about the Big Balloon Parade, produced by the Spirit of Springfield.
It has been months and months in the making, and even now the elves behind the scenes at the Spirit of Springfield are taking care of final preparations for the Tower Square Parade of the Big Balloons, which is set to travel down Main Street at 11am on Friday, November 24th to the cheers of tens of thousands of excited spectators.
The Big Balloon Parade, as it is affectionately known due to the numerous colorful character balloons that bemuse parade goers, has become Springfield’s traditional kick-off of the holiday season held the day after Thanksgiving each year.
Produced by the Spirit of Springfield, this year’s parade will feature a contingent of big balloons including Smurfette, Peppa Pig, and the Cat in the Hat among others. The Springfield Symphony Orchestra Youth Orchestra, as well as the Springfield St. Patricks Day Colleen and Court will be featured in the parade as well as the Thunderbirds Hockey mascot Boomer, several dance teams, Miss Western MA and Ms. Latina Western MA contingents, Springfield Museums float, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart to name a few.
Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri will be leading off the parade, as this year’s Grand Marshal. As the Grand Marshall, Barbieri’s role is only second in line of importance to the man who will be bringing up the rear of the parade. That man, as you might have guessed, is none other than Santa Claus himself.
Santa will finish off the parade route atop a Springfield Fire Truck, before heading over to Tower Square to take photos and give a small gift to the kids.
Renowned Native American artist, musician and guitar building legend John Longbow will be performing at Art for the Soul (AFTS) Gallery this month in celebration of Native American Heritage Month and in conjunction with the AFTS 7th Generation: Contemporary Native American Artists of the 21st Century Exhibition.
Longbow, the creator of the Longbow guitar, will perform and hold a guitar building workshop on Friday, November 17 at 6:30.
Also this month and next the Firehawk Native American Studio will be joining forces with other Native American artisans to sell authentic hand created products from two locations at Tower Square as part of a holiday market. One store will be upstairs next to Lifetime Jewelry, and the other will be on street level near the bottom of the Center Court escalators.
Here is a schedule of all of this month’s FREE 7th Generation events to date:
Nov. 4 - Featuring This May Be The Last Time – Discussion with Jon Hill, Indigenous Musicologist
Nov. 11 - Featuring The Spirit Of Standing Rock – Discussion with Anthony Melting Tallow Flying Chief Siksika, Blackfoot Nation
Thursday, Nov. 16 at AFTS Gallery 5-8pm
Coming next month watch for details regarding a traditional Native American Pow Wow encampment and authentic basket making workshops as well as a book signing with Author Larry Spotted Cow. Check www.Art4theSoul.org for details as schedules are finalized.
The Intertribal drum group based in Boston, but with core members from as far away as Colombia and Alaska, will be bringing their traditional Native American drumming and singing to Tower Square this month at Art for the Soul Gallery's Meet the Artist Reception set for Thursday, November 16 from 5-8pm.
Emerging on the Native American powwow scene in the north east in the last few years, Urban Thunder has been honored with consistent requests to sing at a myriad of powwows and events. In 2012 they were featured (along with friends of the group) as the drum group for the powwow scenes in the movie "Crooked Arrows" featuring noted native actor Gil Birmingham and starring Brandon Routh.
Noted for their melodic straight songs and their beautiful selection of often complicated word songs, Urban Thunder sings in the hopes of making their community proud and dance hard!
Urban Thunder's performance is part of Art for the Soul Gallery's current 7th Generation: Contemporary Native American Artists of the 21st Century Exhibition, and is also in recognition of Native American Heritage Month.
Art for the Soul Gallery is on the 2nd floor of Tower Square. Visiting the gallery and attending the Meet the Artist Reception is free and open to the public.
It is one of the best holiday events in downtown Springfield, and it just keeps getting better! The Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield’s Festival of Trees is in its 17th year, and it is expected to top last year’s record breaking numbers of 15,000 visitors and $160,000 raised.
A stroll through this colorful forest of more than 130 whimsical, beautiful and creative Christmas trees, all donated and decorated by area businesses, organizations, families and individuals, will put you in the holiday spirit for sure, especially when you have the chance to win one!
The trees, which are decorated in the theme of the donor’s choice can be valued as high as $3,000, as many of the trees also have gift items that are included. Each tree along with the trimmings and any gifts will be raffled off at the end of the two-week festival.
The funds raised from this event allows the Boys & Girls Club to provide membership, sport and art based programs, enrichment activities, field trips and great experiences for the 1,900 youth served by the club.
The Festival of Trees is held in Tower Square’s Meeting Room on the second floor across from the food court, and runs from November 24th through December 10th.
Festival Hours & Pricing:
Wednesday….11am – 3pm Thursday – Saturday…..11am – 8pm Sunday…..11am – 5pm
Admission: $5 Seniors: $4 Children 12 & under: Free
Active Military, First Responders and their families: Free
Be sure to park at the Tower Square Garage so that you can get your parking validated for FREE at the Festival.
Visit our December Calendar and click on Santa Breakfast on December 9th to upload the registration form.
The team at Valley Venture Mentors is inviting you to join them for the graduation of their Springfield Mentorship Cohort on Wednesday, November 8 at 5pm.
VVM reps say that nine amazing startups will present their company and the progress they have achieved with the support of the VVM Mentorship Program community.
Each of the nine startups will receive commendations as they transition from participant to alumni.
Following the graduation there will be a breakout session to give you an opportunity to talk to the entrepreneurs that interest you. Free beer, wine, food and childcare will be provided to help fuel the evening’s festivities!
For more visit www.ValleyVentureMentors.org
Westfield Bank, its employees and customers are doing their part to help Puerto Rican victims of Hurricane Maria, by presenting a donation of $8,000 for the cause.
Employees at all twenty-one bank branches raised money during their “Casual for a Cause” event last month, in which they were given the option to dress casually at work for a donation. Meanwhile, all branches also had donation collection boxes at their offices for customers to contribute as well. Together Westfield Bank employees and customers raised $4,000, which was matched by the bank with another $4,000.
The donation was presented to the Westfield Spanish American Association and the Western MA United for Puerto Rico Coalition.