In the News

City of Springfield and Spirit of Springfield Announce Plans for Bright Nights - with COVID-19 Protocols

Mayor Sarno joined with Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt, Executive Director of Springfield’s Department of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management Patrick Sullivan, Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau President Mary Kay Wydra, President of Monarch Enterprises Paul Picknelly, Spirit of Springfield Vice Chair John Sjoberg, Springfield Park Commission Chair Brian Santaniello, Anthony Cignoli, President of A. L. Cignoli Company, and members of the Spirit of Springfield Board and Springfield Park Commission, as well as Bright Nights sponsors and supporters.

Mayor Sarno stated, “Bright Nights is needed more than ever now, especially in these challenging and surreal times we are currently living in!  I’m very pleased that my city team and the Spirit of Springfield have worked together to come up with a safe and acceptable public health model that allows our beloved Bright Nights to continue to bring holiday cheer to all our families from near and far.  Also, I am very appreciative of our generous business and philanthropic community for their continued belief and investment in our City of Springfield.”

The Spirit of Springfield and the City of Springfield have developed protocols to provide a safe and festive holiday event that has been a holiday tradition since 1995.  They will be instituted during set-up, breakdown and during the event.  They include masks, regular cleaning, on-line ticketing and more.  Restrooms will be for emergency use only and the usual bustling gift shop, amusement rides, horse-drawn wagon and carriage rides, and visits with and Supper with Santa will not be available.  This will keep all visitors safe and socially distanced in their vehicles during the experience.

“We are so pleased that Bright Nights at Forest Park will continue to be a part of the holiday season.  It is important we celebrate each and every holiday while staying safe and healthy,” said Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt.  “We want to keep the tradition glowing.”

Bright Nights at Forest Park is three magical miles of a unique holiday experience featuring more than 675,000 lights and iconic displays like Seuss Land, Everett Barney Mansion, Toy Land, Happy Holidays, Springfield and so many more.  It celebrates the very best of Springfield and has $15 million economic impact annually.  More importantly, it has created a lifetime of family memories in its 25-year history.  It has become intergenerational.  It is also one of the safest events and the truest form of social distancing with families contained in their cars.

The season will open on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 and operate through Sunday, January 3, 2021.  Admission will be $23 per car weeknights, weekdays and holidays.  Discounted tickets will be available at participating Big Y World Class Markets for $16.50.  Due to bus capacity limitations set by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, admission for buses has been reduced to $100 for buses with capacity of more than 30 people.  Vehicles with seating from 17 to 30 people will be charged $50 for admission.

Bright Nights’ 26th season is sponsored by AAA – Pioneer Valley, Balise Auto, Baystate Health, Big Y World Class Markets, Charlie Arment Trucking Inc., Comcast, Eversource Energy, Gleason Johndrow Landscaping, Health New England (HNE), iHeart Media, MassLive, MassMutual, Mercy Medical Center, MGM Springfield, MP PC, PeoplesBank, The Republican, Sheraton Springfield, Springfield Thunderbirds, WWLP-22News and more.

Since opening on November 24, 1995, Bright Nights has entertained more than 6 million people.  It has been recognized by American Bus Association as a Top 100 Destinations in North America, People on-line as one of the Top 10 Holiday Destinations, along with numerous other awards and accolades. 

For more information about Bright Nights at Forest Park, visit or contact the Spirit of Springfield at 413-733-3800.

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm