Healthcare Heroes Nominations

Through July 30: In the spring of 2017, the Healthcare News and its sister publication, BusinessWest, created a new and exciting recognition program called Healthcare Heroes. It was launched with the theory that there are heroes working all across this region’s wide, deep, and all-important healthcare sector, and that there was no shortage of fascinating stories to tell and individuals and groups to honor. That theory has certainly been validated. Nominations for the class of 2022 are due July 30, and we encourage you to get involved and help recognize someone you consider to be a hero in Western Mass. in one (or more) of seven categories. For details on each category and information on how to nominate someone, visit


Hoophall Hangouts

All Summer: The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced the return of Hoophall Hangouts, which will replace “60 Days of Summer,” the museum’s annual summer program featuring family-oriented fun. Running through Aug. 31, the Hall of Fame will host various appearances from basketball players, personalities, and Hall of Famers. On Aug. 12, Bob Hurley Sr. (Hall of Fame class of 2010) will accompany his son, Dan Hurley, head coach of UConn’s men’s basketball team, for a special father/son appearance. Throughout the summer, museumgoers will also have the opportunity to hear from class of 2022 inductees Tim Hardaway, Bob Huggins, and George Karl, as well as Hall of Famers Grant Hill from the class of 2018 and Jay Wright from the class of 2021. Head coach Frank Martin from UMass will also be making an appearance. Hoophall Hangouts appearances are free of charge to museum guests; however, some appearances will have select VIP opportunities. Hoophall Hangouts will be scheduled throughout the summer and will occur at 1 p.m. For more information, visit or follow @hoophall on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


MOSSO Celebrates John Williams

July 21: MOSSO, the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, will celebrate the film music of John Williams at 7:30 p.m. in Springfield Symphony Hall. Under the direction of Maestro Kevin Rhodes, MOSSO will perform excerpts from Williams’ scores to ET, Schindler’s List, Superman, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and more. Some popular classics, including Rossini’s “Overture to The Barber of Seville,” Massenet’s “Meditation from Thaïs,” and Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite” will open the program. Rhodes was music director and conductor of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra for 20 seasons before the pandemic. He returned to Springfield to conduct his musicians last October in front of a packed house at Symphony Hall, featuring many musical highlights from his tenure as their music director. Tickets for the concert, a MOSSO benefit, are priced at $60, $45, $25, and $10, and are on sale at MOSSO sponsors include BusinessWest and the Healthcare News, the Republican/MassLive, WWLP-22News and the CW Springfield, the Sheraton Springfield at Monarch Place, New England Public Media, and the Bolduc Schuster Foundation. MOSSO is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, which is not a subsidiary of nor affiliated with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra Inc.


Friday Night Summer Concerts

July 22 to Aug. 12: The Amherst Business Improvement District announced the lineup for the second annual Friday Night Summer Concert Series on the South Common. The series is sponsored by Encharter Insurance. On July 22, the BID presents local artists Dawn Lepere and Jeff Starns opening for blues singer-songwriter Eric Lee. On July 29, UMass will return to the Common for the second year of Jazz in July in downtown Amherst, an event featuring UMass staff, students, and a couple of ‘ringers.’ On Aug. 5, Grammy-winning children’s performer Mister G will take the stage before the Soul Magnets appear. Wrapping up the series on Aug. 12 will be the classic country act the Rosie Porter Trio, followed by the pop-rock Maxxtones. These events will be free for all, starting at 6 p.m. These evenings will also host local brewery White Lion Brewing, local cider maker Artifact, and wine from Black Birch Vineyard for over-21 guests. CremeBru.LA will be joining the fun, and there will be a charcuterie station as well.


New Year’s Eve Party (Take 2!)

Aug. 5: The pandemic may have canceled its planned New Year’s Eve celebration last year, but local comedians are having the last laugh. Happier Valley Comedy is throwing a New Year’s Eve Party (Take 2!) and annual fundraiser where people are invited to come ring in the improvised New Year. Tickets include entry to the party, two tickets to the raffle, finger food, and something fizzy to toast. The festivities take place at Happier Valley Comedy’s Next Door Lounge in Hadley, where partygoers can choose from a curated selection of mostly local alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Ginger Love Cafe Food Truck will be on site, and raffle prizes include goodies from Bueno Y Sano, Animal Alliance Dog Training School, Ecstatic Rabbit Tarot, the Ekus Group, Home Depot, Trader Joe’s, and more. To purchase tickets to the event and raffle, visit


Brew at the Zoo

Aug. 6: After a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Zoo in Forest Park is bringing back its popular Brew at the Zoo, presented by PDC Inc., from 1 to 5 p.m. The 21+ event features beer samples from local craft breweries, a home-brew competition, food trucks, live music, games, a raffle, and animal interactions. Attendees can choose from four ticket types: VIP, VIP Designated Driver, General Admission, and Designated Driver. Attendees with a VIP ticket will enjoy an extra hour of sampling beginning at noon, the opportunity to participate in up-close animal encounters, and grain to feed the animals. All attendees must be age 21 or over. The current list of breweries attending the event include Loophole Brewing, One Way Brewing, Vanished Valley Brewing Co., Broad Brook Brewing Co., Connecticut Valley Brewing Co., Berkshire Brewing Co., Rustic Brewing Co., Iron Duke Brewing, Two Weeks Notice Brewing Co., Brew Practitioners, and New City Brewery, in addition to nine home brewers. The zoo will be closed to the public on Aug. 6. Advanced tickets are required to attend this event, and IDs will be checked at the door. Tickets are limited and on sale at


Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival

Aug. 12-13: The Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival will be staged over two days this year with a broad mix of music; arts activities; talks on arts, culture, and social justice; and local pop-up crafts, food, and beverages. The internationally heralded festival features national stars and local talent playing jazz, blues, funk, Latin, and African music. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. This year’s full musical lineup can be found at The festival will also offer a sneak peek (or an unveiling, depending on its progress) of the iconic Worthington Street mural project celebrating Springfield history. The mural is being painstakingly restored by Springfield artist John Simpson, who has studied old photographs of the building’s wall in an effort to accurately recreate as much of the original mural as possible. Musical performances on Aug. 12 feature soul and R&B legend Shor’ty Billups, valley legends FAT with Peter Newland and special guest Scott Murawski from Max Creek, Valley blues/rock icon Mitch Chakour and friends, popular Valley blues rockers the Buddy McEarns Band, and soulful blues belter Janet Ryan and her band. The festivities on Aug. 13 commence at 12:30 p.m. with a parade led by New Orleans ensemble the New Breed Brass Band starting from the Wood Museum of Springfield History, where attendees will have free access to the “Horn Man: The Life and Musical Legacy of Charles Neville” exhibit. The parade will end at the stage for the kickoff performance of the Saturday shows. In addition to the musical performances, the multi-faceted festival will feature various arts activities and presentations and workshops. Puerto Rican jazz trombonist William Cepeda will lead a workshop about traditional Afro-Puerto Rican music on Aug. 12 at 5 p.m. at the Hispanic American Library. Cuban jazz vocalist Dayme Arocena, will lead a workshop about traditional Afro-Cuban music on Aug. 13. Attendees can also participate in a mural paint party (a separate mural project from the one on Friday) and a presentation by Puerto Rican mural artist Betsy Casanas, and conversations connecting arts with food and climate justice.