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American Rabbit Breeders Assoc. Convention Has Something for Every Bunny

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Employees of hospitality businesses across Western Mass. will have a little extra hop in their step on Oct. 26-31. Starting today, the American Rabbit Breeders Assoc. (ARBA) will hold its 95th annual convention at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield.

Representatives of the Pennsylvania-based organization expect to have more than 16,000 rabbits and cavy (animals similar to rabbits, such as guinea pigs) on display.

“This is a major convention event that will have a tremendous impact on our region,” said Mary Kay Wydra, president of the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB). “The organizers are expecting 1,500 attendees with registrants from many European nations, and some from as far away as China.”

GSCVB officials are estimating that the six-day event will have an economic impact of nearly $3 million. The Springfield Sheraton Monarch Place Hotel will serve as the headquarters property, and 14 additional local hotels have reserved room blocks for convention-goers.

Attractions all over the region hope to see a boost at the turnstile. ARBA organizers touted the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Dr. Seuss Museum, Six Flags New England, MGM Springfield, Yankee Candle Village, and many more options for attendees to enjoy their downtime. 

“We honestly couldn’t have been more impressed with Western Mass.,” said Randy Gebelein, ARBA’s general chairperson. “From a top-shelf convention facility to outstanding hotels to so many one-of-a-kind attractions, this region met all our needs perfectly. We’re looking forward to an excellent event.”

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