Daily News

Bright Nights Marks 20th Anniversary with 2014 Opening

SPRINGFIELD — Bright Nights at Forest Park opened for its 20th season last week with a new carousel for guests to ride and more than 650,000 lights along a three-mile path.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt, and Patrick Sullivan, executive director for the Springfield Department of Parks, Buildings, and Recreation Management, gathered on opening night with sponsors and supporters at the carousel, which is located by Santa’s Cottage. “To think, we started Bright Nights 20 years ago with the goal of providing a holiday event for Springfield residents, and it has since gained the reputation of being the Northeast’s premier holiday attraction,” said Matt.

Among the upcoming promotions are Military Night on Wednesday, Dec. 3, when admission is free for active members of the military and their spouses; and Wednesday, Dec. 10, when Columbia Gas of Massachusetts will sponsor a night of free carousel rides. Additional activities include Supper with Santa on Friday, Dec. 12, and Sunday, Dec. 14, at the Barney Carriage House; weekend horse-drawn wagon and carriage rides; visits and photos with Santa through Christmas Eve; and craft making Dec. 26 to Jan. 4.

The 20th season of Bright Nights is sponsored by AAA Pioneer Valley, the Arbors Kids, Baystate Health, Big Y World Class Markets, Charlie Arment Trucking, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, Comcast, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Hasbro, Health New England, iHeart Media, Jewish Geriatric Services, MassMutual Financial Group, Mercy Medical Center, MGM Springfield, Milone and MacBroom, Moriarty & Primack P.C., Northern Tree Service, PeoplesBank, Sheraton Springfield, Shriners Hospital for Children, Siemens, the Republican/MassLive, Smith & Wesson, Tower Square, United Bank, Western Massachusetts Electric Co., and WWLP-22News.

Bright Nights has been a 20-year collaboration between the Spirit of Springfield, a private, nonprofit organization, and the Springfield Department of Parks, Buildings, and Recreation Management. For more information, visit brightnights.org, e-mail [email protected], or call the Spirit of Springfield at (413) 733-3800.

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