Special Coverage Travel and Tourism

Your Annual Guide to the Region’s Summer Happenings

Hot Times Ahead

Summertime is a great time to get away, but in Western Mass., it’s also a great time to stick around and enjoy the many events on the calendar. Whether you’re craving fair food or craft beer, live music or arts and crafts, historical experiences or small-town pride, or sports ranging from baseball and 3-on-3 basketball to motocross and boat racing, the region boasts plenty of ways to celebrate the summer months. Admittedly, the following 20 events only scratch the surface, so we encourage you to get out and explore everything else that makes summer in Western Mass. a memorable time.


Valley Blue Sox

Valley Blue Sox

Valley Blue Sox

MacKenzie Stadium, 500 Beech St., Holyoke


Admission: $7; 12 games, $59; season tickets, $99

Now through July 30: Western Mass. residents don’t have to trek to Boston to catch quality baseball. The Valley Blue Sox, two-time champions of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, play the home half of their 44-game schedule close to home at MacKenzie Stadium in Holyoke. Frequent promotional events like postgame fireworks and giveaways help make every game a fun, affordable event for the whole family.


Westfield Starfires

Bullens Field, 181 Notre Dame St., Westfield


Admission: $10; 20 games, $99; season tickets, $140

Now through Aug. 4: Still can’t get enough baseball? Celebrating their sixth season of action, the Starfires, a member of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League of New England, play a slightly longer schedule (56 games) than the Blue Sox. The team plays at Bullens Field in a city with a rich baseball history, and peppers its games with plenty of local flavor and fan experiences.


Juneteenth Jubilee

Juneteenth Jubilee

Juneteenth Jubilee

Downtown Springfield


Admission: Free

June 14-15: Juneteenth is a federal holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the U.S. two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. Juneteenth in Springfield will celebrate this holiday with two days of activities, including a flag raising at the Black Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Mason Square and an adult block party at Level 5 restaurant on June 14, and a family fun day featuring music, kids’ activities, youth and business award presentationsl, complimentary food from Black-owned restaurants, and more.


Worthy Craft Beer Showcase

201 Worthington St., Springfield


Admission: $50

June 15: Smith’s Billiards and Theodores’ Booze, Blues & BBQ, both in the city’s entertainment district, will host more than two dozen breweries at an event that also features live music and plenty of food. The event will also feature a home-brew contest; Loophole Brewing will make the winner’s beer and serve it at next year’s Brew Fest. Designated drivers pay reduced admission of $10.


Green River Festival

One College Dr., Greenfield


Admission: One-day passes, $79.99 to $89.99; two-day passes, $145; weekend passes, $99.99 for teens, $199.99 for adults

June 21-23: For one weekend every summer, Franklin County Fairgrounds hosts a high-energy celebration of music; local food, beer, and wine; handmade crafts; and games and activities for families and children — all topped off with hot-air-balloon launches and a Saturday-evening ‘balloon glow.’ The music is continuous on three stages, with 48 bands slated to perform, headlined by Cake on Friday, Fleet Foxes on Saturday, and Gregory Alan Isakov on Sunday.



Eastern States Exposition and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame


Admission: Free for spectators

June 21-23: For the second straight year, Hooplandia, the Northeast’s biggest 3-on-3 basketball tournament, will be hosted by Eastern States Exposition (ESE) and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. The event takes place on the ESE grounds, with youth championship games held at the Hall of Fame. Seventy-five basketball courts will be set up to accommodate more than 650 games played by approximately 2,100 participants of all ages. Divisions have been created to provide an all-inclusive environment for players of all ages and playing abilities, including young girls, boys, women, men, high-school-level, college-level, OGs, veterans, and more.


Municipal Fireworks

Admission: Free

June and July: Western Mass. communities will host numerous fireworks events around the Fourth of July this year. Sites include Look Memorial Park, Northampton, June 22; Holyoke Community College, June 28; Westfield Middle School, June 29; UMass Amherst McGuirk Stadium, July 2; Smith Middle School, South Hadley, July 3; Franklin County Fairgrounds, Greenfield, July 4; Six Flags New England, Agawam, July 4-6; Riverfront Park, Springfield, July 4; and Beacon Field, Greenfield, July 6.


Southwick AMA Pro Motocross National

The Wick 338, 46 Powder Mill Road, Southwick


Admission: $35-$435

June 29: The Southwick National at the Wick 338 is round 5 of the 2024 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. Gates open at 7 a.m., and ticket prices span a wide range of viewing opportunities, from general admission to a ‘preferred viewing island’ in the center of the track to multiple VIP locations offering spectacular views, tented seating, a live monitor feed, lunch, and private adult-beverage bars and facilities. 


Monson Summerfest

Main Street, Monson


Admission: Free

July 4: In 1979, a group of parishioners from the town’s Methodist church wanted to start an Independence Day celebration focused on family and community, The first Summerfest featured food, games, and fun activities. With the addition of a parade, along with booths, bands, rides, and activities, the event has evolved into an attraction drawing more than 10,000 people every year. This year’s parade steps off at 10 a.m. on Main Street, followed by activities, music, and a beer garden later in the day.


Berkshires Arts Festival

380 State Road, Great Barrington


Admission: $14; weekend pass, $16; students, $7; under 10, free

July 5-7: Ski Butternut plays host to the Berkshires Arts Festival, a regional tradition for more than two decades. Thousands of art lovers and collectors are expected to stop by to check out and purchase the creations of 200 jury-selected artists and designers from across the country, in both outdoor and air-conditioned indoor exhibition spaces. The family-friendly event also features demonstrations, food, and live music.


Brimfield Outdoor Antiques Show

Route 20, Brimfield


Admission: Free

July 9-14, Sept. 3-8: After expanding steadily through the decades, the Brimfield Antique Show now encompasses six miles of Route 20 and has become a nationally known destination for people to value antiques, collectibles, and flea-market finds. Some 6,000 dealers and close to 1 million total visitors show up at the three annual, week-long events; the first was in May.



Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival

Stearns Square, Springfield


Admission: Free

July 12-13: The annual Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival descends upon Stearns Square and surrounding streets this summer, offering a festive atmosphere featuring locally and internationally acclaimed musical artists. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend. The musical lineup will be announced soon on the website.


Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival

300 North Main St., Florence


Admission: $5-$28; under 6, free

July 20: Held at Look Memorial Park, this 29th annual festival celebrating all things Scottish features bagpipes, heavy athletics, Celtic dance, drumming, vendors, historical demonstrations, musical guests, children’s events, and much more. Guests can also attend a whiskey-tasting master class ($30) where they can sample and learn the differences and complexities of single-malt scotch whiskey, as well as learning the history of the spirit and how it is made.


Springfield Dragon Boat Festival

121 West St., Springfield, MA


Admission: Free for spectators

July 20: The seventh annual Springfield Dragon Boat Festival returns to North Riverfront Park. Hosted by the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club, this family-friendly festival features the exciting sport of dragon-boat racing and will include music, performances, food, vendors, kids’ activities, and more. The festival is an ideal event for businesses and organizations looking for a team-building opportunity, and provides financial support for the Riverfront Club.


Brew at the Zoo

The Zoo in Forest Park, Springfield


Admission: $55-$75; designated drivers, $25-$35

Aug. 3: Brew at The Zoo is a fundraiser at the Zoo in Forest Park, featuring unlimited craft-beer samples from more than 15 local breweries, a home-brew competition, live music, food trucks, games, and, of course, animal interactions. The fundraiser supports the general operating costs of the more than 225 animals that call the zoo home, many of which have been deemed non-releasable by a wildlife rehabilitator for reasons relating to injury, illness, permanent disability, habituation to humans, and other factors.


Agricultural Fairs

Admission: Varies; check websites

August and September: As regional fairs go, the Big E (thebige.com), slated for Sept 13-29, is still the region’s main draw, and there’s something for everyone, whether it’s the copious fair food, livestock shows, Avenue of States houses, parades, local vendors and crafters, or live music. But the Big E isn’t the only agricultural fair on the block. The Middlefield Fair (middlefieldfair.org) kicks off the fair season on Aug. 9-11, followed by the Westfield Fair (thewestfieldfair.com) on Aug. 16-18, the Cummington Fair (cummingtonfair.com) on Aug. 22-25; the Three County Fair in Northampton (3countyfair.com) on Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, the Franklin County Fair in Greenfield (fcas.com) on Sept. 5-8, and the Belchertown Fair (belchertownfair.com) on Sept. 20-22, to name some of the larger gatherings.



22 St. George Road, Springfield


Admission: Free

Sept. 6-8: Every year, St. George Cathedral offers thousands of visitors the best in traditional Greek foods, pastries, music, dancing, and old-fashioned Greek hospitality. In addition, the festival offers activities for children, tours of the historic St. George Cathedral and Byzantine Chapel, vendors from across the East Coast, icon workshops, movies in the Glendi Theatre, cooking demonstrations, and more.


Mattoon Arts Festival

Mattoon Street, Springfield


Admission: Free

Sept. 7-8: Now celebrating its 51st year, the Mattoon Arts Festival is the longest-running arts festival in the Pioneer Valley, featuring about 100 exhibitors, including artists that work in ceramics, fibers, glass, jewelry, painting and printmaking, photography, wood, metal, and mixed media. Food vendors and strolling musicians help to make the event a true late-summer destination.


FreshGrass Festival

1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams


Admission: Three-day pass, $64-$169

Sept. 20-22: The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is known for its musical events, and the FreshGrass festival is among the highlights, showcasing dozens of bluegrass artists and bands on four stages over three days. This year, the lineup includes Shakey Graves, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, the Devil Makes Three, Drive-By Truckers, Béla Fleck, Edmar Castañeda, Antonio Sanchez Trio, Steel Pulse, and more.


Old Deerfield Craft Fair

8 Memorial St., Deerfield


Admission: See website

Sep. 21-22: This award-winning show that closes out the summer tourism season has been recognized for its traditional crafts and fine-arts categories and offers a great variety of items, from furniture to pottery. And while in town, check out all of Historic Deerfield, featuring restored, 18th-century museum houses with period furnishings, demonstrations of Colonial-era trades, and a collection of Early American crafts, ceramics, furniture, textiles, and metalwork.