Mayor Domenic J. Sarno joined with Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt, Director of Parks, Buildings, and Recreation Patrick Sullivan, Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, Mercy Medical Center’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Roose, and Baystate Health President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mark Keroack, as well as sponsors and supporters for the annual opening of Bright Nights at Forest Park.
Santa was in attendance at the traditional lighting ceremony by the Giant Poinsettias Candle display to help flip the switch and kick off the twenty-sixth season of Bright Nights which takes places every holiday season at Springfield’s Forest Park.
Bright Nights will be celebrating the spirit of the season from Wednesday, November 25, 2020, through Wednesday, January 6, 2021, with COVID-19 safety protocols in place. Gates will open nightly at 4:45pm. Advance ticket purchases will be required, either from brightnights.org or at Big Y World Class Markets.
This year, Bright Nights is strictly a drive-through experience only. Visitors must remain in their vehicles throughout the experience, and masks must be worn. The Bright Nights program book will be available online at brightnights.org. Due to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s current COVID-19 order, Bright Nights entry gate will close nightly at 8:45pm so that visitors will exit the park by 9:30pm. Admission is $23 per car. Discounted tickets sold at Big Y World Class Markets are $16.50 each.
Discounted admission will also be available on two $10 Tuesdays. On Tuesday, December 1, and Tuesday, December 8, 2020, admission will be $10 per car. Discounted tickets will only be accepted on the designated nights and will be available in limited quantities because the gates will not be opened beyond 8:45pm. In addition, free admission will be available to frontline workers on Monday, November 30, 2020, and to military and emergency first responders on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.
Bright Nights’ 26th season is sponsored by AAA – Pioneer Valley, American Eagle Financial Credit Union, American Medical Response, Balise Auto, Baystate Health, Big Y World Class Markets, C & S Wholesale Grocers, 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, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Thunderbirds, and WWLP-22News.
The Spirit of Springfield has been collaborating with the Springfield Department of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management since 1995 to present Bright Nights at Forest Park. The holiday lighting experience has entertained more than six million people and this year as recognized by the American Bus Association as one of their Best of the Best in their Festival and Events category.