BRIGHT NIGHTS GETS TOP BUS HONOR
Springfield, Massachusetts—For the seventh time, Bright Nights at Forest Park has been selected by the American Bus Association (ABA) as one of the Top 100 Destinations in North America. Each spring a committee of ABA members selects the winners chosen from hundreds of nominations for celebrations, festivals, fairs, commemorative events and more that have been submitted by ABA members. The Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau was the ABA member that nominated Bright Nights.
The 19th season of Bright Nights at Forest Park will open Wednesday, November 27, 2013. The lights will be lit every night through January 5, 2014, with the exception of December 2 and 3.
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BRIGHT NIGHTS 5K ROAD RACE REACHES CAPACITY
Springfield, Massachusetts—In one week, the Bright Nights 5k Road Race has reached capacity. On Tuesday, September 7, 2010, the 500th registration form was received for the fifth annual run through the magnificent lighting displays. The Spirit of Springfield began accepting registrations on September 1st. In 2009, the race filled up in 17 days.
The Bright Nights 5k Road Race is sponsored by A Runner from the Back of the Pack, Charlie and Carol Casartello, Horizon Sheet Metal, Kittredge Equipment, New England Orthopedic Surgeons and more. Additional support is provided by 104th Fighter Wing – Barnes Air National Guard Base and the Springfield Department of Parks, Buildings & Recreation Management.
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BRIGHT NIGHTSHITS A MUSICAL NOTE
West Springfield, Massachusetts --Friday, June 19, 2009, at 1PM, forty students from Springfield’s Edward P. Boland School will record the first song for the Bright Nights at Forest Park 15th season holiday cd at Rotary Records in West Springfield. Under the direction of music teacher Diane Rodriguez, students from 2nd grade to 5th grade will perform “Light the Lights.” The chorus will showcase their ability to harmonize on a song that celebrates the spirit of the season.
Other voices that will be featured on the musical cd include Ashely Gearing, Sara Charles, Sam Plotkin, Vanessa Ford, Brad Shepard, Eric Bascom Trio, Jessie Rivers, Richie Mitnick, Kathy Mitnick, Ethel Lee, Joseph Broadnax, Jimmy Sturr and more.
The Bright Nights Holiday CD is one of several items that will be for sale to commemorate the 15th season. Others include a coffee table book, cookbook, book mark, holiday ornaments, baseball hats and more.
Bright Nights at Forest Park is presented by the Spirit of Springfield in cooperation with the Springfield Department of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management. It will open for its 15th season on Wednesday, November 25, 2009.
For more information about Bright Nights at Forest Park, visit brightnights.org or call 413-733-3800.
ABA PICKS BRIGHT NIGHTS FOR TOP 100
Top Honors for a Top Notch Event
Springfield, Massachusetts—Wednesday, September 10, 2008, in conjunction with the American Bus Associations’ release of the 2009 Top 100 Events in North America, Spirit of Springfield and the Springfield Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management will celebrate the inclusion of Bright Nights at Forest Park with an announcement at 1PM in Forest Park’s Rose Garden. It marks the second time Bright Nights has been included on the short list. The honor also coincides with Bright Nights 15th anniversary in 2009.
Joining Spirit of Springfield President Judith A. Matt in the Rose Garden will be Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Patrick Sullivan, Executive Director of Springfield Parks, Buildings & Recreation Management, Park Commissioner Jack Maloney, David Cuoco, Springfield Park’s Foreman for Bright Nights and his crew members, Micheal Niziolek, Vice President for Hasbro Games, William Pepin, Vice President & General Manager for WWLP-TV22, Representative Cheryl Coakly-Rivera, Representative Angelo Puppolo, Anthony Cignoli, A. L. Cignoli Company, and members of the Spirit of Springfield Board of Directors.
“Some visitors travel thousands of miles and for our community, Bright Nights is right in their backyard. They get to enjoy the holiday spectacular and many benefit from jobs created.” Spirit of Springfield President Judith A. Matt said. The International Festival & Events Association (IFEA) has estimated the economic impact of Bright Nights to be $7.4 million on an annual basis.
“The real news here is that Bright Nights at Forest Park has been recognized as a potential magnet for tourism dollars, at a time when reenergizing domestic tourism is so important to our spirit and our economy,” according to Peter J. Pantuso, ABA’s President and CEO. “The honor gives Bright Nights an important boost in visibility among professional tour planners. “
“We were delighted to see our nominee, Bright Nights at Forest Park, recognized once again as a Top 100 ABA event,” said Mary Kay Wydra, Greater Springfield & Convention Bureau President. “For the past 14 years, this special event has lured thousands of motor coaches into the region, bolstering the economy and enhancing the Pioneer Valley as a four-season destination. Congratulations to the team at The Spirit of Springfield.”
According to studies recently completed by researches at The George Washington University and Dunham and Associates, one overnight visit by a motorcoach group can leave from $5,000 to more than $13,000 in a local destinations economy. Those dollars are spent on lodging, meals, admissions, fees, shopping, souvenirs, services and local taxes.
ABA’s 2009 Top 100 Events Selection Committee chose Bright Nights from among hundreds of U. S. and Canadian Events nominated by state and provincial tourism offices and convention bureaus. Judges considered the event’s broad appeal, it accessibility to motorcoaches and still at handling large groups, and a variety of other relevant criteria. The complete list can be viewed at www.buses.org.
The 2008 season of Bright Nights at Forest Park will open on Wednesday, November 26th and operate Wednesday through Sunday until Sunday, December 7th. From Wednesday, December 10th through Saturday, January 3rd, the event will be open nightly. For more information, visit www.brightnights.org or contact the Spirit of Springfield at (413) 733-3800.
BRIGHT NIGHTS 5K ROAD RACE READY TO RUN
Registration Forms Now Available
Springfield, Massachusetts—Starting Monday, September 1, 2008, registration forms for the 2008 Bright Nights 5k Road Race will be available on-line at www.brightnights.org on the activities page. On Tuesday, September 2nd, they will also be available at the Spirit of Springfield, 101 State Street, Suite 220, or by calling (413) 733-3800. Participation is on a first come, first served basis and is limited to the first 500 completed registration forms received by the Spirit of Springfield via fax, mail or dropping it off at the Spirit of Springfield offices. The fee is $30. Runners must be at least 14 years of age.
Participants in the Bright Nights 5k Road Race will receive a red, embroidered mock turtleneck shirt and a pass to drive through Bright Nights at Forest Park. Prizes will be awarded to both male and female in all age categories.
“It’s a fun run and a great community event,” according to committee chairman and Spirit of Springfield Clerk, Attorney Charles Casartello. “The event sells out quickly every year. We wish we could accommodate more, but for safety reasons we are limited.”
People walking, pushing strollers or wearing headphones will not be allowed.
Members of the Bright Nights 5k Road Race Committee are Casartello, Tom Keenan, Honorary Chair, Ronald Berger, Michael Butler, Charlie Contant, Arthur Grodd, Arthur Roberts, Maryellen Sullivan and William Toner. They are tending to every detail to insure a safe and fun run for all. Casartello and Keenan are just two of the runners who had been asking for years to allow a road race through the magnificent lighting displays.
Bright Nights at Forest Park will open for its 14th season on Wednesday, November 26th and operate Wednesday through Sunday until December 7th. Beginning Wednesday, December 10th, the lights will be lit nightly through January 3rd.
The Bright Nights 5k Road Race will be held on one of the evenings the park is not open to vehicular traffic.
For more information about Bright Nights at Forest Park, visit www.brightnights.org or contact the Spirit of Springfield at (413) 733-3800.
BRIGHT NIGHTS CELEBRATES
Successful 2007 Season and New Web Site
Chicopee, Massachusetts—Thursday, February 21, 2008, at 8AM, at WWLP-22News, sponsors and supporters will gather to celebrate the success of the 2007 season of Bright Nights at Forest Park and get the first glimpse at the new web site—www.brightnights.org. The festivities will include remarks from Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Spirit of Springfield Chair and Eastfield Mall General Manager Arlene Putnam, Spirit of Springfield President Judith A. Matt, Executive Director of Springfield Parks, Buildings & Recreation Management Patrick J. Sullivan, and representing sponsors will be Trish Robinson, Senior Vice President for Strategic Communications and Community Responsibility and Deputy Head of Government Relations, MassMutual Financial Group, Jerry Drummond, Sales Team Leader - Energy Solutions, Siemens and Maura McCaffrey, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Health New England.
The Spirit of Springfield will take the opportunity to recognize sponsors, Springfield Parks Division crew and the volunteers. The corporate community has always been supportive of Bright Nights, but most especially during the 2007 season. The team from the Springfield Parks Division work from October to March installing, maintaining and dismantling the larger-than-life displays.
Volunteers are many and include Springfield Police Officer Carl Prairie, Patricia Gagnon, Senior Communications Specialist, Charlie Breguet, Videographer/Editor and Keith O’Connor, Media Relations Manager all from Baystate Health, Leslie Bercume, Director of Advertising & Graphic Design and Patrick McColley, Senior Interactive Designer from Health New England, and members of the Massachusetts Air and Army National Guard. Their roles are varied but all are important to the success Bright Nights at Forest Park. Officer Prairie installs the radio transmitter. O’Connor selects the music for the radio broadcast. Gagnon and Breguet create the PSA’s. The National Guard assists with the Bright Nights Road Race. Bercume designs the marketing materials, and McColley created the new web site.
On hand to premiere www.brightnights.org will be McCaffrey. McColley has worked for months to create the new site which will provide information about the event and activities, and a virtual tour of the displays. Many utilize the web site for information about days of operation, rates and to register for the Bright Nights Road Race. During November 2007, there were 20,044 unique visitors and in December 2007, the number increased to 29,044. The Spirit of Springfield attributes this in part to the People Magazine site, “Holidays Across America”, which featured Bright Nights as one of ten holiday attractions. Others included Disney World and Radio City Music Hall.
The 2007 season of Bright Nights at Forest Park was supported by Baystate Health, Big Y World Class Markets, Clear Channel, Comcast, C & W Realty, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Friendly Restaurants, Hasbro Games, Health New England, Kentucky Fried Chicken and A&W All-American Foods, MassMutual Financial Group, Mercy Medical Center, Northeast Grounds Management, Northern Tree Service, Siemens, The Republican, Sheraton Springfield, United Bank, Urban League of Springfield, Verizon, Western Massachusetts Electric Company and WWLP-22News.
Bright Nights at Forest Park is produced by the Spirit of Springfield and the Springfield Parks Division.