SPRINGFIELD -- As the March equinox fast approaches and residents prepare for their spring gardening needs, it was a different feeling in the Grand Ballroom at the Sheraton Springfield Tuesday.
Holiday music filled the room where nearly 200 guests of Spirit of Springfield gathered to reflect the first 24-years of Bright Nights at Forest Park in Springfield.
Joining the breakfast were longtime supporters and sponsors who have worked behind the scenes to bring the holiday season to light.
The economic gain to the area has exceeded $15 million according to the Spirit of Springfield management team which has sponsored the event since its inception by Judy Matt, president of the Spirit of Springfield.
Patrick Sullivan, of the Springfield Department of Parks, Building and Recreation Management said when the event was started, their mission was simple, to make memories for families and friends. Today more than 5.4 million visitors have passed through the gate added Sullivan.
The 2018 season of Bright Nights was a joint effort by many local sponsors such as:
*The Arbors Kids
*Asnuntuck Community College
*Big Y World Class Markets
*Charlie Arment Trucking, Inc.
*Columbia Gas of Massachusetts
*Gleason Johndrow Landscaping
*Health New England
*The MP Group
*Skip's Outdoor Accents
The 25th anniversary season will open Nov. 27 and operate through January 5, 2020.