Springfield, Massachusetts—Wednesday, November 21, 2015, at 5PM, the Spirit of Springfield and the Springfield Department of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management will open the 21st season of Bright Nights at Forest Park. On hand for the lighting ceremony in Santa’s Magical Forest will be Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Anthony Gleason, II, and David Johndrow from Gleason Johndrow Landscaping, Bright Nights newest sponsors. They will be joined by other sponsors and supporters, and elected officials as the switch gets flipped on the more than 650,000 lights and the Winter Carousel, Santa Train and Giant Snow Globe.
Making Bright Nights even brighter this year are the 9,185 LED lights used to replace incandescent bulbs in Never, Never Land and the Victorian Village. In total, the Springfield Park Division staff replaced 40,000 bulbs before opening night.
To enhance the Bright Nights experience, activities and special nights will be held throughout the season. Public Safety Night, sponsored by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, will be held to honor first responders. Active military, law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical service personnel will be given free admission to Bright Nights on Wednesday, December 2.
The Barney Carriage House will host Supper with Santa on December 4, 11 and 13, and Frozen Fantasy on December 29 and 30. Supper with Santa features a child-friendly menu and one-on-one time with Santa. Prices are $15 each and $10 for children under 12. The Winter Sisters, Winter Prince and the Friendly Snowman will pay a visit to the Barney Carriage House for Frozen Fantasy. They will host a sing-a-long, a lesson in princess and prince etiquette, and decorate snowflake or princess crown-shaped cookies. The price is $20 per person. Reservations are made by calling the Spirit of Springfield at 413-733-3800.
From December 25 through January 3, are Craft Nights inside Santa’s Cottage. Children can make a free penguin doorknob hanger. On New Year’s Eve from 5:30PM to 8PM, the Winter Sisters will make a special appearance, and there will be free children’s books compliments of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.
For an open-air view of some of the lighting displays, horse-drawn wagon and carriage rides are offered. Wagon rides are offered Fridays and Sundays for $9 and $7 for children 14 and under. The entire wagon can be reserved for as many as 20 people for $150. Carriage rides for as many as four passengers are $75. They are available Fridays and Saturdays. Exceptions for the wagon and carriage rides are December 13 and 25.
Discounted admission will be given November 25, opening night, when prices are rolled back to the 1995 admission of $6 per car. On December 7, Bright Nights Loyalty Card holders will be charged just $5 per car and, on December 8, it will be $10 Tuesday with car admission just $10.
Every night through December 24, Santa is present for photos and listening to holiday wishes. Visitors can also leave a letter in his mailbox. A photographer will also be available to take photos as visitors ride the Winter Carousel, the Santa Train or venture in to the Giant Snow Globe.
Bright Nights will operate through January 3, but closed November 30 and December 1. Admission is $18 per car Monday through Thursday, and $21 per car Friday through Sunday and holidays—Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
The 21st season of Bright Nights is sponsored by The Arbor Kids, Balise, Baystate Health, Big Y World Class Markets, Charlie Arment Trucking, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, Comcast, Eversource Energy, Gleason Johndrow Landscaping, Hasbro, Health New England, iHeart Media, JGS Lifecare, MassLive, MassMutual Financial Group, Mercy Medical Center, MGM Springfield, Milone & MacBroom, Moriarty & Primack, PC, PeoplesBank, Sheraton Springfield, Shriners Hospital for Children, The Republican, Smith & Wesson, Tower Square, United Bank, and WWLP-22News/The CW Springfield.
Bright Nights has been a 21-year collaboration between the Spirit of Springfield, a private non-profit organization, and the Springfield Department of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management.
For more information, visit brightnights.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Spirit of Springfield at 413-733-3800.
For more information about Bright Nights at Forest Park, visit www.brightnights.org or contact the Spirit of Springfield at (413) 733-3800.
NOTE: Media attending opening night lighting ceremony can access Bright Nights at the 200 Trafton Road gate. Security will be there from 4:15PM to 4:45PM to allow access.