Promoted as “New England’s Premiere Holiday Lighting Experience,” Bright Nights at Forest Park on Sumner Avenue in Springfield, Massachusetts, is an event to mark on the calendar and plan ahead to attend. From Thanksgiving through January 2nd annually, the city of Springfield transforms into a “City of Bright Nights.” Leading by example, Bright Nights at Forest Park offers nearly three miles of intricate, fascinating lighting displays to commemorate the holiday season each year.
This event is far more than a few random lights strung along houses and businesses in the area. Planning and coordinating to rival the Tournament of Roses Parade goes into preparing for this annual event of Bright Nights at Forest Park. From designing the lighting displays, to setting up the lights, to coordinating the overall event, numerous talented and skilled individuals get involved to make this event a spectacular one for visitors who come from all over Springfield, the state of Massachusetts, and beyond – arriving on foot, and by cars, trucks, buses, vans, and motor homes.
The first stage of designing the displays involves several steps of its own. This includes generating a display idea as an artist concept on paper, and then designing it on computers, followed by printing out full designs, complete with cutting and drawing diagrams for the metal framework. The framework for each display then goes through a process of welding, coating, and painting. Individuals then wrap the entire framework with wiring for the lights, and then weather-resistant tape over the wires. The final steps in this first stage include adding any decorations needed for the design, followed by the lights themselves.
The next stage involves setting up the lighting displays, which starts with burying all the wires underground, to provide wire-free viewing over nearly three miles of Forest Park. Licensed professionals check wiring and wire nuts for safety, and with only the junction boxes above ground, switch on the electricity. Numerous individuals then help with the momentous task of receiving, unpacking, and setting up the displays. Safety is paramount at this stage, especially working with electricity and with lights often suspended high above the ground.
Once the lighting displays are set up, and every light works properly, the Forest Park community prepares for the annual pilgrimage of tourists for a period that extends from Thanksgiving through January 2nd.
Bright Nights at Forest Park Days and Hours
- Open Wednesday – Sunday through December 5th
- Open Nightly December 8th through January 2nd
- Sunday – Thursday 5PM to 9PM
- Friday, Saturday & Holidays* 5PM to 11PM
Bright Nights at Forest Park Rates
A fee applies to view the displays. There is a weekend and holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day) fee, and a lesser fee for Monday through Thursday.
People who enjoy the thrill of holiday lighting, but have never seen it in such a large and elaborate exhibit, should mark their calendars now and plan ahead to attend the next great display of Bright Nights at Forest Park in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Bright Nights at Forest Park
300 Sumner Avenue
Springfield, MA 01108