Celebrating Springfield's Biggest, Best and Brightest

Bright Nights at Forest Park has closed for its 23rd season.  It was a very good year.  Families and friends left the park with memories that will last them a lifetime.  There was even an engagement, or two. 
Now, the crew from the Springfield Park Department will brave the elements to dismantle and carefully place the displays in storage.  We will review every aspect and use the data from the Bright Nights program book surveys to further enhance the experience for 2018.
Happy New Year!
- Judy Matt 
Bright Nights Wraps Up 23rd Season
The season started with unseasonable warm temperatures and closed with record cold, but in between Bright Nights welcomed visitors in 42,150 cars.  This represents an increase of 2,181 over attendance in 2016. 
Many ventured out of their vehicles for a horse-drawn wagon or carriage rides, a spin on the carousel, mini tractors and the Santa Train.  On weekends, they warmed up by the fire with a s'more.  They told Santa their holiday wishes and shopped for souvenirs. 
Bright Nights has more than 650,000 lights.  More importantly, it has created holiday memories to last a lifetime.
Social Media for Bright Nights Off the Charts
When surveyed, the number one answer of how
visitors heard about Bright Nights was "word of mouth."  With so many more ways to connect with friends and strangers, social media has become a catalyst.
The season started with 14,647 Facebook followers and ended with 17,902.  There are 679 followers on Twitter and 464 on Instagram.
Snapchatters used the filter 525 times and made more than 28,000 views.  On Facebook, 37 used the Bright Nights frame.   

The Year Ahead
The Spirit of Springfield has set the calendar for 2018.  It is filled with Springfield's traditional events like the World's Largest Pancake Breakfast, Star Spangled Springfield, Parade of the Big Balloons, and Bright Nights at Forest Park, of course.
We will host two fundraisers - Spirit of Springfield Golf Classic at Franconia Golf Course and the City of Bright Nights Ball.  These events are important to the stability of the organization.
The Spirit of Springfield will also be working closely with the City of Springfield to raise money for the September 11th Memorial, a beautiful monument that incorporates an artifact from the World Trade Center.

Get the 2018 Bright Nights Season pass with some extra perks.  

For just $30 through January 30, purchase the 2018 Bright Nights Season Pass, get an extra ticket admission for a friend and four complimentary tickets to the World's Largest Pancake Breakfast.  

In This Issue
Bright Nights Wraps Up 23rd Season
Social Media for Bright Nights
The Year Ahead
Breaking News - 2018 Season PAss
Guest Column - Attorney Melinda Phelps
Happy New Year!
Guest Column

Attorney Melinda Phelps
Partner, Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas
Chair, Spirit of Springfield

Let me begin the first 2018 Spirit of Springfield newsletter by sharing with you a note I received from a co-worker who visited Bright Nights just before Christmas: "The kids and I went on Sunday night and we had such a great time!  We sang along to the radio station and picked out our favorite lights: American Flag, Baby Jesus, and Grinch.  And then the kids both fell asleep on the way home."  

For that family and for thousands of other families, Bright Nights, now in its 23rd year, continues to provide spirited quality family entertainment.  Let me pass on some statistics from the 39 nights of 2017 Bright Nights season, 42,150 cars, and approximately 200,000 people, were treated to the Northeast's premier holiday lighting display.  Our collective thanks to all who make Bright Nights possible: City of Springfield employees, including DPW, Facilities, and Police departments, our many dedicated sponsors, who year after year, support Bright Nights, and hats off to the indefatigable Spirit of Springfield staff and volunteers.  
2017 was a busy year at the Spirit of Springfield. In addition to its annual events, the Pancake Breakfast, Fourth of July celebration, Bright Nights Ball, and military band concerts, Spirit of Springfield was proud to participate in Springfield's Union Station June weekend gala and opening.
As the new Chair of the Spirit of Springfield Board of Directors, I am grateful for the leadership from past Spirit of Springfield board members and presidents, and especially thankful for the stewardship of my immediate predecessor, Jane Albert, a cheerleader for all things Springfield and good.
On behalf of the Spirit of Springfield board, thank you to all of you who attend and sponsor Sprit of Springfield events.  We look forward to working with you as we plan 2018 events, and commemorate the 25th year of Bright Nights at Forest Park in 2019!
Wishing you, health, happiness and  a year 
full of fun!
Judy, Amy, Nicole, 
Emma, Connie, and 
Spirit of Springfield Board
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The Spirit of Springfield is a private, non-profit corporation
which produces high-quality, large-scale events in the city of Springfield.
Our mission is to promote community events and encourage civic pride.

Celebrating Springfield's  Biggest, Best and Brightest!