We are excited to announce the Bright Nights Season Pass.  For one price, you can visit the Northeast's premier holiday lighting experience every night during its 22nd season.  This includes all 38 nights PLUS a packet of discounts and coupons valued at more than $200. 
That is just one of the new things we have planned for the 2016 season of Bright Nights at Forest Park.
- Judy Matt 
NEW Bright Nights Season Pass
For Bright Nights at Forest Park enthusiasts, the Spirit of Springfield is launching the Bright Nights Season Pass.  For just $30 through November 7, and $40 from November 8 to November 30, purchasers will receive a decal for their car that will allow unlimited visits from November 23 to January 1. 
In addition, they will become a Bright Nights Loyalty Card Member which offers discounts this season and for years to come, plus a coupon book filled with freebies including a vehicle pass for a friend, family member, or colleague to enjoy Bright Nights, $5-off coupons for Uno's Pizzeria & Grill, Maureen's Sweet Shoppe, and Springfield Business Improvement District's Holiday Market. There are additional offers for Tower Square's Breakfast with Santa, Festival of Trees, Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield Museums, CityStage, Springfield Thunderbirds and more!
For a complete list and to purchase a Bright Nights Season pass by November 30, visit brightnights.org. 
Go ing Once, Going Twice -- Sold at the City of Bright Nights Ball  

The Spirit of Springfield has a premier group of items for the City of Bright Nights Ball live auction and an array of items for the mobile auction.  They range from rhinestones to diamonds, David Ortiz autographed jersey to Pat Sajak signed photo, and tickets to Broadway and seats in Fenway.
With the generosity of donors near, like John Sjoberg of New England Business Machine, and those afar that include Elite Island Resorts, there are always great opportunities for gifts and getaways at the gala.  Mike Mathis from MGM Springfield will auction off a vacation to the Bellagio in Las Vegas.  The Big Mamou's Chef Wayne Hooker will be looking for the highest bidder for a grand dinner package that he will personally prepare at Smokey Joe's, and a generous donor is donating a one-week stay in their two-bedroom condominium in Watch Hill, Rhode Island.
For more items, visit spiritofspringfield.org.  Bidding for the silent auction starts November 7 at https://qtego.net/qlink/brightnights.
Tickets for the City of Bright Nights Ball are $500 per couple or tables of ten for $2,500.  To make a reservation, contact amy@spiritofspringfield.org
The 2016 City of Bright Nights Ball is sponsored by PeoplesBank.
Bright Nights Rolling Back Admission
It was 1995 when Bright Nights at Forest Park opened for its inaugural season. The national average price of gas was little more than $1 per gallon and milk was $3.40 per gallon.  The President was Bill Clinton and Springfield's Mayor was Bob Markel.  The price for a car full of visitors to enjoy Bright Nights was just $6.
On Wednesday, November 23, when Bright Nights opens for its 22nd season, admission for cars will roll back to 1995. 
Since its inaugural season, the Northeast's premier lighting experience has expanded to three miles and more than 650,000 lights.  Santa's Magical Forest was added, as well as more recently more interactivity with rides, giant Bright Nights Snow Globe, expanded Gift Shop and a cottage Santa can call his own.

215th Army Band Returns for Free Holiday Concert

The Spirit of Springfield and Mercy Medical Center cordially invite you to join us for a free holiday concert by the 215th Army Band of the Massachusetts Army National Guard on Sunday, December 4 at 2PM.  The more than 40-member musical ensemble will fill Springfield Symphony Hall with the sounds of the season. 
For a preview, join them Saturday, December 3 at the Springfield Thunderbirds home game.  They will have musicians performing before the game on the concourse, the National Anthem and after the first period. 
Tickets for the concert by the 215th Army Band of the Massachusetts Army National Guard the will be available starting November 14 at Mercy Medical Center, Western Mass News, Sheraton Springfield, Big Y World Class Markets, Spirit of Springfield and by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to Spirit of Springfield, 1350 Main Street, Suite 1004, Springfield, MA  01103.

Mercy Medical Center is the proud sponsor of the holiday concert.
Bright Nights Family Fun
Come for the lights  . . . Stay for the Fun is the best way to describe the 2016 season of Bright Nights at Forest Park.  The Carousel, Santa Train and Giant Bright Nights Snow Globe have proven to be very popular with visitors.  Santa will have his own cottage and there will be an expanded gift shop all nestled in Santa's Magical Forest located just passed Seuss Land. 
On weekends, kettle corn will be freshly popped and s'mores melting over open fire.  Through December 23, horse-drawn wagon rides will be offered Fridays and Sundays.  Romantic horse-drawn carriage rides will be offered Fridays and Saturdays. 
There are also three evenings when visitors can have Supper with Santa.

See our complete calendar of activities at brightnights.org.
Spirit of Springfield's Growing Family
Spirit of Springfield's Program Coordinator Nicole Antonmarchi and her husband, Luis, took their son "LJ" for his first outing . . . 

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 26 Years of Springfield's 
Biggest, Best and Brightest 
In This Issue
NEW Bright Nights Season Pass
Going Once, Going Twice - Sold at the City of Bright Nights Ball
Bright Nights Rolling Back Admission
215th Army Band Returns for Free Holiday Concert
Bright Nights Family Fun
Spirit of Springfield's Growing Family
Guest Column - Thomas W. Sencal
Guest Column

Thomas W. Sencal
President and Chief Financial Officer

Here is how F. Scott Fitzgerald begins The Great Gatsby:

"In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.
"Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had.""
On November 12, at the Bright Nights Ball, we will throw a party that will be right out of Gatsby...high fashion, expensive jewelry, black ties and colorful gowns.  A splendid time will be had by all, and we hope you can join us for this very, very special event.
I am proud to serve as the Chairman of the 2016 City of Bright Nights Ball.  For me, the Gatsby theme serves to not only let our attendees know that they are in for an evening of unmatched elegance and opulence, but also, more importantly, to remind us all of a slightly older quote - "To whomever much is given, of him will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked." 
PeoplesBank gives so much back to the Springfield community for one simple reason - it's just the Right Thing To Do.  Yes, we can sometimes throw a nice party and have some fun at the same time...but, we never lose sight of the higher value.  We also see our support of the City of Bright Nights Ball as an investment in Spirit of Springfield and all the things they do year round.
I hope to see you there.
Balloon Wranglers WANTED
Volunteer for the 
Parade of the Big Balloons
November 25
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