Celebrating Springfield's Biggest, Best and Brightest

August 24th was a historic day. The first resort casino in the Commonwealth was opened in Springfield, and the Spirit of Springfield was honored to support MGM Springfield and our community. 

We lent our expertise to MGM Springfield for the opening procession and partnered with the Springfield Business Improvement District and the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau to welcome visitors as they passed through Court Square.
Congratulations to everyone involved!

- Judy Matt 

MGM Springfield Opening Procession
MGM Springfield opened with flare and fanfare as a procession led by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis traveled from MGM Way to Howard Street. They were followed by acrobats from Cirque Du Soleil, members of the building trades, MGM Springfield employees, the UMass-Amherst Marching Band and Cheerleaders, and the Budweiser Clydesdales.
As the procession made its way from State Street to Main Street, MGM employees were chanting MGM and spectators yelled "Mike" as Mr. Mathis passed in a 1923 Rolls Royce. When the entourage arrived at the hotel entrance, MGM Resorts International Chair Jim Murren was overwhelmed with excitement. He was accompanied by Springfield's own Paul Picknelly and MGM Resort International President Bill Hornbuckle.
Alex Dixon, MGM Springfield General Manager, was also close by waiting to usher the first guest into the casino.
September 11 Image
September 11th Remembrance Ceremony
For the 16 th  year, the Spirit of Springfield will assist the Springfield Police and Fire Departments with Springfield's annual September 1 1th  
Ceremony. It will be held Tuesday, September 11 at 10am at the Raymond Sullivan Safety Complex at 1212 Carew Street. Speakers will include  Bishop Mitchell Rozanski, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Fire Commissioner B. J. Calvi, Police Commissioner John Barbieri, Major General Peter Green, Wing Commander for the 104 th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base, and David Pelletier representing American Medical Response.
The ceremony will include the lowering of the flag by the 104th Fighter Wing, roll out of emergency vehicles, tolling of the fire bell, gun salute and taps.  

Check out the Facebook Event!
Bright Nights 5K Registration Opening Soon
Registration for the 2018 Bright Nights 5K Road Race will open on Monday, September 17 at 12am. There are 500 coveted spots. They are sure to go quickly. Last year, the first bib number went to Mike from Enfield (CT) before 12:01am and the 500 th bib number was taken at 5:34am by Danielle in Chicopee.
The fun run through the holiday lighting displays will be held Monday, November 26 at 6pm. (Rain Date: Tuesday, November 28). Runners, who must be at least 14 years old on race day, should be prepared to run both dates. Refunds will not be issued and substitutions are not allowed.
This year's race is sponsored by Baystate Rehabilitation Care and Health New England with additional support from Freedom Credit Union, Springfield College and Westfield Bank.
Be sure to use #brightnights5k on your Bright Nights Road Race Registration selfies!
Behind the Scenes at MGM Procession

The Spirit of Springfield is only as good as its resources. Our reach into the community is vast and has a great range. To assist with the MGM Springfield Procession, we called upon volunteers, vendors and other local resources.
The Springfield Police Department led the procession followed by Pioneer Valley Transit Authorty's (PVTA) trolley. George Holman and his family, provided the 1923 Rolls Royce. It is one of 2,944 that was manufactured in Springfield. Richard Bolduc of Indian Motorcycle of Springfield lent two vintage motorcycles and one brand new one. Gleason Johndrow Landscaping had 20 volunteers to assist with the line-up and safety along the route. Michael's Party Rental provided the 16-foot by 20-foot media platform that was full to capacity with reporters and cameras. The University of Massachusetts at Amherst brought the band, all 300 of them, cheerleaders and mascot. Travel Kuz delivered them to Springfield, and Elegant Affairs fed them and provided 5,000 waters for participants and MGM Springfield guests.

Court Square Hospitality for MGM Springfield
Thousands traveled by shuttle from the Big E to MGM Springfield for opening day. They all had to walk through Court Square so the Spirit of Springfield, Springfield Business Improvement District (SBID) and the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau joined forces to welcome them.
Visitors were given information about the community, a souvenir lanyard and the opportunity to purchase food and beverages from vendors. The vendors included Elegant Affairs, Palazzo Café, Nosh, Wicked Good Sweets, Monsoon Coffee, 350 Grill and more. The SBID hired unique entertainment. There were restrooms, a tent with chairs to keep guest protected from the sun, and the Springfield Water & Sewer Commission with two water stations.
Taking a Spin for Ride to Remember  

Some prefer to pedal from Springfield to Boston. Others took a spin on One Financial Plaza to show their support for the Springfield Ride to Remember.
The Spirit of Springfield and 180 Fit Gym hosted a spinning event in support of the Springfield Ride to Remember. More than 50 riders took to the stationery bicycles and raised over $1,000. Riders included Mayors Domenic Sarno and Will Reichelt, City Councilor Jesse Lederman, Fire Commissioner B. J. Calvi, representatives from the Springfield Thunderbirds, MassLive and more.


On Friday, September 7, at 10am in Riverfront Park, officials will host the groundbreaking ceremony for Springfield's September 11th

In This Issue
MGM Opening Procession
September 11th Remembrance Ceremony
Bright Nights 5K Registration
Behind the Scenes at MGM Procession
Court Square Hospitality for MGM Springfield
Taking a Spin for Ride to Remember
Guest Column - Paul Picknelly, Monarch Enterprises
Guest Column

Paul Picknelly,
Monarch Enterprises

While reflecting on this past week in Springfield, it's hard not to reflect on the past 7 years. Today we see excitement in the air. Main Street is alive with people holding their heads high. Why? Because we celebrate how our city was blown down to its knees after a tornado came rolling in, and we got up, rebuilt, and today is what has come from that.
Bringing gaming to Springfield was no easy task. There were so many twists and turns, so many ups and downs; more than anyone could have imagined. When our legislators put plans in place for gaming in our state, they intelligently allowed one facility to be in Western Massachusetts. My guess is that when one imagined what the gaming facility would resemble, no one would have envisioned what we have today. No one would have imagined taking a blighted urban environment, redeveloping it and integrating it into a community where at first glance, it appears like it has been here for decades.
When the residents of Springfield chose MGM to come to our city, MGM promised that they would build the best casino for our city. When you walk inside you will experience firsthand how MGM's promise, passion and experience is in every square foot of this world-class resort. Not only is it incredibly gorgeous, it has all the amenities we could only have dreamed of besides gaming. The thoughtfulness of the design embracing our city's heritage is amazing. Simply put, no other company would have come remotely close to building anything like we have today.
It's not just the bricks and mortar; MGM Springfield has a heart and soul. It will redirect the course of our city and change the lives of many.   MGM proved early on that it was not about one person, one company, or one city. Instead, it was about creating a vision and a team with dedication to truly make a difference. MGM Team Springfield is simply amazing.
T o those folks at MGM that stood by Springfield every step of the way, all we can say is that MGM Springfield was worth fighting for and we can't thank you enough for fighting for us.
To those who supported gaming for Springfield, thank you. Now pause and think about how you can support Springfield and all it has to offer. Springfield's turn is now! We have the ability to once again be the envy of other major cities in New England; it's time to add more chapters to our story.
To those who still question if the facility is right for our community, I ask you to look outside the box, and focus on what this facility will bring to our city.
- $ 1 Billion in additional taxes over forty years
- $ 50 million in goods and services purchased annually in our city
- Millions of new visitors coming downtown annually
- 3,000 jobs helping unemployed families in need
To those who are no longer with us, who dreamed this day would come, we thank you for your vision and hope you have the ability to look down. It's better than you would have dreamed.
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Celebrating Springfield's 
Biggest, Best and Brightes

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.