BOSTON — On Wednesday, the state Senate voted to approve a budget amendment sponsored by Senator Eric P. Lesser that allocates $100,000 to help fund the Spirit of Springfield’s programming.
The Spirit of Springfield enhances quality of life by managing large annual events that foster a sense of community and civic pride in Springfield, including the “World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast,” a U.S. Navy Band concert and Bright Nights at Forest Park.
The Spirit of Springfield attracts 400,000 people to its events each year, and Bright Nights alone generated $15 million in the local economy during the winter of 2016-2017 — especially impressive for an organization with a staff of only four members.
“I am glad that the Senate has passed the funds needed to continue the Spirit of Springfield programming that has made Springfield such a unique place to live, work and raise a family. From Bright Nights to Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinements, Spirit of Springfield is responsible for the events and attractions that put Springfield on the map, and is a vital member of our Western Mass community,” said Sen. Lesser.
The amendment will be included in the Senate version of the budget, which will be negotiated with House members before a final budget proposal is sent to the governor’s desk.