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Sen. Warren visits new Downtown non-profit

Sen. Warren

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said her visit to Springfield yesterday focused on two issues of extreme importance – talking of ways to help at-risk youth, and bringing news of a new $728,000 federal grant for city firefighter safety and training.

The Springfield Business Improvement District is so proud to have new non-profit Suit Up Springfield in our district, in a storefront on Worthington Street.  This is where Warren visited on her trip to learn about Suit Up Springfield and other local organizations that are helping at-risk youth and recently released inmates. Suit Up Springfield helps at-risk youth academically and professionally, including providing them with donated suits and ties for job interviews and to help with self esteem.

Warren then stopped at the Fire Department headquarters, also on Worthington Street, to announce the federal grant that will provide 67 full sets of self-contained breathing apparatus, and an additional 165 face masks for firefighters, and for certification training of all fire officers.

“It’s an incredible day for the Springfield Fire Department,” Fire Commissioner Joseph Conant said. “It is much needed equipment, much needed training that we have been fighting for the last couple of years. To give our firefighters the best equipment is my top priority to keep them safe and to keep the public safe.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren visits community organization in SpringfieldU. S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass and Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno participated with other local officials and community groups in an open forum at Suit Up Springfield Friday. Suit Up Springfield is a community based group focused on helping young Springfield men to become professionally minded and attired.

Such a grant is the least the federal government can do to aid emergency personnel who rush into buildings when everyone else runs out, Warren said.

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Jazz star Jane Monheit to open CityBlock

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Jazz star Jane Monheit to open CityBlock; Willie Nile, FAT among acts at summer concert series


Music fans needn’t look any further than opening night of this year’s CityBlock Summer Concert Series to see that change is in the air.

Jazz star Jane Monheit opens up the series on Thursday, July 2 at 7 p.m., kicking off a summer that will feature everything from blues to classic rock, zydeco, and a touch of 80s glam.

The free concert series will also feature a revamped stage set-up, with the performance taking place at the Bridge Street end of Stearns Square to create a natural “concert hall” effect. All of the shows will take place at Stearns Square, except for the Aug. 27 closer at Court Square.

The summer event, produced by the Springfield Business Improvement District, has a first-ever series sponsor with MassMutual giving its support.

The Grammy-nominated Monheit is one of the true stars of the genre and will start her summer tour this weekend with performances at New York City’s famed Lincoln Center. Her 2013 release “The Heart of the Matter” features her interpretation of The Beatles’ “Golden Slumbers / The Long and Winding Road.”

For those perhaps looking to get a little closer to the Beatles’ legacy than Monheit’s tribute, Denny Laine of Wings will perform “Band on the Run,” on Aug. 6. An original member of Moody Blues, Laine went on to form Wings with Paul McCartney in 1971 and performed with the Beatle until the band broke up in 1981.

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Summer concert series unveils new name, logo

CityBlock Concert Series

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The annual summer concert series held in downtown Springfield has unveiled a new name and logo just ahead of announcing its lineup later this week.

As was previously mentioned, the series reverts back to its original name, CityBlock, from when the concerts were first held on Main Street in the summer of 2000.

The series moved to Stearns Square the following year and became known as the Stearns Square Concert Series and was briefly dubbed “Bike Night.”

The logo and name change are part of an overhaul of the long-standing event aimed at bringing the focus back to the music. The logo shows a concert setting with the Springfield skyline as a backdrop.

The series also has its first-ever “presenting sponsor” in MassMutual.

The CityBlock Summer Concert Series is produced by the Springfield Business Improvement District and takes place every Thursday night in downtown Springfield beginning July 2 and running through Aug. 27. The concerts are free and open to the public.

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The Beatles join cast of ‘Wizard of Oz’ in downtown Springfield

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SPRINGFIELD — A few months ago painter John Simpson completed a mural of the cast of “The Wizard of Oz,” complete with a yellow brick road, on a vacant building in Court Square in Downtown.

Simpson, an art professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, has added The Beatles to his growing list of artwork, painting the iconic cover of the band’s 11th studio album “Abbey Road” on the building’s exterior. The image is an exact replica complete with a white Volkswagen Beetle in the background.

For nearly a year Simpson has been collaborating with real estate developer Evan Plotkin and city employee Mike Cassto paint portraits of iconic figures in film and music as well as local VIPs including Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Theodor Seuss Geisel.

The idea for the paintings first came about when Plotkin decided to bring back the Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival this past summer.

The pieces are all done on the plywood used to board up the building. Plotkin said volunteers spent time painting all of the plywood black in order to give Simpson, and several other artists who have contributed paintings, a blank canvas to work with.

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Springfield Restaurant Week Press Conference

Please Join Us for Some Tasty Treats!
Free Samples from Restaurant Week

Springfield Restaurant Week

Springfield, MA – Mayor Sarno, The Springfield City Council Young Professionals Subcommittee and the Springfield Business Improvement District (SBID) are excited to invite you to a Press Conference on April 21, 2015 at 10:30am on the steps of Symphony Hall about Restaurant Week.

You will learn more details about Springfield Restaurant Week, which will be held from April 23 through May 2, 2015. The Young Professionals Subcommittee of the City Council and the Springfield BID have teamed up with local restaurants to serve delicious meals during Springfield Week. Many Downtown and Riverfront restaurants are featured in this event and will provide two or three course dinner menus for a set price of $20.15 per person. The restaurants are Adolfo’s, Blackjack Steakhouse, Chef Wayne’s Big Mamou, Currents (Marriott), The Fort/Student Prince, Hot Table Panini, Luxe Burger Bar, McCaffrey’s Public House, Nadim’s Mediterranean, Panjabi Tadka, Petra Café, PICKS/MVP (Sheraton), Plan B Burger, Samuel’s, Shakago, Theodore’s, 350 Grill and Steakhouse, and Uno Chicago.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, stated “It is a very exciting time for the City of Springfield. It is with great pleasure that an event like this is happening in our vibrant Downtown. This event is a great way for us to show off our beautiful city and bring people to the amazing restaurants downtown!” Springfield City Councilor, Justin Hurst, has been serving as the Chair of the YP Sub-committee, and is ecstatic that this goal of his Committee has come to fruition. “Young professionals are the future of Springfield,” shares Hurst. “They are critical to the long term stability and economic development of this City and I am proud to be a part of the planning for this event.” In addition to the Springfield Business Improvement District, the week is made possible thanks to Baystate Health, Farmington Bank, Garten LLC Landscaping and Services, Inspired Marketing, MassLive, White Lion Brewing Company, and Williams Distributing.

This event is not only for young professionals, but families and the community as a whole will have the opportunity to enjoy what the City has to offer.

Please join the honorable Mayor Sarno, The Springfield City Council Young Professionals Subcommittee and the Springfield Business Improvement District on April 21,, 2015 at 10:30am on the steps of Symphony Hall. Please note: in the case of inclement weather it will move inside City Hall

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Springfield BID is Looking for Photographs of Downtown!

 Calling All Photographers!



Springfield, MA – Downtown Springfield has always been known for incredible architecture – including buildings along Main Street, Worthington Street, and more.  Plus, with cultural assets such as the Springfield Museums and events like the Pancake Breakfast, Summer Concert Series, and Jazz Festival; Downtown Springfield has an abundance of great photo opportunities.

The Springfield Business Improvement District (SBID) is looking for photographs of all things Downtown to use for our website, email blasts and social media!  Pictures can include (but are not limited to) architecture, events, people, streets, events, and so much more!

All photographs should include a small photo credit in the lower right hand corner so you are given credit.  In addition, when you submit please send the name of your company and a website link.  We will do our very best to also promote you in upcoming e-newsletters and social media.

With your help, we look forward to showcasing the beautiful city that we Live, Work and Play in!

Due to the size of images, please create a Dropbox and then send the link to us at with the information needed from above.


For questions please contact Kristin at


White Lion Brewing and MGM Springfield
 to bring summer beer festival to Downtown Springfield

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Valley Fest, White Lion Brewing Company’s first ever beer festival, will be held at Court Square in Downtown Springfield on August 29.

The company’s plans for what will become their signature annual event will feature more than 50 breweries and local food vendors.  Craft-beer enthusiasts from New England and beyond will have an opportunity to sample more than 100 varieties of local, regional and national beers and hard ciders along side pairing selections by local chefs.

“Even in our inaugural year, Valley Fest will be the largest one-day beer festival in Western Massachusetts,” said company founder Ray Berry in the event’s press release.

“We expect to draw up to 2,000 enthusiasts from throughout New England. We are very excited to showcase the fourth largest city in New England and all of its amenities.”

White Lion Brewing Company launched in October 2014 and is the City of Springfield’s only brewery. Berry and brew master is Mike Yates oversee the company’s latest ale styles.

The Young Professional Society of Springfield will lead the event’s homebrew competition and a portion of Valley Fest proceeds will support local charities.

MGM Springfield will serve as the presenting sponsor for the Court Square event that will be split into two pouring sessions, from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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Parking in Downtown Springfield

cars in parking lotAs you may have heard on the news parking in Downtown Springfield has shifted a bit due to the closing of some of the surface lots to begin in the construction of the MGM Springfield project.  Ultimately this project will yield a wonderful parking garage to service all of Downtown.

We encourage monthly parkers to make sure their lot is not closing and if it is in the future to plan ahead.  For folks looking for parking we encourage you to check out the “Parking in Downtown” section of Business Resources and for ease of use please check out our interactive map of Downtown.

“We understand this is not convenient for some,” shares Chris Russell, SBID Executive Director, “but we are working very hard to make sure solutions are available.  To that end, we will have SBID Ambassadors on hand Monday to direct parkers to alternative lots.  In addition, we are working alongside the Springfield Parking Authority, ProPark, Valet Park of America, Executive Parking, various private lots, and the Mayor’s office to make sure all needs are accommodated. The Springfield Business Improvement District is also trying to work on organizing a shuttle from alternative lots outside of downtown.”  




Important Info about Parking Downtown Springfield MA

Springfield, MA – Former President Clinton once said, “The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.”  This statement rings very true for the City of Springfield as we begin to undertake changes in our city with an eye on progress in the development of the $800 million MGM Springfield project.  The Springfield Business Improvement District (SBID) would like to remind Downtown Springfield parkers about upcoming changes  regarding parking downtown Springfield, MA.  Beginning this Monday, March 2, 2015, many of the Downtown surface parking lots in the MGM Springfield footprint will be closing.  These parking lot closures, which monthly parkers were notified of six weeks ago, will require Downtown workers to seek alternative parking solutions.

parking downtown springfield ma

“We understand this is not convenient for some,” shares Chris Russell, SBID Executive Director, “but we are working very hard to make sure solutions are available.  To that end, we will have SBID Ambassadors on hand Monday to direct parkers to alternative lots.  In addition, we are working alongside the Springfield Parking Authority, ProPark, Valet Park of America, Executive Parking, various private lots, and the Mayor’s office to make sure all needs are accommodated.”

Russell also went on to share, “The Springfield Business Improvement District is also trying to work on organizing a shuttle from alternative lots outside of downtown.” 

In the meantime in an effort to make this process as easy as possible MGM Springfield has kindly agreed to keep a few select lots open for a while longer as details sorted out.  The SBID is encouraging all individuals who are monthly parkers in Downtown to not wait, but rather to look for new parking as soon as possible.

For continued updates on the shuttle and other related Downtown news please visit the Springfield Business Improvement District’s website at  or follow on Facebook.

It’s official… Jazz is coming back to Downtown!

jazz music in Springfield, MAThe Springfield Business Improvement District is excited that the Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival will be returning to Court Square in Downtown this summer.

Last year, more than 1,000 people had gathered at Court Square for a day of music and activities on a gorgeous summer day! After a three-year halt, the jazz festival had come back to life thanks to the help of Evan Plotkin, Kristin Neville and others! This event was free of charge and a great way to bring the community together with the love of Jazz!

Stay tuned for more details and in the meantime enjoy this awesome video of highlights from last year’s Jazz & Roots Festival.