MGM Springfield kicks off holiday season with tree lighting, rink opening

Folks of all ages gathered at MGM Springfield to kick it off with one of the city’s annual traditions: the tree lighting ceremony.
Published: Nov. 25, 2022 at 8:54 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - It is now officially the holiday season and folks of all ages gathered at MGM Springfield to kick it off with one of the city’s annual traditions: the tree lighting ceremony.

“It’s really just a great time for everyone to come together, especially after the few years we’ve had, to just be together and celebrate the start of the season,” said MGM Springfield Director of Community Affairs Beth Ward.

The South End resort-casino kicked off the holiday season Friday night with their annual tree lighting ceremony on Armory Square. The celebration also marked the opening of the casino’s skating rink, which the city’s only outdoor skating rink. Ward told us what Friday night’s event meant for the community.

“For us to be able to create this winter wonderland, it means so much to us here at MGM Springfield because we know it means so much to the community,” Ward added.

A performance by the Springfield Symphony Chorus kicked off the celebrations. The event was filled with a number of special appearances, including Pat Patriot, the Springfield Thunderbird’s own Boomer, and the jolly man himself, Santa Claus. While this is an annual tradition, Ward told Western Mass News there are new features for guests to enjoy.

“We do have some new features this year. We have The Lion’s Den, which is a spot right next to the ice skating rink where adults and kids can get some beverages. They are very festive this season,” Ward explained.

Guests of all ages told Western Mass News why they came to this event.

“It’s a good time to spend time with family, watch the tree, and it’s local,” said Aubrelle Brown.

“I came here to see the tree lighting, support the city of Springfield, and enjoy the holiday spirit,” said Jennifer Barkyoumb of Westfield.

“We have hundreds and hundreds of people here tonight and it just makes you feel so warm inside to just see everyone get together and start to celebrate the holidays the right way,” Ward noted.

The skating rink will be open from now through the new year. Tickets can be purchased in-person. The rink’s hours are as follows:

  • Monday and Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday and Thursday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday: 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Christmas Day and News Year’s Day: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.