Officials are excited to see all sorts of entertainment returning to the city.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Downtown Springfield will be buzzing this weekend as the city hosts a full slate of events and it marks the long-awaited return of the Springfield Thunderbirds. Officials are excited to see all sorts of entertainment returning to the city.

"We're really getting close to pre-pandemic levels, which is great for the region,” said Michele Goldberg, vice president of marketing of the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The fun starts Friday night as members of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra put on a free concert at Symphony Hall. If rock music is more your style, there's the return of Free Music Friday at MGM Springfield, featuring L.A.'s Backstage Pass. Both events start at 7:30 p.m.

Every weekend in October, The Student Prince and The Fort is hosting Oktoberfest.

For the first time since early 2020, hockey fans will flood the MassMutual Center this weekend for games that count. AIC got in one game last week, but Friday night, the Yellow Jackets will host the defending NCAA national champion UMass Minutemen.

On Saturday, a block party will kick-off the season opener for the Springfield Thunderbirds.

"It's looking like a sellout on Saturday night and then rolling into Sunday with another Thunderbirds game. In addition, we have an event in the convention center. We are back to business and we are extremely excited,” said MassMutual Center General Manager Sean Dolan.

Dolan told Western Mass News that fans will have some new rules to follow amid the pandemic.

"All fans coming in the building will need to wear a mask unless actively eating or drinking. We are walking around the concourse reminding guests of that. So far in our events, it's been great compliance. We really appreciate the support of the community,” Dolan explained.

Tickets are available for all games, but the MassMutual Center's website said the Thunderbirds' opener has less than 300 tickets left.

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