WEST SPRINGFIELD — Fireworks on Feb. 23 will mark the town’s actual 250th anniversary, but the celebrations won’t stop there.

This month’s event at Clark Field, 514 Amostown Rd., is a free fireworks display that begins at 6 p.m. with entertainment by the West Springfield High School band and chorus, and local musicians. Cupcakes made by vocational students at the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative will be available, as well as food from food trucks. The evening will conclude with a countdown and fireworks.

The next night, the Springfield Thunderbirds hockey team will host “West Springfield 250th Anniversary Night,” during a game against the Providence Bruins. West Springfield residents can purchase tickets for $25 that include their seat, a voucher for a hot dog and soda, and a donation to the 250th Committee. Tickets must be ordered by Feb. 15 and are available at bit.ly/rp26hv or 413-417-2289.

Signups are also being taken for the next in-town event, the Leprechaun 5K and Kids Fun Run, planned for March 23, the Saturday after St. Patrick’s Day. Runners will use the high school cross-country trail, starting behind the Irish Cultural Center at 429 Morgan Rd., West Springfield. Organizers point out that this trail through the Bagg Brook area is “flatter than some of the other road races in March.” Post-race festivities include live music and a cash bar at the Irish Cultural Center’s pub, kids entertainment, and a chance to meet the West Springfield colleen and her court. Advance registration is required, at $35 per person, at bit.ly/rp26zk. A kids fun run along the Bagg Brook Trail is also available, for ages 12 and under, for a $10 signup fee.

The 250th Committee has also announced two more 5K and kids fun run events, the Christmas in July 5K on July 13, and the Turkey Trot 5K on Nov. 23. Other events being planned include:

  • Family photos, May 11
  • The 250th Anniversary Gala, May 18
  • Block party on the Town Common, June 22-23
  • Golf tournament at Springfield Country Club, July 8
  • Parade from Town Hall to the Eastern States Exposition, Aug. 24
  • Donor thank-you event, Dec. 19

West Springfield is celebrating two and a half centuries since it was declared an independent town on Feb. 23, 1774. When first settled by English colonists, a much larger expanse of land, both west and east of the Connecticut River, was incorporated as part of the town of Springfield. As populations grew, the portion west of the river — including present-day Agawam and most of Holyoke — petitioned to become its own town.

For more information on 250th anniversary events, visit westside250.com.

mballway@thereminder.com | + posts