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For a third year, Bright Nights at Forest Park has been recognized by the American Bus Association for being the “Best of the Best for 2022. According to the American Bus Association website,, “Best of the Best honors outstanding travel industry members who go above and beyond for the group tour industry. Categories include Adventure, Culture, Entertainment, Festivals & Events, Food & Beverage, Lodging, and Shopping.”

“Congratulations! This is a tremendous acknowledgment from the American Bus Association. It will definitely drive business to Brights Nights,” said Paul Picknelly, President of Monarch Enterprises.  “I am 1,000 percent confident that my father (Peter L. Picknelly) would be so incredibly proud of what Bright Nights has become and what this event does for our community.”

Prior to receiving the “Best of the Best” honors in 2022, 2021, and 2020, Bright Nights at Forest Park was recognized by the American Bus Association as one of the Top 100 Destinations in North America.  It features more than 675,000 lights along a three-mile drive that winds its way through the historic park.  

“We are honored to receive this distinction from the American Bus Association,” said Judy Matt, Spirit of Springfield President.  “We have welcomed thousands of buses to Bright Nights.  Some nights they are lined up on Sumner Avenue waiting to take the magical tour.”

Since opening on November 24, 1995, Bright Nights has entertained more than 6 million people.  Annually, the economic impact has been calculated to be $15 million.  To encourage additional group tour travel to Bright Nights, the Spirit of Springfield has offered discount admission through August 30, 2022, and has been working with the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) to market to bus operators and group tour leaders in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.

Bright Nights at Forest Park, produced by the Spirit of Springfield in cooperation with the Springfield Department of Parks, Buildings, and Recreation Management, will open for its 28th season on Wednesday, November 23, 2022.  It will be open through Sunday, January 1, 2023, with the support of numerous area businesses including MassMutual, Baystate Health, Health New England, Big Y World Class Markets, MGM Springfield, Eversource, and many others.

Peter L. Picknelly was Chairman of Peter Pan Bus Lines, a member of the Spirit of Springfield Board, and a strong proponent for Bright Nights at Forest Park.

For more information about Bright Nights at Forest Park, visit or contact the Spirit of Springfield at 413-733-3800.

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm