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Western Massachusetts sees unique conventions

This past June, Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB) and Western Massachusetts hosted the 64th National Square Dance Convention (NSDC). It filled the region with over 4,000 dancers from 49 states and 8 countries.

Many residents may not have even known that a square dance convention existed until dancers filled the streets and local area businesses in their fun and colorful costumes. With assets like one of a kind attractions, accessibility and affordability, it creates a perfect place for those coming from out of town, no matter how unique a group may be. And as it turns out, the NSCD may just have been the first of many exciting and unique groups to come to the area over the next few years.

The next large group coming to the area is the MA Democratic Party Issues Convention and it will take place Sept. 19, 2015. Approximately 3,500 attendees are scheduled to visit and they will be staying overnight at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel, Springfield Marriott and LaQuinta. The convention takes places at the MassMutual Center. To provide a friendly welcome, the GSCVB is offering convention goers exciting discounts to area attractions during their time in the region to urge guests to enjoy all there is to offer during their stay.

Another unique event set to arrive in Jan. 2016 is the National Pigeons Association (NPA) Grand National Show. Founded in 1920, the NPA is an all-breeds pigeon club with an International membership. Encompassing all varieties of domesticated pigeons, the NPA promotes, educates, and acknowledges the efforts of fanciers in the continued development and care of, as the pigeons are referred to, the “favorite feathered friends!”

This event is sure to spark some excitement as its convention goers are set to fill the Eastern States Exposition and the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel with their show pigeons in hand. In additional to the Grand National Show, there will be a pigeon art exhibit setup for viewing and the purchasing of items. For more information on this event, visit http://www.grandnationalpigeonshow.com/.

Shrine Directors Association Convention, hosted by Melha Shriners comes to Western MA in April of 2016 and they will be staying at the Springfield Marriott. More information on this convention group can be found here http://www.shrinedirectors.com/.

A few years down the road, coming in 2018 is the 71st International Jugglers Association (IJA) Festival, a week of world championships, learning, fun, laughs, excitement and world-class juggling. The International Jugglers’ Association is the premier resource for jugglers and was created in 1947 to answer the need for “an organization for jugglers that would provide meetings at regular intervals in an atmosphere of mutual friendship.”

Members range from top professionals to avid hobbyists and enthusiastic beginners. The event will take place at the MassMutal Center and Symphony Hall and approximately 800 convention goers will be staying at the Springfield Marriott and the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel. More information on this convention group can be found here http://ym.juggle.org/.

“After so much excitement from hosting the National Square Dance Convention, we are thrilled to be bringing more one-of-a-kind convention groups to Western MA. All of these groups are excited to be coming to the area and our local and member businesses will benefit from having them here. On behalf of the GSCVB, we look forward to continuing to book more business for the region, no matter how unique the group may be,” stated Mary Kay Wydra, president, GSCVB.

With something for everyone, or the pursuits, group tours and meetings and conventions of all kinds will have an exceptional and unforgettable visitor experience. For regional information, visit the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (GSCVB) web site at www.valleyvisitor.com or contact Director of Sales Alicia Szenda at (413) 755-1346 or Alicia@valleyvisitor.com.

The GSCVB, an affiliate of the Economic Development Council of Western MA, is a private non-profit destination marketing organization dedicated to promoting Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley for meetings and conventions, group tours, sports and leisure travel.

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