Westfield Newsroom

Park and Rec plans full slate of spring, summer offerings

WESTFIELD-With a new online registration system, officials at the Westfield Parks and Recreation Department are hopeful that residents of all ages will find a program or two that inspires them this spring and summer and start signing up.

“We did have to cancel spring programs last year due to the pandemic,” said Jim Blascak, program coordinator, adding that last summer’s participation rate was down.

The Westfield Parks and Recreation Department has just posted its spring/summer catalog that features several new programs.

“As this summer rolls around and more people get vaccinated, we hope we will be turning the curve with people wanting to get outside and participate in programs,” he said, adding, “We are taking all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”

Blascak said the Boys T-Ball program is already showing strong registration numbers.

“We did lose a couple of programs including the British Soccer Camp,” said Blascak. “We may get the program back at a later time.”

Other popular programs that were canceled this spring due to the pandemic included the Mom and Son Luau and the Father and Daughter Dance.

Two special events are returning – the Mayor’s Easter Egg Hunt with a twist and the 21st Annual Big Wheel 500. 

The Easter Egg Hunt, hosted by Mayor Donald F. Humason, Jr., will be a drive-through event on March 27 from 10 a.m.-noon in the Westfield High School parking lot. Guests will travel along an Easter Egg Trail, counting the Easter eggs from the safety of their vehicles. Goody bags will be given out at the end and there will be a special appearance by the Easter Bunny. While the event is free, participants are asked to donate a nonperishable food item for the Westfield Food Pantry.

The 21st Annual Big Wheel 500 on June 6 will be conducted for drivers, ages 3-7, in the parking lot at Westfield High School. 

“We have upped the age to 7 for all the racers that missed last year,” notes Blascak.

Each driver must bring their own vehicle (Big Wheel) and helmet. The Big Wheel must have plastic tires, not rubber tires. All participants must arrive by 11:45 a.m. to register and division races will begin promptly at noon. Registering early at the Parks and Recreation office is encouraged. Divisions will be determined by the number of participants enrolled. The cost is $15 per participant which includes a T-shirt.

While many of the tried and true programs resume this spring and summer, some of the new programs include Postcard Printmaking, Charcoal Drawing, and a Field Hockey Goalie Clinic series.

“We are always looking for new programs for toddlers, young people and adults,” said Blascak. “Please contact our department and we will see what we can offer.”

A sampling of programs offered in the coming weeks include softball for girls and adults, horseback riding, tennis and pickleball for young people and adults, pee wee soccer, camps for basketball, soccer, dance, golf, volleyball, and skateboard, a summer playground program, theater arts, painting, hockey clinics, and sessions on nature.

For persons registering for programs online, visit WestfieldMAParksRec.com. Catalogs with registration forms are also available outside of the department office at 4 Holcomb St.

On a related note, the Youth Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to children who would not otherwise be able to participate in programs and activities. For persons who wish to contribute to the fund, checks can be mailed to the Westfield Parks and Recreation Department, 4 Holcomb St., Westfield MA 01085.

A “youth” is anyone 17 years of age or younger or still a student in high school. To register for a program and apply for financial assistance, return a completed registration form and a completed financial assistance form to the department. Both forms can be obtained at the department’s office or by calling (413) 572-6263.

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