WOW cancels MusicFest, sponsors Boys & Girls Club drive-ins

An estimated several thousand spectators gathered on the Westfield Green during a past Westfield on Weekends’ MusicFest concert. (THE WESTFIELD NEWS PHOTO)

WESTFIELD – Westfield on Weekends has canceled its MusicFest concert series.

A summertime staple, the concerts have traditionally taken place monthly throughout the summer at Park Square Green. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WOW President Amber Danahey said they made the difficult decision to cancel the concerts, which have had up to 2,000 attendees, but are continuing to bring entertainment to the city by partnering with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield to sponsor its drive-in movies.

“When the Boys and Girls Club reached out to us, we said yes,” said Danahey. “The Club has been supportive of WOW’s events and we have been trying to work with other organizations in the community.”

The free family drive-in movies will take place in the field behind Westfield Middle School. The first movie, “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” is this Saturday. Cars can enter the field at 7:30 p.m. Space is limited to 200 cars and registration is required by calling 413-562-2301 or emailing [email protected].

The drive-in is also slated for July 18 and Aug. 2, with movies to be announced. WOW created a “preview” video to show prior to the movies that features past WOW events.

Danahey said this is a great way for the community to come together and social distance this summer.

WOW board members have been meeting regularly via zoom and were waiting for the latest orders on crowd sizes from Gov. Charlie D. Baker. Danahey said they could not keep putting off MusicFest plans and decided to cancel the season.

“We want everyone to be safe and we didn’t want to keep people hanging,” Danahey said, adding that the concerts take a lot of planning.

Looking ahead, WOW members are discussing how to address the popular PumpkinFest and DecemberFest events.

“We are concentrating on PumpkinFest but it will all depend on where we are at for gatherings,” she said.

WOW’s major event sponsors have stayed connected with WOW and have agreed to continue to sponsor events once they start up again. Danahey said for the group, that is a big relief.

“For organizations like ours, now is not the time to be asking for money,” she said. “There are others in need of financial resources – people need food and people are out of work.”

What WOW is still happy to have right now are new members.

“We would love to have more pwople join our WOW ‘Think Tank’,” said Danahey. Anyone interested should visit westfieldonweekends.com.

Although WOW is not actively hosting events, it is still planning and participating in community entertainment and plans to be back in full force when restrictions loosen.

“When it’s time for fun, we will be there,” Danahey said.

The drive-ins are hosted by the Club and sponsored by WOW in conjunction with Gaslight Entertainment and the City of Westfield.

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