We are moving the festival to the Stearns Square neighborhood. Worthington St. and Bridge St. will be closed to motorized vehicles to create a pedestrian area. The Charles Neville Main Stage will be located near Stearns Square and the Urban Roots Stage will be located near Tower Square Park. The public talks will take place at Valley Venture Mentors at 276 Bridge St.
There will be four entrances to the festival at:
This year, to ensure the health and safety of all attendees, capacity at the Festival is limited and we are requiring that guests RSVP to ensure that we can keep an accurate headcount and implement contact tracing. As always, the event is FREE, and it’s easy to RSVP. You can register online by clicking here.
You can also register at the gate. One of our helpful volunteers will be happy to assist you.
The day begins at 10:30 am at the Springfield Museums (outside of the Wood Museum of Springfield History) with an art activity celebrating the legacy of the “Horn Man”, Charles Neville, followed by a percussion workshop at 11:30 am led by the Berkshire Bateria. Henri Smith and members of his band will introduce the New Orleans Second Line tradition and at 12:30 pm will lead our Samba meets Second Line parade to the Main Stage in Stearns Square to kick off the Festival. Music on the Main Stage begins at 1pm as the second line joins Mister G, Marcos Carreras, and a chorus of young singers from the Springfield Conservatory for a rousing opening number.
NOTE: Admission to the Wood Museum, where the Horn Man exhibition is on display, is FREE on the day of the festival. The Museum will be open from 10am - 5pm.
To join the parade, please arrive at the Wood Museum by 12:30 pm. Even better...join us at 11:30 am to take part in the percussion workshop and prepare for the parade. We also invite you to bring your own instrument, a colorful umbrella, or a handkerchief to wave in the air. Or just show up with your dancing shoes on!
When parking for this event, we ask all attendees to use the TD flat lot and the Civic Center parking garage. Plan extra time for parking as these options may fill up!
You can learn more about the history of the parade here.
We recommend bringing lawn chairs or a blanket and sunscreen. The festival is a rain or shine event so you may want to bring a small hand held umbrella. Large, beach style umbrellas are not permitted. If you are bringing a lawn chair, please be respectful of your neighbors and situate yourself so that others can see the stage too.
We’ll have plenty of great food and beverage options, so please leave coolers and outside food and beverages at home. We will also have a free water station available to refill your water bottle.
Please DO NOT bring pets (see below), coolers, alcohol (we’ve got you covered with great local breweries), glass containers, tents, umbrellas (the small handheld variety is okay in case of showers), drugs & drug paraphernalia, weapons of any kind, or fireworks.
We love our furry friends, but the festival needs to feel safe and comfortable for everyone, so please leave them at home. Properly identified service animals assisting someone with a disability are permitted. Emotional support animals (ESA’s) are not.
We have great food options this year with plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Local restaurants - Granny’s Baking Table, 1636 North, Theodore’s, and Dewey’s Jazz Lounge - will be serving in addition to food trucks - Ginger Love Café, Panjabi Tadka, Cantina Curbside Grill, El Charro, Wanda & Victor’s Kabobs, Batch Ice Cream, Crooked Stick Pops, and All Things Maple.
White Lion will offer a range of craft beers to whet your whistle.
Please note: in our new location, you’ll be able to carry your White Lion beverages throughout the festival. However, you cannot enter a street level establishment such as Dewey’s or Theodore’s with your festival beverage. Similarly, beverages purchased at Dewey’s and Theodore’s must be consumed in those establishments. Both Dewey’s and Theodore’s will have outdoor seating areas for everyone to enjoy.
There will be an array of craft vendors, including vintage records, creative apparel, jewelry, books, art, and live painting.
There are several nearby parking lots and garages.
The Festival is a rain or shine event. The music will continue if it showers. However, if conditions become unsafe, we will ask folks to take shelter. Be sure to check social media during the festival day for weather advisories and further instructions.
You can find us on Facebook and Instagram
We are committed to keeping all of our attendees safe and feeling comfortable. We will be following local and state COVID guidelines by implementing capacity limits. That's why this year, we require that guests RSVP to ensure that we can keep an accurate headcount and implement contact tracing. As always, the event is free, and it’s easy to RSVP by clicking here.
Following the most recent public health guidelines, all unvaccinated attendees, including children between the ages of 5 and 12, must remain masked except when eating or drinking.
Face coverings will be required for all attendees of the Jazz & Justice Speaker Series which takes place indoors at Valley Venture Mentors at 276 Bridge Street - just around the corner from the Main Stage.
If you are feeling unwell or have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days, please stay home and seek appropriate medical attention.
A little kindness goes a long way. Some folks have lost loved ones to the pandemic or have underlying vulnerabilities. Others have emerged from this period reasonably unscathed. We ask that you honor the needs of those around you - whether that’s a desire to dance with wild abandon or to take a little extra space. We are all here to celebrate together!
Throughout the day, families are invited to stop in at our Art Activity Tent located near Stearns Square on Worthington St. Our friends at Make It Springfield are coordinating an assortment of creative arts activities for all ages.
The morning begins at 10:30AM with art activities the lawn and patio of the Wood History Museum. Participants can enjoy FREE access to the museum and explore “Horn Man: The Life and Musical Legacy of Charles Neville” - an exhibit curated by festival producer, Kristin Neville.
at 11:30 AM, join The Berkshire Bateria for an all-ages percussion workshop (also at the museum) and prelude to the parade. Don't worry; we've got all of your drum needs covered!
The Second Line Parade departs the museum at 12:30 AM, arriving at the Festival's Main Stage at 12:45 AM. The parade route is approximately 1/2 mile in length and is appropriate for children and family members of all ages and abilities.
Latin Grammy Winning Children’s Artist, Mister G, performs on the Urban Roots Stage at 1:30 PM. This will be followed by an exciting hip hop performance and breakdance battle!