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In Springfield, Springfield Symphony Hall serves as the major focal point for classical music, Broadway tours, concerts and stand-up comedy shows in the Valley. Symphony Hall was built in , and its ornamentation is a spectacle in itself. The major playhouse in Springfield is CityStage, which features an eclectic mix of entertainment.
While this charming pocket of the state, known as the Pioneer Valley, may be wild turkey country, as well as the approach to Vermont ski country, it's also used-book country. Our three-day visit was dedicated to browsing and buying amid the valley's rich and collegial network of bookshops and private dealers. More members of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Antiquarian Booksellers 36 are to be found in this area than in bookish Greater Boston With an independent bookstore in almost every town, several small publishers, and countless local authors, the Valley could well be counted as a reader's paradise.
Federal Street Books is another used bookstore in Greenfield. Northampton has least four independent bookstores including Broadside Bookshop. One of the more popular, Raven Used Books, features a wide variety of titles and subjects.
South Deerfield has New England Auctions, specializing in rare and antiquarian books. The Pioneer Valley is home to a multitude of professional, amateur, and collegiate sports teams, as well as a rich athletic history. The Springfield Thunderbirds are the region's only professional sports team, competing in the American Hockey League.
Historically, the city has had professional hockey dating back to the s with the seven-time Calder Cup champion Springfield Indians. The region has had many notable professional athletes see significant portions of their careers in the region. Eddie Shore played for and later became the owner of the very successful Springfield Indians franchise; his number 2 remains retired by the Thunderbirds. Julius Erving , one of the top basketball players of all time, played at UMass Amherst. The most notable athlete to be born in the region is hockey player Bill Guerin , a Stanley Cup champion and Olympic Silver Medalist, who is from Wilbraham.
Aside from monthly shows, PVP Wrestling also runs charity shows for different benefits. The region is also credited as being the home of both basketball invented at Springfield College and volleyball invented in Holyoke , as created in the late s; the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Volleyball Hall of Fame are located in those cities.
Historically a region known for growing Connecticut shade tobacco , today the Pioneer Valley has a broad and varied economic base, featuring more than 16 universities and liberal arts colleges many of which are considered among the United States' best, e. Amherst College ; numerous hospitals and healthcare organizations e.
Baystate Health , Massachusetts' third largest employer , and numerous financial service organizations e. Manufacturing remains a part of the Pioneer Valley's economy e. The Pioneer Valley is considered to have a "mature economy", which means that its economic base is sufficiently varied so as not to be completely dependent on market fluctuations, like many places in the United States. Franklin County in the north serves as a significant agricultural region despite its size, due to the rich topsoil found in the area.
The valley's sweet corn and asparagus are cash crops. Cow corn , potatoes , and shade-grown tobacco are also major crops. Fields of all sort, particularly corn and tobacco fields, as well as numerous farmhouses and tobacco barns, dot the landscape. Light industry is concentrated in the town of South Deerfield and the city of Greenfield, while service industries exist throughout the county.
Increasingly Franklin County is becoming a place of bedroom communities, with the major transportation routes of Interstate 91, Route 2, and U. Route 5 facilitating a boom in residential building that has not kept pace with commercial development in many of the county's towns. Both communities have been had controversial zoning issues surrounding permitting variances to build big box stores such as Wal-Mart.
Greenfield received national attention when its decision prevented Wal-Mart from building a store in town. The county also garners tourism due to such attractions as Historic Deerfield which hosts a craft fair in the summer and an even larger and more popular fall craft fair , and a Butterfly Garden located in South Deerfield. The annual arrival of thousands of American and foreign tourists to observe the area's spectacular autumn foliage is a welcome boost to revenue.
With the Five Colleges , Hampshire County has a significant part of its economy devoted to serving university and liberal arts college students, including numerous independent bookstores and stationery shops. The area is also home to many restaurants, ranging in character from sports bars to steakhouses. Northampton also known to some as "Hamp" and others as "Noho" is—along with Springfield—the culinary capital of Western Massachusetts as well as a lesbian mecca, featuring the highest number of lesbians per capita according to the United States' Census.
Hampden County is centered on the region's major economic and cultural center, Springfield, Massachusetts. Many of the projects that have catalyzed Springfield's recent economic resurgence have been related to transportation, e. Springfield is also a medical, government, and higher education center. Chicopee 's growth continues to be catalyzed by the growth of Westover Air Force Base , especially around Memorial Avenue.
As of , Holyoke continues to see rapid growth in its high-tech sector, featuring new enterprises that capitalize on Holyoke's abundance of green energy, e. All three formerly industrialized cities—Springfield, Chicopee, and Holyoke—continue to face typical urban problems, such as gang activity and the drug trade in increasingly isolated parts of each city; however, these activities have lessened significantly during the past 20 years and a spirit of revitalization now pervades each city.
Westfield 's formerly moribund town center is in the midst of receiving a dramatic makeover, replete with 60 foot clock tower—scheduled to be completed in Nearly all other towns and villages in Hampden County are either wealthy suburbs e. Longmeadow, Massachusetts , Wilbraham, Massachusetts , or rural exurbs, e. Palmer, Massachusetts and Brimfield, Massachusetts. In this Hampden County, tourism is very popular. Six Flags New England features the 1 roller-coaster in the world "Bizarro" and draws tourists from all over.
Similarly, the Basketball Hall of Fame , a shrine to the world's 2nd most popular sport, invented in Springfield, draws hundreds of thousands of visitors per year. The Quadrangle in Springfield features five museums of varying themes, including the United States' first planetarium , gathered around the whimsical Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. During the holiday season it features a nationally renowned light display called "Bright Nights". Springfield's "Parade of Big Balloons" takes place on November 1 each year, borrowing many of the balloons from Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and attracting , spectators.
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Outlying Hampden County towns such as Tolland are sparsely populated and close to the Berkshires — outdoor activities such as camping make up a large part of their economy. Politically, Hampden County leans liberal; however, it features several notably conservative cities and towns, such as Holyoke, Westfield, Agawam, Monson, and Palmer. Hampden County's largest city, Springfield, while historically moderate, politically, has become nearly as liberal as Hampshire County in recent years, according to voter registration and election results.
Appreciation of the natural environs has, historically, been a large part of the Pioneer Valley life.
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It features numerous non-profit nature sanctuaries, such as Friends of Wissatinnewag, Inc. In addition to these, there are hundreds of state and municipal parks and forests. Due to the considerable natural and cultural resources in the Pioneer Valley, environmental agencies have made a substantial investments in protecting unspoiled nature in the region, particularly along the Connecticut River, and in many of the Pioneer Valley's rural "hilltowns.
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Efforts have been augmented and assisted by local and regional conservation land trusts and statewide and national conservation organizations. Many of these organizations protect additional land through direct ownership of conservation areas and land held under conservation easement. Many municipalities in the area also have conservation holdings, usually under the aegis of the community's 'conservation commission', the appointed body which also applies local and state environmental regulations. Recently, there has been a notable grassroots effort to reclaim Springfield's once easily accessible and pedestrian-friendly waterfront, which is now separated from the city by the eight-lane, elevated highway Interstate In , the Urban Land Institute presented a plan that suggested how Springfield could reunite with its greatest natural resource, the Connecticut River.
Pioneer Valley travel guide from Wikivoyage. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For Zoo in Sarajevo with same name, see Pionirska dolina. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. November Learn how and when to remove this template message. Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield. Hotel Worthy, Springfield, Mass. King's Handbook of Springfield, Massachusetts.
Archived from the original on A Highway To History". From Puritans to presidents". The history of Springfield in Massachusetts for the young: The Connecticut Valley Historical Society. Northampton , pp. Exploring America's Historic Places. A History of Deerfield, Massachusetts. Gozdziak, "Eastern Europeans" , in David W.
Refugees in America in the s: A Reference Handbook , pp. A handbook of Indian artifacts from Southern New England. Massachusetts Archaeological Society special publication;, 4. Inventors and Inventions, Volume 4. Fish and Wildlife Service".