SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Trial Court’s 7th annual Cultural Appreciation Week Celebration took place Friday at the Roderick Ireland Courthouse.

Members of the Pioneer Valley community came out Friday to celebrate cultural awareness week at the courthouse. The party started by the plaza, with a barbecue served by the non-profit Roca. Inside, there were informational booths sharing local resources. In the jury pool room, the official program was being held. Westfield Mayor Michael McCabe shared his thoughts on honoring local culture as was Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia.

“When you think of what makes up the greater pioneer valley region, it’s a very diversified community,” stated Mayor Garcia. “And so, every corner of our region has a little something to offer for everybody, no matter the cultural background you come from.”

University of Massachusetts Professor, Richard Chu, telling 22News, “It’s only through that, through this appreciation, recognition that we are able to come together, unite and work for a better society.”

In addition to this celebration of culture, there was also a posthumous tribute to two community heroes. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno honored Abbie Davies, who is believed to be the first African-American woman to be the Springfield Juvenile assistant clerk Magistrate. A street in Springfield will later be named in her honor.

Also recognized was US Marshal John Gibbons. The celebration also included a musical performance from fifth graders at the Rebecca Wood Johnson School.

Participants said events like this can help improve the community. This celebration of culture lasted most of the day with closing remarks after 2 p.m.

Local News

Alanna Flood is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Alanna on X @alannafloodnews and view her bio to see more of her work.