Having just finished my walk this Sunday morning in our beautiful Forest Park, I wanted to put down my thoughts on the positive excitement in our downtown Springfield over the past weekend. Downtown Springfield was packed and bustling with well over a combined 11,000 in attendance for both theSpringfield Jazz & Roots Festival in historic Court Square, and a sold-out MassMutual Center with famous comedian, Louis C.K.

Springfield's own multi-award winning Grammy music artist, the legendary Taj Mahal "rocked" Court Square long into the evening. Special thanks goes out to Evan Plotkin and Kristen Neville and our generous corporate and business sponsors for their continued belief and investment in our Springfield. There was a beautiful, diverse mosaic and eclectic vibe downtown.

I met many people from all over Western Mass., Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Florida, Hartford, Amherst, Northampton, Shelburne Falls, etc., who stated what a great time they had and that they would spread the good word around about our city. With all that foot and event traffic, there were two- hour waits in our restaurants – "a good problem to have" – and you know what, we didn't have one problem. This is what our Springfield can be and will be as we continue to pursue and create economic development and arts and cultural initiatives.

To those who question and "nay say," please, it's time to take not only a second look, but a real look at our Springfield.

Domenic J. Sarno, Mayor, City of Springfield