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Monday, November 4, 2019

Contact: Sue Huggett, Marketing and Engagement Manager -  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 269-344-0795

2019 Kalamazoo Holiday Parade kicks off November 16, other holiday events scheduled throughout season

Officially ushering in the holiday season, the 58th Annual Kalamazoo Holiday Parade, presented by Maple Hill Auto Group, returns to downtown Kalamazoo on Saturday, November 16, at 11 a.m.

Ninety parade units will make their way through downtown streets in a celebration of the holiday season. This community-planned event, hosted by Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership, the City of Kalamazoo, and the City of Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation department, will feature five giant balloons, the Western Michigan University Marching Band sponsored by Discover Kalamazoo, eight local high school bands, community parade groups, and a variety of local businesses, organizations and more! 

A fan favorite, five giant balloons will be returning to the Kalamazoo Holiday Parade this year! The balloons, provided by StarBound Entertainment, are sure to amaze the crowd as they make their way through the streets. Don’t miss Rudolph (Arbor Financial Credit Union), Santa (Midwest Communications, WIN98.5), Thanksgiving Turkey (Consumers Energy), Butterscotch the Elf (Meijer) and Hermey the Elf (Biggby Coffee).

New this year, seven novelty characters will join the parade. Local company, Klassy Kidz Entertainment, will be bringing two PJ Mask characters, two Paw Patrol characters, two Frozen characters and Princess Sofia.

Listen to live parade coverage on FM106.5 WVFM's with morning personalities, Kim Carson and Adam Zelek, WKZO AM590 and 106.9FM with Morning Show host Ken Lanphear and News Director Jeana Gondek, and The TOUCH with Hip Hop and R&B Countdown Personality Mayjyck D.

Parade viewers will be able to TEXT TO VOTE for their favorite parade unit. All TEXT TO VOTE participants will be entered for a chance to win 100 Downtown Dollars; Downtown Dollars can be used at over 20 downtown businesses. The parade unit with the most votes will receive a traveling parade float to be displayed in their business throughout the year. The parade winner will be announced on Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership’s website, DowntownKalamazoo.org and on Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. TEXT TO VOTE details will be available parade day in the parade brochure, at DowntownKalamazoo.org, and on social media.

The 2019 Kalamazoo Holiday Parade will continue the tradition of giving back to the community by supporting the Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes Food Drive. Throughout the parade, Loy Norrix High School Peace Jammer volunteers will be collecting canned goods and cash donations using  food carts and jugs  along the parade route,  10:30 a.m.  to noon. Be sure to bring your loose change and canned goods to the parade!

Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes has 30 pantry locations throughout Kalamazoo County and serves over 700 people each day. In addition to food pantries, Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes operates five additional hunger relief programs that provide food assistance in targeted ways to vulnerable populations such as youth and senior citizens. For every dollar donated, Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes can provide enough food for over three meals.  Last year, Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes served nearly 30,000 unduplicated individuals. For more information or to donate, visit www.kzoolf.org or call 269-488-2617.

For more information about the 2019 Holiday Parade collection for Loaves & Fishes, contact Greta Faworski, Resource Development Director, at 269-488-2617 x208 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Road Closures 

The route for the Kalamazoo Holiday Parade will begin and end at Lovell Street. Road closures begin at 6:30 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. No parking will be allowed on the parade route streets. Public Service crews will post the detour and barricades for road closures. A map indicating detour routes, staging areas, and barricade/drum locations is attached.

The following streets will be closed for use as a staging area from 6:30am to 3:00pm: Jasper,  between Walnut and Lovell, and Portage, between Michigan Avenue and Pitcher Street.

The parade route will require closure of the following streets from 10:30 am to 1:00pm: Lovell, Street, between Park Street and Pitcher Street, Park Street, between Lovell Street and Michigan Avenue; Michigan Avenue, between Park Street and Pitcher Street; and Pitcher Street, between Michigan Avenue and Lovell Street. In addition, the streets that intersect the parade route will be closed: Academy, South, Rose, Burdick, John, Henrietta, Church, Edwards, Park and Pitcher.

The following detour routes will be used during road closures:

  • Michigan Avenue will be detoured via Park, Water, and Pitcher Streets.
  • Park Street will be detoured via Vine Street, Crosstown Parkway, Mills St, King Highway (Bus 94), and Kalamazoo Ave.
  • Portage Street will be detoured via Walnut Street, Pitcher Street, Crosstown Parkway, Mills Street, King Highway (Bus 94), and Kalamazoo Avenue.


Parking will be available throughout downtown Kalamazoo including ramp, street, and lot parking.  The Epic Center parking ramp, located on South and Lovell Streets, and the Kalamazoo Mall parking ramp, located on Portage Street will be open for entry up to 30 minutes prior to parade step off at 10:45 a.m.; both ramps will NOT be available for exit during the parade. See the attached PARKING MAP or visit DowntownKalamazoo.org for more details on parking.   For convenient, easy-to-pay parking options download the Park Mobile app. 

Holiday Parade Post Party

Let the parade fun continue with Holiday Parade Post Party events, presented by WOODTV8. Immediately following the parade until 4:00 p.m., downtown Kalamazoo businesses and organizations have a host of family-friendly events all ages will enjoy!

  • Visit Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and their reindeer at WOODTV8 until 2:30 p.m. (151 S. Rose St.)
  • Free Popcorn for the first 50 kids at Pop City Popcorn (346 S. Kalamazoo Mall)
  • Stamp your own charm ($10) at Teel Jewelers (157 S. Kalamazoo Mall)
  • Hot Chocolate sampling at Cherri’s Chocol’Art’s new location 101 S. Kalamazoo Mall
  • Cookie Decorating at Market on Michigan Avenue (119 E. Michigan Ave.)
  • Holiday Painting with Blacks Arts & Cultural Center at The Epic Center (359 S. Kalamazoo Mall)
  • Photos with Santa (9-11 a.m.) and Bake Sale (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.) at Ladies’ Library Association (333 S. Park St.)
  • Family concerts (12:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 p.m.) and Mindbender Mansion 2 and Willard Wigan’s Amazing Micro Sculptures at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum (230 N. Rose St.)

Don't miss out on this FUN, FREE, FAMILY event!  For more details, visit Holiday Parade Post Party schedule of events! Look for the Holiday Parade Post Party signs located at each participating business.

Downtown Kalamazoo Holiday Events

The Kalamazoo Holiday Parade and Post Party are just the start of holiday fun in Downtown Kalamazoo. Special events and attractions are scheduled until the end of the year. 

Holiday Pop-Up Shops will open in two downtown locations. Check out Vintage in the Zoo (356 S. Kalamazoo Mall) and Handmade Kalamazoo (245 S. Kalamazoo Mall). Community partners from Sisters in Business and Black Wall Street Kalamazoo will also participate in this year’s Holiday Pop-Up Shops.

Santa’s Workshop, sponsored by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, opens its doors November 30 until December 24, 2019. Santa’s Workshop is open Thursday – Sunday.

Holly Jolly Trolley, sponsored by Kalamazoo Valley Community College, runs its traditional route through downtown November 30 until December 31, 2019. The trolley runs Thursday – Sunday.

Downtown Window Decorating Contest launches parade day, November 16 and runs through December 16, 2019. Head downtown and marvel at the amazing window displays in downtown business storefronts.

Bronson Tree Lighting is scheduled 5-7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 29 in Bronson Park. Festivities include live music, crafts, hot chocolate, visits with Santa, and other holiday fun.

About Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership

Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership is a private, non-profit organization that works with both the public and private sectors in preserving and enhancing the economic health of Kalamazoo’s downtown area and, in turn, the Kalamazoo community. In conjunction with its affiliate organizations, it manages a full range of activities that include capital improvement projects, business development and recruitment programs, image marketing and event planning in order to establish Downtown Kalamazoo as an accessible, diverse, green, progressive and vibrant urban center. For more information, visit downtownkalamazoo.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.