Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership Announces Season’s Worth of Holiday Events and Activities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 5, 2021
Contact: Meghan Behymer
Communications + Marketing Manager
Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership
firstname.lastname@example.org | 269-344-0795
Owner and General Manager
Maple Hill Auto Group
email@example.com | 269-342-6600
Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership and Maple Hill Auto Group are pleased to announce an agreement that continues the time-honored Maple Hill Kalamazoo Holiday Parade and allows the Partnership to continue to strengthen its investment in downtown businesses while offering a season’s worth of events and activities for the community.
Under the agreement, the 59-year-old parade will be planned and managed by longtime presenting sponsor Maple Hill Auto Group, with the Partnership continuing to focus on enhanced events and activities downtown with an eye toward increasing foot traffic and further supporting shopping and dining for Kalamazoo merchants throughout the holiday season. The Partnership has produced the parade and series of related holiday events since the organization’s inception in 1989. In the past three years alone, the organization has also launched six major event series throughout the year and more than doubled days of programming downtown.
The parade, a longstanding community tradition, will return this November and lead into downtown’s holiday season, which will include Small Business Saturday Weekend Nov. 26-28 and weekly holiday events and activities throughout December. These will include Downtown Dollars shopping incentive programs, Santa’s Workshop, Holly Jolly Trolley and the annual window decorating contest, among others.
“We are grateful for Maple Hill Auto Group’s 23-year tenure as the parade’s sponsor and believe its longtime support of this event makes this transition a natural fit,” said Andrew Haan, president of Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership. “This move allows the Partnership to continue to focus on supporting downtown businesses and the broader Kalamazoo community during the holiday season and throughout the year by activating downtown, increasing foot traffic for restaurants and shops, providing marketing support for businesses and events – including the holiday parade – and creating innovative solutions for outdoor spaces. It also aligns with the community-driven goal to maximize the Partnership’s impact for the collective health, vibrancy, and success of the downtown economy.”
Maple Hill Auto Group is proud to be a longtime supporter of the parade and downtown, owner and General Manager Jim Vandenberg said.
“We are thrilled to be able to continue the Holiday Parade as a not-for-profit event. We felt it was the next natural step for us to grow into a larger role for the parade,” says VandenBerg, “It’s our mission to preserve the core of the Kalamazoo community. The need for local family events that support the community and the downtown merchants is our driving force.”
As the holiday season nears, the Partnership is committed to creating a season of events, programming, and initiatives that encourage holiday shoppers to support downtown businesses, starting with the shopping season kick-off of Small Business Saturday weekend. The Partnership will again invest in Downtown Dollars promotions throughout the holidays. Last year’s investment resulted in nearly $200,000 in Downtown Dollars issued, redeemable at more than 50 participating downtown restaurants, shops, and businesses.
In addition to its investment in shopping efforts, the Partnership will present several of its popular holiday events to drive foot traffic and local sales to the downtown.
A family favorite, Santa’s Workshop will return after Thanksgiving, drawing the community downtown for visits with Santa and the opportunity to mail a letter to Santa through the Partnership’s Santa letter-writing program.
The window decorating contest for local businesses again will invite visitors to take a walking tour of downtown and vote for their favorite displays by scanning a QR code on the storefront. This annual event – launched by the Partnership in 2018 – is a growing favorite in the holiday season.
Holiday shoppers and diners also will see more outdoor decorations this year as part of the Partnership’s annual commitment to enhance downtown’s festive appearance and attract more visitors. Last year, the Partnership added lights and decorations across 20 streetscapes and on 60 trees.
For community members to experience all of this programming in true style and comfort, the Partnership’s popular Holly Jolly Trolley will return this holiday season. The trolley offers free rides with stops at several downtown locations.
“These investments are all part of the significant, pivotal changes the Partnership has made over the past few years to strengthen downtown’s economic health, help businesses be – and stay – successful and better meet the community’s needs,” Haan said. “Downtown businesses are vital to our community’s success, and we believe our enhanced holiday programming will continue to bring increased exposure to downtown restaurants, shops, and businesses. It also will help make the holidays even brighter for those who live, work and visit downtown – and for those who call the Kalamazoo community home.”
Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership events and programming may be adjusted for changes in local, state, or federal COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations. It is important to our organization that everyone enjoys a healthy and safe holiday season.
About Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership
Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works with the public and private sectors to preserve and enhance the economic health of the downtown area and, in turn, the entire Kalamazoo community across four impact areas: people, place, experience, and growth. In conjunction with its affiliate organizations, the Partnerships manages a full range of activities that include capital and mobility improvements, public space management, business development, and recruitment, and marketing and event planning – all with an eye toward establishing 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, or find more downtown news on our website.
About Maple Hill Auto Group
Maple Hill Auto Group has operated as a family-owned dealership in Kalamazoo since 1995. Its mission is to consistently provide a positive, innovative automotive ownership experience with integrity, sincerity, and pride. It is committed to the needs of its family of customers and employees while serving and supporting the community in which they work, live, and worship. Maple Hill Auto Group is located at 5622 W. Main St., Kalamazoo, MI 49009. The phone number is 269.342.6600 and the website is www.maplehillauto.com.