Santa returns to Downtown Kalamazoo for ‘Santa Sightings’
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 3, 2020
Contact: Meghan Behymer | Communications + Marketing Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 269-344-0795
The Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership is excited to share details about the 2020 slate of holiday events – all of which have been adapted in response to the ongoing pandemic.
Santa Sightings launches Saturday, December 5
Families looking for a fun and safe Santa experience need to look no further than downtown Kalamazoo.
Santa Sightings, presented by the Radisson Plaza Hotel, is a free, outdoor experience on the patio of Old Burdick’s Bar and Grill located at 100 East Michigan Avenue. This magical place filled with little animated elves and twinkling lights is sure to delight all ages! Stop by any time during scheduled hours to wave to Santa and Mrs. Claus, share your wish list, and receive a goodie bag.
Each child who stops by to see Santa will be able to talk to and take a socially-distant picture with Santa. There will be no sitting on Santa’s lap this year.
This year, in lieu of in-person letter-writing activities, children will receive a Santa Letter Writing Kit to take home. The kit includes all materials needed to send a letter to Santa, a holiday craft and wrapped goodies. There will be three Santa mailboxes, sponsored by Consumer Energy, placed throughout downtown for families to send their letters to Santa. Mailboxes are located at Rocket Fizz (125 S. Kalamazoo Mall), Spirit of Kalamazoo (154 S. Kalamazoo Mall), and outside Old Burdick’s Bar and Grill (100 W. Michigan Ave.).
Santa Sightings are scheduled Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 4 to 7 p.m., as well as 12 to 3 p.m. on December 24. Santa Sightings with Black Santa are scheduled Sundays in December from 12 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. December 21-23.
Additional information on Santa Sightings can be found at downtownkalamazoo.org.
Downtown gets festive with 3rd annual Winter Window Decorating Contest
Returning this year is a community favorite: Downtown Kalamazoo’s Winter Window Decorating Contest – a friendly competition between downtown businesses to see who has the merriest display of them all. Needing extra cheer this holiday season? Come down for a walking tour of downtown Kalamazoo’s holiday lights and decorated storefronts.
This year, with the ongoing pandemic in mind, there are two ways to vote for your favorite display. Votes from both methods will be used to determine the winners.
- In-person voting: The community is invited to walk downtown to see 35+ business storefronts decked out for the holidays and vote for their favorite by scanning the QR code on the window. QR code voting launches on Small Business Saturday (November 28) and runs through December 16.
- Social voting: Photographs of each participating business’s storefronts can be ‘liked’ on Facebook for a vote. Social voting launches December 7 and runs through December 16.
Participating businesses include: Ballet Kalamazoo. Bee Joyful Shop, Central City Tap House, Cherri’s Chocol’Art, Colors & Cocktails, Douglas & Son Inc, Food Dance, Green Top Tavern, GreenStreet Marketing, Honor Credit Union, Kalamazoo Candle Company, Kalamazoo State Theatre, K’zoo in the Mitten, La Familia Café, Lana’s Boutique, LFG Bar, Mason Jar Plant Shop, Michigan Office Environments, MRC artWorks, Old Burdick’s Bar & Grill, PFC Natural Grocery & Deli, Pop City Popcorn, Rocket Fizz, Rose St. Nutrition, Teel Jewelers, The Spirit of Kalamazoo, The Station, and Wine Loft.
Winners will be announced December 18, 2020.
Every Saturday is Small Business Saturday
In Downtown Kalamazoo, Small Business Saturday doesn’t end on November 28 – our team is officially declaring every Saturday in December “Small Business Saturday” and calling the community to join the movement to support small businesses. That means even more chances to snag the perfect holiday gift – all while supporting local.
As part of December’s Small Business Saturdays, the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership worked with local vendors and entrepreneurs to set up outdoor stations on the North Kalamazoo Mall for a Holiday Mall Market. Above and beyond the state health regulations, we ask the community to wear masks, even while shopping outdoors at the market, and continue to maintain appropriate social distance. Support local entrepreneurs at the Holiday Mall Market from 4-8 p.m. on December 5, 12, and 19.
“We know that the community is more comfortable outside right now, which is why we are thrilled to be bringing an outdoor Holiday Market to downtown Kalamazoo,” Huggett said. “The market will feature both small vendor and our brick and mortar businesses in this exciting new event.”
When shopping at a downtown retailer this Small Business Saturday, customers will receive an “I Shopped Local – Downtown Kalamazoo” pin. The Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership encourages shoppers to share pictures with their pins and spread the message of shopping local in downtown throughout the entire holiday season.
Shoppers looking for gift ideas can keep an eye out for Downtown Kalamazoo’s 50 under $50 Holiday Gift Guide – featuring goods, services, experiences and more.
Sip and Stroll in Downtown Kalamazoo
While downtown restaurants shift dining to outdoors, take-out and delivery, downtown Kalamazoo offers a great outdoor solution with the Central Commons Refreshment Area.
With the Central Commons Refreshment Area in place, and an expansion of the area coming in December, you can now sip and stroll throughout downtown with your favorite drink while taking in all the sights from holiday lights to decorated windows.
Park for free in Epic Parking ramp throughout December
Returning this year, enjoy FREE Parking Thursdays in December in the Epic Parking ramp, located on South and Lovell Streets, FREE 90-minute on-street parking throughout downtown and FREE parking all day Sundays. Easy, convenient downtown parking gets you to your holiday fun faster. Parking information can be found at downtownkalamazoo.org.
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.
###Santa Sightings Window Decorating Contest Central Commons Refreshment Area