by Jill P
The 56th Annual Kalamazoo Holiday Parade, presented by Maple Hill Auto Group serves as the kickoff to the holiday season in downtown Kalamazoo for all of Kalamazoo County and its neighboring communities.You won’t want to miss the fun this Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 11:00 am. It’s a great chance to kick off the holiday season and to honor our Veterans.
This community planned event, hosted by Downtown Kalamazoo Inc., the City of Kalamazoo, and the City of Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation Department will feature almost 90 parade units including five giant balloons, the WMU Marching Band sponsored by Discover Kalamazoo, eight local high school bands, community parade groups, the Kalamazoo Air Zoo, Wells Fargo Stage Coach, and a variety of local businesses, organizations and more!
WHAT YOU’LL FIND THIS YEAR
The 2017 Kalamazoo Holiday sponsors are excited to announce the five giant balloons, from StarBound Entertainment, that will be featured in this year’s parade: the “Santa” balloon, sponsored Arbor Financial Credit Union; the “Thanksgiving Turkey” balloon, sponsored by Consumers Energy; the “Rudolph” balloon, sponsored by Meijer; and two new balloons making their big debut at the 2017 Kalamazoo Holiday Parade, “Gingersnap the Elf,” sponsored by Biggby Coffee, and Fiddlesticks the Mouse,” sponsored by FM106.5 WVFM, AM 590 and 106.9FM WKZO, affiliated with Midwest Communications.
A special THANK YOU to all of the 2017 Kalamazoo Holiday Parade sponsors!
The Kalamazoo Holiday Parade route and road closures will be as follows:
- The route for the KHP will begin at Lovell Street and Portage Street, will proceed west on Lovell Street to Park Street, will proceed North on Park Street to Michigan Avenue, will proceed east on Michigan Avenue to Pitcher Street, will proceed south on Pitcher street ending at Lovell Street.
- No parking will be allowed on the parade route streets.
- The parade route will require the closure of the following streets from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm:
- Lovell between Park and Pitcher
- Park between Lovell and Michigan
- Michigan between Park and Pitcher
- Pitcher between Michigan and Lovell
AFTER THE PARADE-GREAT FAMILY FUN!
The holiday fun continues AFTER the parade with the Holiday Parade Post Party, presented by WOODTV8. Immediately following the parade until 2:30 p.m., families can visit with the big guy himself, Mrs. Claus and their reindeer, make gifts and experience other fun activities all afternoon at the
Immediately following the parade until 2:30 p.m., families can visit with the big guy himself, Mrs. Claus and their reindeer, make gifts and experience other fun activities all afternoon at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, enjoy family fun with United Healthcare Community Plan in the Comerica building.
Nourish the family with kid-friendly menus at a variety of downtown restaurants, play reindeer games in Devisser Alley next to Gazelle Sports, get free balloons at the Spirit of Kalamazoo, warm up with some FREE hot chocolate and chocolate turkeys at Cheri’s Chocol’art (while supplies last), decorate your own mini pumpkin at Artisan Sandwich Shop, more free chocolate tasting at Nature Connection, and the first 50 kids that visit Popcity Popcorn after the parade will receive a FREE treat bag!
Look for the Holiday Parade Post Party signs located at each participating business.
Parade 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.
COLLECTING FOR LOAVES AND FISHES
Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes Food Drive – Throughout the parade, Loy Norrix High School Peace Jammers volunteers will be collecting canned goods and cash donations for the Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes Food Drive. Food carts will start along the parade route at 10:30 a.m. and conclude by noon. The food drive tradition was originally started by the Loy Norrix Peace Jammers. Canned good donations can also be dropped off at the Comerica Building Lobby from November 11 to December 22, In addition, participating downtown businesses will be collecting coins throughout the holiday season. Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes needs our help, donations, and partnership in feeding Kalamazoo’s community in need.
BROADCASTING AND YOUR CHANCE TO VOTE
The parade will be broadcast via Public Media Network (on Park Street at the back edge of Bronson Park); FM106.5 WVFM’s morning personality, Kim Carson, and 590AM and 106.9FM WKZO’s Ken Lanphear will be announcing the parade.
New this year, all 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 40 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 Downtown Kalamazoo Inc.’s website, DowntownKalamazoo.org and on Downtown Kalamazoo Inc.’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. More TEXT TO VOTE details will be available in the parade day brochure.