Choose Your Own Adventure At Downtown Kalamazoo’s New Year’s Fest: Fireworks, Food & Family-Friendly Performances

New Year's Fest

images: New Year’s Fest

Ring In The New Year With Flexible Family Fun

This New Year’s Eve, Downtown Kalamazoo is throwing a celebration of performing arts during winter break and your family is invited!

The best part? There are so many fun performances planned that you can decide which ones to attend based on time preference and event type. It’s like a real-life Choose Your Own Adventure — New Year’s Eve style!

Starting at 6:00 PM and created with short attention spans in mind, each performance at New Year’s Fest lasts only 30-45 minutes and rotates throughout various walkable locations in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo.

New Year’s Fest of Kalamazoo
(269) 388-2830
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New Year’s Fest Highlights

A Kalamazoo tradition since 1986, this year’s family-friendly entertainment includes bands, magic, storytelling, jugglers, theater, and more. There is something for everyone, regardless of age. 

Even if Jack Frost is nipping at your nose as you embark on your adventure, all performances will be held indoor and in heated tents.

If you’re a planner, download the New Year’s Fest Performance Grid for performance times, locations, and food vendor details.

Dates & Times: New Year’s Fest

Sunday, December 31, 2023 from 6:00 PM to Midnight


Downtown Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo MI 49007

Great news for families with strollers and young kiddos: all performances are located within a 2-block radius of Bronson Park.

Family-Friendly Activities & Performances

Expect high energy, interactive performances designed to get your family moving (and laughing).

  • Visit with Anna, Elsa, Captain America, and Spiderman
  • Magician Alan Smola
  • Ventriloquist Richard Paul, aka “that funny puppet guy”
  • LEGO® City
  • Crawlspace Eviction (improv comedy and games)
  • And more
Favorite characters and entertainers round out the line-up for New Year’s Fest
New Years Fest Kalamazoo 2023
Visit LEGO® City at KNAC Social Hall (formerly, First Baptist)

Michigan Musicians

Music lovers, take note (see what we did there?): bands & singers of all genres will be performing throughout New Year’s Fest. Come support your local musicians, and continue the fun with a family dance party at DJ Monte’s Dance Tent!

  • Ada LeAnn
  • Minor Element
  • Megan Dooley Trio
  • Nathan Moore Affair
  • Grace Theisen & Band
  • Lana Hoffman & Otsego Jazz Ensemble
  • Pangea Steel Drum Band
  • Joel Mabus
  • Northern Ground Band
  • FlyLite Gemini
Grand Rapids-based band FlyLite Gemini

Outdoor Dining & Drinks

All that dancing, laughing, and walking is sure to work up an appetite and a need to wet your whistle. Thankfully, downtown Kalamazoo has an amazing dining scene.

Quench your thirst with a drink from one of many Commons Area businesses.

Food trucks will be available in Bronson Park, and select restaurants will be open late or have modified New Year’s Eve hours. New vendors are being added daily — look for the complete list during the last week of December.

Grand Midnight Finale

If the outcome your family chooses includes making it to midnight, start heading toward Bronson Park for the countdown by 11:45 PM.

You’ll enjoy farewell fireworks to close out the final chapter of the year, followed by a ball drop to ring in 2024.

Ball drop, fireworks and more New Year’s Fest highlights from 2022

New Year’s Fest Admission: One Button. One Price. Multiple Adventures

Not only is New Year’s Fest poised to provide core family memories, it’s easy on the wallet too.

Each admission button is $7 when purchased in advance, or just $10 when purchased on New Year’s Eve. 

  • Online: Beginning December 15 at Noon (pick up at Bronson Park on NYE after 5:00 PM)
  • In-Person: At participating Harding’s Markets, Maple Hill Auto Group, KELC Events (Downtown Kalamazoo), and Midtown Fresh Market
  • Day Of: Starting at 5:00 PM on December 31 at Bronson Park (cash or card)
  • Good to know: some locations only accept cash/check; call ahead to confirm.

Volunteers Needed

Have a teen who needs volunteer hours and would enjoy being immersed in the festive atmosphere for free? Volunteers are always needed to help New Year’s Fest run smoothly.

Event Recap