by Jennifer W and Jill P
[note] This Summer Parade and Festival Guide is sponsored by Kids Play ETC. We thank them for for sponsorship. [/note]
Experience all that Kalamazoo and the surrounding towns have to offer by attending one of the numerous local parades and festivals in our area! Hop, skip, jump, or drive into summer fun!
Here is a listing of parades scheduled (4th of July parades will be in a separate post) for our area:
Do-Dah Parade, Downtown Kalamazoo
June 7, 2014 at 11 am
This parade starts on Lovell travels down Park to Rose and finishes up on Lovell. (Be sure to arrive early to get a good view.). Check out www.junejubilee.com for a full listing of the events scheduled for this weekend.
Cereal City Grand Cereal Parade, Battle Creek
June 13, 2014 at 6:00 pm
This parade starts on Van Buren to Tompkins (United Way Drive) to Michigan Avenue, concluding at Commerce Point. Please note that the route is different this year. Check out www.bcfestivals.com for a full listing of the events offered during this festival.
Kindleberger Summer Festival Parade, Parchment
This parade starts on Riverview and ends at the United Methodist Church. Check out www.kindleberger.org for a full listing of the events offered during this festival.
July 12, 2014 at 10 am
National Blueberry Festival Parade, South Haven
August 8, 2014 at 1:00 pm
Parade route is off from Phoenix Street in downtown South Haven. Check out www.blueberryfestival.com for a full listing of events offered during this festival.
St. Julian Festival Parade, Paw Paw
September 7, 2014 at 1:00 pm
This parade starts at the Paw Paw Middle School and ends at the Paw Paw Community Education Building. Check out www.wineandharvestfestival.com for a full listing of events offered during this festival.
Fun Festivals and Events
Here is a listing of fun festivals and similar events scheduled for our area:
Festival of the Arts, Grand Rapids, June 6-8, 2014
The 45th Festival of the Arts in Grand Rapids makes it one of the longest running arts festival around. Check out the many performance with six indoor or outdoor stages showcasing music of all types, plus dance, theatre, and art activities for the kiddos. Bring your appetite as there are a lot of food booths to try.
38th Annual Dionysos Greek Festival, Kalamazoo, June 5-7, 2014
Annual celebration of Greek culture from Theo & Stacy’s with live music, food and kids activities such as a clown show, puppet show, balloon twisting, face painting, and more. Also, check out the Air Fair with over 180 artists in Bronson Park and the June Jubilee weekend events.
58th Annual Water Festival, Three Rivers, June 12-14, 2014
The Water Festival offers a car show, midway with rides, kids activities, a parade, arts/crafts booths, and fireworks.
Vicksburg Old Car Festival, June 13-14, 2014
This is Vicksburg’s biggest event of the year. Hundreds of classic cars and hot rods. Thousands of visitors. Entertainment begins on Friday evening with 50 & 60’s music and a “cruise”.
Pride Festival, Kalamazoo, June 13-14
Saturday’s family tent activities include face painting, caricature drawings, a cheer group teaching cheers to kids, and a costume trunk from Fancy Pants theater.
Island Festival, Kalamazoo, June 19-21, 2014
Kalamazoo’s annual celebration of the culture of the Caribbean will feature food, vendors and live music. Get a taste of some great Caribbean-inspired food such as rice and beans and jerk chicken that are available to purchase.
Harborfest, South Haven, June 19 – 22, 2014
A celebration of Southwestern Michigan’s unique maritime history with live music all weekend plus….Dragon Boat Racing, craft and food fair, pancake breakfast, kids activities, and Beer Garden.
Greater Galesburg Days, Galesburg, June 21, 2014
Parade at 11am, kids games, bounce houses, petting zoo, Critchlow’s Alligator Sanctuary, car show, live music and much more.
Kalamazoo Irish Festival, Kalamazoo June 27- 28, 2014
The Irish American Club of Kalamazoo’s annual celebration of Irish culture with food, drinks, vendors and more.
Taste of VIcksburg, Vicksburg, June 28, 2014
Taste of Vicksburg featuring local eateries offering selected menu dishes from 3-11 pm with live entertainment and Art-Hop.
Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival, July 2-6, 2014
This great family event will play host to 50 hot-air balloons, two night balloon illumes, a five hour air show featuring top performers from around the country, a full carnival, awesome food booths, arts & crafts, fireworks, bands and more!
Kindleberger Festival, Parchment, July 9 – July 14, 2014
This festival includes a car show, arts and crafts day, 5K community race, 3K Stroller Stroll, Kids Fun Run, parade, kid’s area, and food vendors. There are great opportunities for families to spend a day enjoying a wide-range of activities and community. Also, check out the great family stage productions.
Kalamazoo Blues Festival, Kalamazoo, July 10-12, 2014
The 21st annual Kalamazoo Blues Festival from the Kalamazoo Valley Blues Association will return.
Taste of Portage, Portage, July 19
Put on this year by the Portage Athletic Foundation and all of their volunteers, the Taste of Portage continues (although Portage Summer Entertainment Series has been discontinued). Line up includes afternoon entertainment stage, kidz zone, brewer’s expo, dancing flashmobs, sponsor’s taste event, and more.
Taste of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, July 24-26, 2014
The 29th annual celebration of local restaurants and beer and wine makers will be back with live music and more. Sample many of the great bites that Kalamazoo has to offer!
Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival, Grand Haven, July 2-August 3, 2014
This Festival unofficially began in 1924 and has grown to one of the biggest festivals in the area. This year’s activities include two parades, ship tours, a kids day, downtown carnival, street dance, entertainment, fireworks, and more. Walk the boardwalk, pier, and beach while you are there.
Kalamazoo County Fair, Kalamazoo, August 4-9, 2014
The fair includes a great array of events and activities to keep the kids busy. Check out all of the 4-H animals, carnival rides, Kids Zone Stage entertainment, pony rides, farm equipment, and more. Kids Day is designated at August 5. Check back for more details.
National Blueberry Festival, South Haven, August 7-10, 2014
The 51st Annual National Blueberry Festival features lots of activities and entertainment for the whole family! Blueberry pie social, parade, craft fair, pancake breakfasts, 5k/10k run/walk, free outdoor concerts, kids activities, tractor pull, and more.
Paw Paw Wine & Harvest Festival, Paw Paw, September 5-7, 2014
This festival included family activities such as carnival rides, free children’s activities in Stompyland, fireworks on Maple Lake, St. Julian Parade, and the Grape Stomp. Other activities include a car show, arts & crafts show, and Turtle Derby.
Allegan County Fair, Allegan, September 5-13, 2014
The Allegan County Fair reminds us of the old-fashioned fairs. Check out the historic village on site, carnival rides, entertainment, 4-H animals, antique market, and children’s activities.
ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, September 24-Oct. 12, 2014
Art Prize is for the young, the old, and even for those still in strollers! With over 1,500 entries there’s plenty to see. Our sister site, grkids.com always has an awesome review of Art Prize each year and tips to help parents navigate.
Oktoberfest, Kalamazoo, October 4, 2014
The second annual fundraiser for the Vine Neighborhood Association will feature live music, food, lots of craft beer and more.
Have we missed any of your favorite festivals or parades? If so, let us know in the comment section below.