KALAMAZOO, MI — After two years of pandemic-altered plans, downtown Kalamazoo expects to look much more like it traditionally does on the first weekend of June.
The KIA Arts Fair will return to Bronson Park on Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4, while Kalamazoo Pride returns to Arcadia Creek Festival Place and Art on the Mall hits the pedestrian mall during those same two days. The Do-Dah Parade will also pass through downtown streets at 11 a.m. on June 4.
There is an exception this year to pre-pandemic years. Those attending one of the downtown events and who are of legal drinking age can now take advantage of the Central Commons refreshment areawhich allows people aged 21 and over to buy a drink in one of the 20 participating establishments and to browse the art and downtown shops, cocktail in hand from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.
Formerly known as June Jubilee, the exclusively outdoors JumpstART weekend has long served as the starting point for the downtown summer season for many. Only Kalamazoo Pride has an entry fee with early bird tickets costing $10 for a weekend pass and $8 for a single day.
Related: The Kalamazoo Arts Institute Fair will be back in June 2022
At the heart of the weekend is the Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts fair taking place from noon to 8 p.m. Friday, June 3 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in Bronson Park.
One of the nation’s longest-running juried arts fairs, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is celebrating its 71st festival and expects more than 100 artisans to be on hand, selling wares in a variety of mediums, mixed media jewelry, ceramics, sculptures in metal, fibre/leather, painting, photography, glass and wood. For more information, visit www.KIARTS.org.
Keep art in Jumpstart, Art on the mall will be installed on the Kalamazoo Mall and South Street at the same times on Friday and Saturday. This juried outdoor show will bring 60 other vendors downtown and feature everything from jewelry to pottery, sculpture and garden art, as well as art demonstrations and live entertainment.
Related: The Do-Dah Parade returns in 2022 with a question: “Where is the zoo?” »
Just before the two art shows resume on Saturday, the annual Do-Dah Parade — modeled after Pasadena, California’s Doo-Dah Parade — returns to downtown streets at 11 a.m. with the satirical theme “Where’s the zoo?”
This year’s parade will feature a new route, beginning at the corner of Jasper and Lovell Streets, heading west to South Rose Street, north to Michigan Avenue, east to Portage Street , then back to the starting point. All of Portage Street will be included in the parade route, providing excellent viewing opportunities.
Related: The Kalamazoo Pride Festival will be celebrated in June at Arcadia Creek Festival Place
The weekend’s other big event downtown, Kalamazoo Pride, will bring local and national entertainment for a packed schedule of events June 3-4. Themed #AlwaysProud, the festival, in-person for the first time since 2019, is hosted by LGBTQ+ organization OutFront Kalamazoo and sponsored by Bell’s Brewery.
The festival takes place from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday, June 3 and features opening performances by DJ Disobedience and Western Michigan University School of Theater and Dance. The main event of the evening will be the Mx/Miss/Mr. Kalamazoo Pride 2022 Drag Competition, which begins at 8 p.m.
The festival resumes at 2 p.m. Saturday and goes on again at midnight. Saturday performances include: DJ Conscious, QTK: “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”, The Nathan Moore Affair, Big Trouble, Lady Ace Boogie, comedian Brad Loekle, Sexy Toxins and Orion Story. Tickets are available at www.outfrontkzoo.org/pride2022.
In addition to the traditional Friday-Saturday activities, this year’s JumpstART will also feature two other musical events to wrap up the long weekend.
Captain Kat will perform the first Beats on Bates concert of 2022, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 1 in Bates Alley. And shut things down, The Samuel Nalangira Ensemble will take the Bronson Park stage for a show that celebrates Ugandan music at 4 p.m. on Sunday June 5.
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