KALAMAZOO, MI — The unofficial start of summer in downtown Kalamazoo is right around the corner as downtown residents and visitors alike prepare for a weekend of art, pride, and of course, a parade.
Formerly known as June Jubilee, JumpstART weekend will kickoff at noon Friday, June 3 with the return of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair in Bronson Park, as well as Art on the Mall. The two events will be open from noon to 8 pm Friday and from 9 am to 5 pm Saturday.
Kalamazoo Pride, a two-day celebration supporting the LGBTQ+ community will commence at 6 pm Friday at Arcadia Creek Festival Place downtown, with entertainment taking place until 11:30 Friday night and again on Saturday, from 2 pm until midnight.
The weekend’s other big event, the annual Do-Dah Parade — patterned after Pasadena, California’s Doo-Dah Parade — returns to the downtown streets at 11 am Saturday with the satiric theme of “Where is the Zoo?”
For more details on each individual event, read on.
KIA Arts Fair
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the 71-year-old juried arts fair will be back in Bronson Park on Friday and Saturday.
Over 100 fine artists will participate in this year’s show, coming from all over the state, region and country. Attendees to the fair will be able to browse and shop at tents filled with jewelry, photography, sculptures, painting, ceramics, glass, fiber, leather, wood and more from noon-8 pm Friday and 9 am-5 pm Saturday.
In addition to the art, attendees will be able to enjoy a beer garden, food trucks and family-friendly activities in the park. There is no admission charge to attend the fair.
As part of the fair, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 S. Park St., also has free admission Friday and Saturday, allowing visitors the opportunity to explore the “West Michigan Area Show” both days, as well as the opening of “ Surrealish: The Absurd and Unexpected” on Saturday from 10 am-5 pm Visit KIARTS.org for more information.
Art on the Mall
Keeping the art in JumpstART, Art on the Mall will once again be set up on the Kalamazoo Mall and South Street from noon-8 pm Friday and 9 am-5 pm Saturday.
The outdoor soft-juried show will bring another 50 vendors to the downtown area and feature everything from jewelry to pottery, sculptures and garden art, as well as art demonstrations and live entertainment.
The event is free to attend for all.
Do Dah Parade
After a year off, and a year in reverse, the annual Do-Dah Parade — patterned after Pasadena, California’s Doo-Dah Parade — returns to the downtown streets at 11 am with the satiric theme of “Where is the Zoo?”
The parade, which began in 1984, was designed by organizers from Kalamazoo radio station WKMI, as a way for area businesses and nonprofits to provide unique entertainment through parody. It encourages participants to use the streets of Kalamazoo “to promote the personality of their company in a fun and a slightly unorthodox way.” One never knows what they might see or who they might see doing what.
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 and then back to the starting point. All of Portage Street will be included in the parade route, which will provide excellent viewing opportunities.
The return of Kalamazoo Pride will feature local and national entertainment, Friday and Saturday at Arcadia Creek Festival Place, 145 E Water St. in downtown Kalamazoo.
Friday’s entertainment begins at 6 pm with a set from DJ Disobedience and will be followed up with a 7 pm performance from the Western Michigan University School of Theater and Dance. The night’s showcase event, the Mx/Miss/Mr. Kalamazoo Pride 2022 Drag Competition, will take place from 8-11:30 pm
On Saturday, DJ Conscious will get things going again at 2 pm and be followed at 3 pm buy a performance of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” from Queer Theater Kalamazoo. At 3:45 pm, The Nathan Moore Affair performs, followed by sets from DJ Conscious at 4:30 pm, Big Trouble at 5:30 pm, Lady Ace Boogie at 6:45 pm, comedian Brad Loekle at 8 pm and Sexy Toxins at 9 pm The evening concludes with a meet and greet from Orion Story at 9:45 pm and a performance from the drag legend from 10:40 pm-midnight.
Day passes cost $8 at the door and two-day passes are $15. Children 12 and under are admitted free. For more information, visit https://www.outfrontkzoo.org/pride2022.
Official 21-up after-party events featuring Chi Chi Laure will take place both nights at Club Vortex, at 502 S. Burdick St. Admission costs $15 at the door.
It’s the first Friday of the month, so it must mean Art Hop, too. The theme is “Let Freedom Ring” in honor of upcoming Juneteenth holiday. More than two dozen locations will participate throughout downtown and surrounding neighborhoods between 5-8 pm Friday. Visit kalamazooarthop.org for more information.
KPL book out
Friends of KPL will hold its June Bag of Books Sale from 10 am to 3:30 pm Saturday in the Central library’s parking lot at the corner of Rose and Lovell streets. Books will be 25 cents each or $3 for a bag.
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