Holiday parade must happen for ‘the survival of downtown Kalamazoo,’ business owners say

KALAMAZOO, MI – There is no downtown Kalamazoo holiday parade this year. At least that is what multiple local business owners said they were told.

Business owners were told during a July 1 meeting with the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership that the parade is canceled for 2021. It was also canceled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Kalamazoo Downton Partnership President Andrew Haan said in an email that there is no finalized plan about holiday programs. He said there will be an announcement in August.

“In the midst of an ongoing global pandemic, all downtown programming continues to be developed with careful consideration,” Haan said. “We have not finalized any decisions around holiday programming. We are continuing to review options for engaging and impactful winter and holiday programming in downtown.”

Parade sponsor Maple Hill Auto Group got a letter May 13 saying the 2021 parade is canceled, owner Jim VandenBerg said.

A decision to…

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