KALAMAZOO, MI — Another step in the return toward normalcy, Kalamazoo is preparing to “JumpstART” into summer this weekend with some traditional first weekend of June activities.
And while Bronson Park may not be filled with booths and artisans as the KIA Arts Fair has gone virtual, and Bell’s Beer Garden won’t be filled with music at night, this year will feel a lot more normal than last.
The Do-Dah Parade is back. It may be sitting motionless Saturday morning as spectators pass by instead of it instead of the other way around, but has the Do-Dah Parade ever been normal?
This year’s theme of “Follow the Yellow Brick Road,” according to a news release from the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, lays out a socially-distanced path for viewers to walk or bike by the stationary “reverse” parade between which will be spread out from Jasper Street to Rose Street, along Lovell, from 11 a.m. – noon.
Those desiring of taste of browsing art in person won’t be left completely empty-handed as Art on the Mall makes its return at Friday, June 4. The event will feature 35 local and regional artists selling their wares as part of a soft-juried outdoor festival from noon-8p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday.
Art Hop will also take over the mall Friday night from 6-8 p.m.
“The past two years have been tough all-around, but we are excited to safely move forward with Art on the Mall this summer,” Arts Council Program Director Bianca Washington-Ciungan said recently.
The two-day event will also feature a slew of musicians, including Carrie McFerrin, DJ Boogie, Yolonda Lavender, the Celeste Allison Trio and more, performing over the course of the two days. Click here for a map of artisans and a complete musical lineup.
The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra will perform as part of the Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts Fair from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. in Bronson Park and West Michigan-based alternative Latin rock collective, Cabildo, will take to the park stage Sunday at 4 p.m. to kick off the Art Council’s Summertime Live series.
Speaking of the Arts Fair, that got underway Thursday and will run virtually June 3-6, allowing people the opportunity to interact with artists in real time through video or messenger, while shopping virtually.
To shop the Virtual Arts Fair, head to www.kiarts.org and you’ll be directed to the live virtual event and see all the participating artist booths. Once you find an artist that interests you, you may enter their booth and look at their sneak peek images of their work, interact with them and purchase art, the institute said in a release.
The institute is also offering free gallery admission on the first weekend of June — for the opening of the annual West Michigan Area Show, a new permanent collection and other exhibits, the release said.
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