Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership Activates Growth in the City

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Kathryn Davis
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With several brand new events this summer, Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership is making the city “the place to be!”


Imagine: Coachella-scale masses of people flood the sidewalks of Kalamazoo’s downtown each afternoon. People talk and laugh; they make purchases from shops, dig into delicious food from restaurants up and down the streets. Some gather together to watch live entertainment, while others explore the city in small groups—the city is bustling.

Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership is working to “activate” the city, its alleyways and businesses in exactly this way. The organization is a small-but-mighty team of just five full-time and two part-time staff members—a surprising fact considering the level of impact and empowerment the organization brings upon the heart of Southwest Michigan.

“Our goal as an organization,” says Sue Hugget, marketing and engagement manager at Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership, “is to keep downtown Kalamazoo vibrant by attracting masses of people to come and enjoy the city.”

Already this summer, the organization has launched two brand new events series—Workout Wednesdays, a summer workout series held in the Arcadia Creek Park, and Beats on Bates, live entertainment set along Bates Alley—both of which run from June 5 to August 28 and are aimed at drawing people from around the region into downtown Kalamazoo. Both series encourage fresh faces at every single event.

Beats on Bates and Workout Wednesdays are just the tip of the iceberg for Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership’s summer events. The organization also highlights downtown Kalamazoo through its Summer Sidewalk Sales, Vintage in the Zoo, Zoo-Moto, events throughout restaurant week and more—all aimed at bringing new walks of life and masses of people to Kalamazoo’s downtown areas.

All summer long (and well beyond!) Kalamazoo Partnership encourages Southwest Michigan to stop by, stay a while, and add to the growing life of Kalamazoo, its businesses, restaurants and artists.

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