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Elvis at New Year's Fest Kalamazoo

Updated on December 17, 2014
Enjoy a safe New Year's Eve with friends in Kalamazoo!
Enjoy a safe New Year's Eve with friends in Kalamazoo! | Source

Authentic Performances

I learned that one of my long-time friends was formerly an Elvis tribute artist that entertained children in hospitals during the Christmas & Winter Holiday Season and for other audiences around the Midwest.

Not only did he do that, but he performed with some of the top professional Elvis tribute artists active today. While listening to tapes of a garage band that produced some of these tribute artists and after hearing CDs of more recent performances, I was speechless.

I find it no wonder that so may people think they have seen Elvis Presley alive in a some US town or on the road -- The performances and the voice quality of the artists I heard were uncanny.

A few years ago, a friend gave me a CD of "Elvis" performing songs written long after August 1977 and the end of the star's career and life. I played the album without comment at work and people enjoyed it. They remarked that they'd never heard Elvis Presley cover those songs before, and as they walked away, they murmured, "Hey, wait a minute...."

The album I played is by Doug Church, a friend of a friend that is a convincing Elvis voice in his own right, but one who entertains only for charity. Mr. Church performs his Elvis Tribute Act around the country professionally and at benefits. In late 2010, he is scheduled for the Kalamazoo New Year's Fest on December 31. Go there and enjoy his 45 minute tribute performance, if you can. You will be impressed.

Kalamazoo, Michigan - Route 94 between Detroit and Chicago

show route and directions
A markerKalamazoo -
Kalamazoo, MI, USA
get directions

B markerBattle Creek -
Battle Creek, MI, USA
get directions

C markerAnn Arbor -
Ann Arbor, MI, USA
get directions

D markerDetroit -
Detroit, MI, USA
get directions

125th Kalamazoo Anniversary - 1st New Year's Ball Drop

The New Year's Fest

Every year, increasing numbers of US cities throw a community party in their downtown areas for families and singles to attend in safety. It's cut down on traffic accidents on New Year's Eve, saved a lot of lives, and provided enough entertainment and activities to make a better New Year's Eve experience for everyone that attends. These parties are often called First Night celebrations, but in Kalamazoo, it is known as the New Year's Fest, with a lot of fun.

The celebration is all about Performing Arts. The festival hosts Doug Church, whom I recommend 100%, and a number of other musical acts. You can also see original magic acts, comedy shows, exhibitions of all sorts, and fireworks at midnight. Good food is also a part of the evening from 5:30 PM to 12:00 AM.

The price of admission to the festival is only $5.00 around town at merchants' sites for an entrance badge to wear on your coat lapel, and children ages 3 and younger are free. That's a lot of entertainment for less than the cost of a movie matinee (which are becoming scarce). At Bronson Park on the afternoon of the celebration, badges go on sale for $8.00; or you can order them online beforehand.

Too much walking involved? Not at all. Advertised entertainment venues are all within 2 blocks of Bronson Park and near the Kalamazoo Mall, and parking space is ample as well. There are some stairs to climb, but an ADA accessibility map is furnished for alternatives and help in these areas.

Bronson Park in Downtown Kalamazoo


Selected Entertainment Acts

A tuba and sousaphone-playing friend's favorite is the Tuba New Year concert by an all low brass band called Tuba New Year at the Kalamazoo festival. Enjoy the videos of them and other recent acts.

Tuba New Year 12/31/2009

Kiss Tribute Band

Greensky Bluegrass

Faith-Based Community Involvement

You may be wondering about church-related New Year's celebrations and whether you should attend one of them on New Year's Eve instead of the New Year's Fest in Kalamazoo. Increasing numbers of churches are holding these events at the end of the year as well as are the cities around America and Canada. One factor for consideration is that a number of local churches have partnered with other agencies and businesses to host the New Year's Fest.

  • Bronson Park Churches
  • First Baptist Church
  • First Congregational Church
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • First United Methodist Church
  • St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

Christian music acts also perform in some of the venues around the park for this event, so the church is involved is that is important to you on New Year's Eve. Regardless, the festivities are largely family-oriented and fun.

What's also fun for me is that the Kalamazoo Public Library is also involved, holding entertainment in its auditorium. Books, book shops, and libraries are always fun. on New Year's - double fun.

Some Popular New Year's Fest Venues

show route and directions
A markerKalamazoo Institute of Arts (KIA) -
314 S Park St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007, USA
get directions

B markerBronson Park, Kalamazo MI -
Bronson Park, Kalamazoo, MI 49007, USA
get directions

C markerKalamazoo Mall -
S Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI 49007, USA
get directions

D markerKalamazoo Library -
315 S Rose St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007, USA
get directions

E markerEpic Center, Kalamazoo MI -
The Epic Center, Ste 104, 359 S Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI 49007-4843, USA
get directions

Bronson Park

Visitors remark that Bronson Park looks like a New England commons and is th eproduct of the imagination of a New Englander named Bronson long ago. Constructed in the early 1850’s, it is the centerpiece of Downtown Kalamazoo. It contains expanses of greenspace, public monuments, and plenty of shade trees and seating for residents and visitors. A mound in the park may be the work of mound building Native Americans in the city's past. A fountain and reflecting pool add to the attrativeness of the site. As the site of an Araham Lincoln address and many other notable events, Bronson Park is a National Historic Site preserved by the government yet used enjoyed on a daily basis.  

Downtown Kalamazoo
Downtown Kalamazoo


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    • Specialk3749 profile image

      Karen Metz 7 years ago from Michigan

      I live close to Kalamazoo too, and I never knew about this celebration. Thanks!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 7 years ago from USA

      I live very near Kalamazoo. Thanks for the hub.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for your wonderful hub showing us around Kalamazoo and describing the festical.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 7 years ago

      Another home run Patty!!

      You're the BEST!!

      Blessings always, Earth Angel!!

    • Dense profile image

      Dense 7 years ago from somewhere in a concrete jungle, hugging a green plastic tree, and wondering what happened

      Elvis lives! :)

    • PierrePierre profile image

      PierrePierre 7 years ago

      Nice hub! I will go to the Kalamazoo if I get the opportunity.

    • unBroken1 profile image

      unBroken1 7 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for this hub.

      I wasn't raised in Kalamazoo, but I spent a couple summer's there attending WMU music seminar. It was such a happy time in my life and I got to remember it through your post. Thank you!