What is New Year's Fest?
New Year's Fest is an all ages showcase of performing arts that takes place on New Year's Eve in downtown Kalamazoo. There are a variety of activities that take place including music, magic, comedy, exhibitions, fireworks, and great food!
New Year's Fest's vision is to be a premier event that introduces the greater Kalamazoo community to the performing arts by providing an array of quality, unique artists and activities.
New Year's Fest 2020 event plan is to be hybrid. This will allow New Year's Fest to be able to use both outdoor space in Bronson Park & the Kalamazoo Mall, and to also be virtual. There will be a few of our locations that will have live performers, but there will be PERFORMANCE PASSES given out to limit crowds and to track capacity numbers. There will be no entry to certain performances if you have not signed up in advance. We apologize for any inconvenience.
*stayed tuned for updated information and details on how to live stream New Year's Fest 2020 through Public Media Network.
New Year's Fest is hosted on December 31st from 7:00 p.m. to midnight. There will be a ball drop & fireworks at midnight in Bronson Park.
THIS YEAR, there will be street performers down the Kalamazoo Mall in heated tents along the Community Liquor Zones, and by the Radisson Hotel. Our hope is for those dining in at local restaurants to come out and enjoy the entertainment. Our hybrid event plan will have a majority of our performers down the mall, as well as in Bronson Park on the stage. There will be a few venue locations that will still have live performances, all requiring attendees to register in advance similar to the "fast pass" concept that was used last year. To ensure that capacity limits are controlled, this will be strictly enforced.
*Please note that the event time changed from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The 2020 New Year's Fest brochure is not yet available. Stay tuned for updates.
Buttons sales locations will be posted at the end of November, and begin selling mid December. Please check our Admissions tab for our location listing.
(2020 locations are not yet posted).
All bags are subject to search at every location. We want to ensure that everyone is safe and can enjoy themselves.
You can stay connected to New Year's Fest by being our friend on Facebook, Instagram or following us on Twitter. This is the best way to find out if there are any scheduling updates or if a performance is full. Each performance will have different capacity amounts depending on their location.
Board Members Who Make New Year’s Fest A Reality:
New Year’s Fest, as a 501c3 organization, is run by a Board of Directors. These community individuals give of their time and talents to make New Year’s Fest successful. The event wouldn’t be possible without them and their support.
Community individuals are welcome to join our team and interested individuals should contact Deb Droppers (email@example.com) to see how they can become involved in the planning of New Year’s Fest:
President: Larry Potter, PNC Credit CardServices
Vice President: Dave Overton, Retired
Recording Secretary: Steve Ellis, Spark Magazine
Treasurer: Brenda Keelan, Edwards Garments
Sites & Entertainment: Dave Overton, Retired
Promotion: Steve Ellis, Spark Magazine
Kayla Kiley, Kellogg Company
Sponsorship Dev: Chris Shook, Jim Gilmore Foundation
Sites & Entertainment: Elizabeth Start, Self Employed
Michigan Sacred Music Festival
Dan Bunker, Schawk Company
Sid Ellis, Kalamazoo YMCA
Many of the New Year’s Fest sites are partners and provide their locations free of charge as a way to support this wonderful community celebration. Coordinating the site takes a lot of planning and dedication. Special thanks to the following individuals who donate their time to coordinate the site and recruit the many many volunteers it takes to run New Year’s Fest
The United Methodist Church – Dan Bunker
First Presbyterian Church – Mike Hammond
Farmers Alley Theatre - Jeremy Koch
Ladies Library Association - Marge Kars & Barbara Baker
First Baptist Church – Lori Lewis
First Congregational Church – Michael Palmer & Mike Aurnack
Radisson - Denise Grosser & Jane Dagher
Kalamazoo Public Library – Farrell Howe
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts - Kimberely Earnshaw