Event Information

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, juggling, street performers, and more.


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 will host a hybrid schedule featuring both outdoor space on the North Kalamazoo Mall, and live streaming from indoor sites.  

*Please note that an App is NOT required to participate in New Year's Fest virtually. Performances will be available through:

Public Media Network

Live-streamed through YouTube - First Presbyterian, First United Methodist

  1. Please visit our entertainment tabs to the performer you'd like to see

  2. Scroll to the bottom of that page, click on the performer name and time

  3. You'll be re-directed to the necessary YouTube Channel to watch!

Event Specifics:
New Year's Fest is hosted on December 31st from 7:00 p.m. to midnight. Although there will not be fireworks or a ball drop at Midnight, there will be a "Goodbye 2020" video played on the North Kalamazoo Mall. Contact Becca at director@experientiallearningcenter.org to participate!

THIS YEAR, our focus will be on utilizing the outdoor space in Downtown. The idea of the outdoor performances is to support the social districts along the Kalamazoo Mall.  These districts and the outdoor performance stages will allow patrons dining in at local restaurants to come out and enjoy the entertainment. The hybrid event schedule features not only the in-person entertainers, but also live-streamed performances through Public Media Network and local churches YouTube channels.

*Please note that the event time changed for 2020 and now starts at 7:00 p.m.


Event Brochure:

The 2020 New Year's Fest Printable Brochure, as well as the Printable Performance Grid is now available under the Entertainment Tab.


Button Sales:
Buttons will be sold for $5.00 in advanced online from December 15th until December 30th at Noon, and in-person on December 31st from 5:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. on the North Kalamazoo Mall. Please check the Admissions tab to view our four local Button Locations.



Family Packs are also being sold online until Decemeber 30th. These packs will include a coloring sheet drawn by Gene Haulenbeek, four admission buttons, and celebratory New Year's swag. Family kits can be picked up at our KELC office on December 28th - 30th. Those that do not get picked up will be available starting at 5 p.m. on the North Kalamazoo Mall on New Year's Eve. Please call in advance to schedule your pick up if coming to the office.

Bag Policy:

All bags are subject to search at every location. We want to ensure that everyone is safe and can enjoy themselves. 

Stay Connected:

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 (deb@eventkalamazoo.com) to see how they can become involved in the planning of New Year’s Fest:

Executive Board:


President:                          Larry Potter, Retired

Vice President:                   Dave Overton, Retired

Recording Secretary:          Steve Ellis, Spark Magazine

Treasurer:                          Brenda Keelan


Standing Chairs:      

Promotion:                         Steve Ellis, Spark Magazine

                                           Michael Deaton

Sponsorship Dev:                Chris Shook, Jim Gilmore Foundation

Sites & Entertainment:        Elizabeth Start, Self Employed

                                           Dave Overton, Retired

                                           Michigan Sacred Music Festival

                                           Dan Bunker, Schawk Company

                                           Sid Ellis, Kalamazoo YMCA

                                           Michael Palmer, First Congregational Church

Site Coordinators:

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. 


Tentatively, we are hoping that these sites can be live streamed for this year's event:

  • The United Methodist Church – Dan Bunker

  • First Presbyterian Church – Mike Hammond

  • Farmers Alley Theatre - Jeremy Koch

  • KNHS/First Baptist Church – Lori Lewis

  • Radisson - Denise Grosser Welch


Former Locations Not Participating in 2020

  • Ladies Library Association - Marge Kars & Barbara Baker

  • First Congregational Church –  Michael Palmer & Mike Aurnack

  • Kalamazoo Public Library – Farrell Howe

  • Kalamazoo Institute of Arts - Kimberely Earnshaw

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Have you been downtown Kalamazoo for New Year's Fast in the past? Tell us about your experience.
Thank you for your support!