There has been an uproar from the residents of Kalamazoo in regards to the new candy cane structure that is on display in Bronson Park. The new candy canes are much more modern looking, not as sleek, and naturally, people are triggered. The city actually has a reasonable explanation as to why the old candy canes are no longer on display. In a release they stated you could possibly own the old ones:

We greatly appreciate the passionate residents we have in Kalamazoo and our community’s love for traditions, including our beloved Candy Cane Lane. We also cherish and have fond memories of the previous candy canes. We would like to provide some clarification behind why they needed to be replaced and address some of the concerns we have heard.

The previous candy canes have been in poor shape for years now and we received numerous complaints about their condition. It may not have been noticeable to visitors, but the previous candy canes were becoming cracked and structurally unsound. There was also a safety concern since they did not meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility standards for height clearance when angled over the sidewalks.

We have heard from many concerned residents about the loss of the archway feel with the new candy canes. To address this, we are putting up lights and garland between the candy canes to help create that magical lighted walkway feel. We unfortunately are not able to “lean” the new candy canes. Like the previous candy canes, if leaned they would not meet the ADA accessibility standards for height clearance over the sidewalks.

We appreciate everyone’s traditions held at Bronson Park’s Candy Cane Lane, and we are excited for the same traditions continuing with new candy canes. This is not the first time that the candy canes have been updated. They have changed other times in the past and the most recent set was from the 1990s.

We understand that the previous candy canes hold sentimental and historical value for many Kalamazoo residents. For those reasons, we will be holding on to some of the previous candy canes and displaying them in Bronson Park so that photos can continue to be taken with them for years to come. We will also be auctioning the other candy canes to the public at starting December 3. Although we are no longer able to put them up in the park as we have in the past, we would love for the previous candy canes to continue to be a part of life in the city.

We know that changes like this can be hard. However, the meaning of the holiday season, and the time and memories spent with family and friends will continue to live on in Bronson Park.

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