You have to give the organizers of Kalamazoo's annual New Year's Fest credit for trying to navigate the maze that producing an event like New Year's Fest this year involves. With all the Covid related rules and regulations changing every few days, this is quite an undertaking even to attempt. But the goal is to create an outdoor, strolling event, with music, magic, juggling, and exhibitions. Truthfully what is needed is some good weather.

That being said, admission buttons are on sale now at several locations all over the Kalamazoo area for the New Year's Fest celebration, which happens to be the 35th annual, for anyone scoring at home.

A $25 "family kit" includes four admission buttons, instructions on live-streaming, noise makers, beads, a coloring sheet drawn by artist Gene Haulenbeek, and some fun celebratory New Year's Eve swag. The event is being billed as "safe, memorable, and hybrid", with no indoor events, and numerous virtual events like a virtual fireworks at midnight - video cobbled together from previous years' celebrations and mixed with submitted videos from locals, themed as "Say Goodbye to 2020". (That'll be quite an effort in itself, trying to put a positive spin on what we've all experienced this year). Here's where to submit a "Goodbye 2020" video.

You can buy buttons online and at these locations.

Harding's Marketplace (Kalamazoo) at 5161 W. Main St.
Harding's Marketplace at 6330 S. Westnedge Ave.
Midtown Fresh at 1693 S. Westnedge Ave. which is a cash only location.

Buttons that you purchase online can be picked up on the North Kalamazoo Mall after 5 p.m. on New Year's Eve.

With everyone wearing masks and practicing social distancing, this could be a way to at least celebrate New Years in something close to a normal way.

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