Oh, No! No Ho Ho Ho: Kalamazoo Holiday Parade Cancelled
Another casualty of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, this year's Kalamazoo Holiday Parade has been cancelled, as the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership announces an effort to "reimagine" the 2020 holiday season. In addition, the Holly Jolly Trolley will be taking the year off, too.
"Every year, Downtown Kalamazoo offers a series of events, programs and initiatives to celebrate the winter holiday season. This year is no different, but the events, program and initiatives offered will be. In light of public health concerns related to COVID-19, the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership is working with the community to reimagine the 2020 holiday season." - DKP announcement.
What all this does is create is a big problem for downtown officials. With the cancellation of the parade and the trolley, how do you get people to come downtown during this year's holiday season. Likely it's a question every shop owner downtown has already been wrestling with for over six months.
Downtown Kalamazoo Partnership Events Director Sue Huggett say they "are in the planning stages to create new and unique experiences for the community." Huggett goes on to say that "this is an opportunity to innovate, be creative, and explore new ideas, programming, and initiatives to bring our community together and celebrate the holiday season.”
DKP says among the ideas being discussed are enhanced lighting, expanded decorations, changes to Santa’s Workshop, new business-focused initiatives and socially-distant attractions.
The question is, will this be enough to entice people, especially shoppers, to come and visit downtown, in a year where so much of what we have taken for granted has been essentially turned upside down?