New Year’s Fest

It’s hard to believe that New Year’s Fest has been happening in Kalamazoo since 1985! Not a year has been missed, even during COVID. We have survived ice storms, Y2K and sub-zero temperatures living out our purpose to entertain through the celebration of the performing arts.

Uniquely, this performing arts festival has become a tradition where toddlers that grew upon New Year’s Fest are now bringing their kids to celebrate the experience that performing arts unveil. With short repeating performances throughout the night, New Year’s Fest’s formula of “a taste of the arts” allows families to negotiate an evening that supports something for everyone.

As the fireworks light up the sky and the ball drops at midnight, the community can feel the allure of Times Square right in the heart of Downtown Kalamazoo. People of all walks of life come together to start a new year.

Behind the scenes, New Year’s Fest tells a story of supporting our artists, enabling performances from both emerging and experienced artists. This is what makes the event “artist-unique” as well as empowering. New Year’s Fest is working to be relevant in an ever-changing performing arts landscape. To present a more inclusive festival, our Board of Directors has pledged to hire 20 percent BIPOC performers with a commitment to supporting emerging artist groups.

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