Up Front

First Things November 2014

A roundup of happenings in SW Michigan
Pumpkins for the eating

Kalamazoo in Bloom celebrates its 30th anniversary with its fourth annual Pumpkin Soiree from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.

This fundraising event features a tasting competition involving pumpkin dishes concocted by local chefs. Attendees serve as judges for the competition while supporting the purchase of 50,000 locally grown plants and flowers that will be used to beautify community parks. (Perhaps you’ve seen the animal topiaries in Bronson Park and along Library Lane in Portage? That’s the work of Kalamazoo in Bloom.)

Among the restaurants participating in the Pumpkin Soiree are Arcadia Brewing Co., Full City Café, Gull Lake Country Club, Mangia Mangia, Old Dog Tavern and Water Street Coffee Joint.

Single admission is $25, and couple admission is $40. Tickets are available online at EventBrite.com (search “Pumpkin Soiree”).

A musical time machine

Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys’ biography describes their musical aesthetic best: “A long time ago, at the dawn of the Atomic Age, a succession of no-good punks and ill-mannered teenagers took the best of American roots music — hard-partying, honky tonk country, searing gutbucket blues and lonesome hillbilly twang — and distilled it into a potent moonshine known as rockabilly.”

It’s fitting that this local rockabilly group is part of the Friday Night Highlight series on Nov. 7 at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum — their music and dress will transport audiences through rock ’n’ roll history via a vintage listening experience.

Expect original songs and covers of hits by Hank Williams Sr., Johnny Cash, Wanda Jackson, Buck Owens, Gene Vincent and Dick Dale.

This free event takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the museum’s Stryker Theatre.

For more information, visit kvm.kvcc.edu.

Not shaving is proper

Celebrate No-Shave November, the national annual cancer awareness event, on Nov. 1 and 26 with the Proper Possible Movement.

This nonprofit organization, located in the Proper Lab, at 112 W. South St., is working to “popularize proper behavior” while inspiring youth and community members to “do something proper.” The No-Shave November events will engage folks in increasing cancer awareness and raise funds for the West Michigan Cancer Center.

The “before” event, Shave the Date, begins at 6 p.m. Nov. 1 at Urban Modern Hair, 235 S. Kalamazoo Mall. Participants can get an old-fashioned shave and celebrate with the Bell’s Street Team, a DJ and photographer Victor Vague, who will take before-and-after tintype photos.

The “after” event is set for 8 p.m. Nov. 26 at Bell’s Brewery, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave. Participants can show off their new-grown facial hair, get “after” photos taken and celebrate with brews and music. FYI: You don’t need a beard or moustache to attend and can join in if you missed the first event and have been celebrating No-Shave November solo.

For more information about the Proper Possible Movement, visit Facebook.com/ProperPossible. For more information about No-Shave November, visit No-Shave.org.


Something Delicious

Blaze Pizza

Artisan pizza under fire

Blaze Pizza’s claim to fame is “fast-fire’d” pizza — pizza cooked in a “blazing hot” oven and ready in 180 seconds.

Blaze opened in September at 5015 W. Main St. and offers personal-size, super-thin pizzas (so they can cook fast). While there are a lot options on the menu, with such names as Meat Eater, Red Vice and Veg Out, customers can personalize their pizza by choosing the ingredients themselves, from sauce (including white cream, pesto and oil) to cheese (including goat, ricotta and vegan) to meat (applewood bacon, salami and smoked ham are in the mix) to veggies (like artichokes, arugula and kalamata olives). Blaze offers gluten-free pizza options as well (although no dedicated ovens or prep spaces, so beware if you have celiac disease).

The pizza may be cooked fast, but, due to the restaurant’s popularity, going during peak hours means you still might have to wait.

For more information, visit BlazePizza.com/locations/kalamazoo.