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First Things

May 2024

Area glass artists are hoping to blow away their competition at the Glass Blowers Battle May 3 and 4 at Glass Art Kalamazoo, 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave.

This head-to-head competition will pit glass blowers against each other to create the best sculptures, functional art, centerpieces, marbles and pendants.

The competition will be held from 2–11 p.m. May 3 and 11 a.m.–6 p.m. May 4. There is no cost to attend. For more information, visit

The indie Scottish band Belle and Sebastian will bring their folk-pop to the Backroom of Bell’s Eccentric Cafe May 6.

The seven-piece band was formed in 1996 and created a cult following with their first album, Tigermilk. The group has since released 12 albums, including 2023’s Late Developers.

The show begins at 8 p.m., with Oregon singer-songwriter Hayley Heynderickx opening for the band.

Tickets are $44 and available at or at the Bell’s General Store, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.

Pump up those tires and get ready to roll as part of a week-long celebration of biking May 11–18.
Kalamazoo Bike Week will feature dozens of bicycling-focused activities, including group rides and organized trail riding as well as workshops on riding gravel and mountain bikes, bicycle maintenance, and bicycling safety for kids. In addition, information about local bicycle clubs, riding groups and shops will be available.

For more information, visit or the Kalamazoo Bike Week page on Facebook.

Those who lived through Beatlemania and those who didn’t can revel in the music of one of the most iconic rock bands of all time on May 14 at Miller Auditorium.

Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles, set for 7:30 p.m., is a re-creation of a Beatles concert, from the iconic outfits to favorite hits of the four boys from Liverpool.

Tickets are $43–$63 and available at the auditorium’s box office, 387-2300, or at

You can to get your hands dirty from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. May 18, when the Kalamazoo Garden Festival plants itself at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center.

The event will include vendors, live music and workshops, including presentations on vermiculture, garden and landscaping practices and trends, and making herbal salves. It is sponsored by the Michigan State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program and is free to attend. For more information, visit

Encore Magazine

Encore Magazine is Southwest Michigan’s Magazine, bringing readers intriguing images and stories of the good things, good works and great people of our corner of the mitten. Published 12 times a year, Encore in its fifth decade of serving Southwest Michigan, carrying on a historic tradition of being the premier lifestyle publication of the greater Kalamazoo area.

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