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First Things: June 2022

A roundup of happenings in SW Michigan

Please note: Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, some of these events may be cancelled or changed after press time. Please check with venues and organizations for up-to-date information.

Something Celebratory

Full slate of events honors Juneteenth

A community-wide celebration with music, dance, art, film and a presentation on genealogy is planned for June 17–19 to observe Juneteenth, which celebrates the end of slavery in the United States.

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, became a federal holiday in 2021 and marks the liberation of the last slaves in Texas in 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. The celebration begins at 3 p.m. June 17 with a virtual presentation on tracing Black and Brown people’s ancestry. It will be offered by
the Institute of Public Scholarship via Zoom and Facebook Live.

June 18 offers a variety of performances, dancing and a poetry slam in Bronson Park, a Black film festival at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, and an Edison neighborhood barbecue and youth activities in Reed Street Park.

June 19 features several musical performances, including DC & The DC Quintet at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.; The Velvelettes with Orchestra Jammbo’laya at 3:30 p.m. at the Arcadia Creek Festival Place, in downtown Kalamazoo; and live music and fireworks from 4–8 p.m. at Washington Square, in the Edison neighborhood.

For a complete schedule of activities, visit @junteenthkzoo on Instagram or contact

Something Festive

Kalamazoo Pride to be held June 3-4

The Kalamazoo Pride festival is back again this year on June 3 and 4 at the Arcadia Creek Festival Place after two years of a virtual Pride celebration.

The festival, presented by OutFront Kalamazoo, celebrates LGBTQ+ individuals and their allies and will include drag performances, live music, a pageant, exhibitors, food and dancing. The Mx/Miss/Mr. Kalamazoo Pride pageant starts at 8 p.m. June 3. The festival usually attracts an estimated 8,000 or more people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations and racial identities from Southwest Michigan and beyond.

The festival hours are 6 p.m.–midnight June 3 and 2 p.m.–midnight June 4. Tickets, available at outfrontkzoo.orgg, are $10 in advance or $15 at the gate for two-day passes; single-day passes are $8, and children 12 and under are admitted free of charge.

Something Musical


Buttermilk Jamboree slated for June 17–19

The Buttermilk Jamboree, a family friendly music and arts festival, returns June 17–19 to the Circle Pines Center, at 8650 Mullen Road, in Delton.

The three-day festival will feature nearly 40 musical performers, including The Way Down Wanderers, Funkadesi, Last Gasp Collective, May Erlewine, and Erin Zindle and the Ragbirds. In addition, there will be workshops, swimming, dancing, local food and goods vendors, a craft beer and wine tent, and a dedicated kids’ area complete with performers and crafts. Camping and RV sites and cabin rentals are available.

Tickets prices for the festival are $30 to $88 for adults and $10 to $25 for children, depending on the number of days patrons want to attend. Passes for RV sites and showers involve an additional fee. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Something Friendly

Gilmore Museum announces ‘Carload Concerts’

Have any friends with very large cars? Then invite them to drive you and several others to hear the lineup of tribute music at the Carload Concerts at the Gilmore Car Museum this summer.

For $40 per car per show, music lovers will be able to take in any of five outdoor concerts on
the lawn of the museum’s Hickory Corners campus:

  • The Insiders, a Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers tribute band, June 4.
  • The Surfrajettes, playing 1960s surf rock, Aug. 19.
  • The RockShow, playing hits from 1980s rock bands, Aug. 26.
  • The Lovettes, playing music by 1950s and ’60s girl groups, Aug. 27.
  • Lookin’ Back, a Bob Seger tribute band, Sept. 10.

All shows begin at 8 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring their own blankets or folding chairs. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Something Circular

Learn about a Lake Michigan tour

The Lake Michigan Circle Tour, a route travelers can take by following state highways around the lake through Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, is the topic of a presentation at 6 p.m. June 16 at the Parchment Community Library, 401 S. Riverview Drive.

Dianna Stampfler, a Michigan historian and author who worked for seven years at the West Michigan Tourist Association, will talk about the creation of the route and its official guidebook by the WMTA and the Michigan Department of Transportation.

In her presentation, Circling Lake Michigan: 1100 Miles of History, Arts & Culture, Stampfler will discuss the route’s many sights, including more than 100 lighthouses, countless islands, unique attractions, parks and natural areas, beaches and quaint harbor towns, and will provide a virtual look at some of the tour’s well-known destinations and best-kept secrets. For more information, visit

Something Funny

Do-Dah to parade through downtown

With a theme of “Where is the Zoo?” Kalamazoo’s Do–Dah Parade returns at 11 a.m. June 4 to downtown Kalamazoo.

The parade was canceled in 2020 and limited to a stationary event last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but this year’s Do-Dah Parade will again roll through downtown, with floats and groups in whimsical costumes that reflect the theme or involve some kind of parody. The parade route is a bit different than usual this year — it heads north on Rose Street from Lovell Street instead going north on Park Street.

For more information, including the entire parade route, visit

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