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First Things

September 2023

Something on Wheels

Street rods, hot rods and classic cars on display

You can see more than 2,000 custom and classic cars Sept. 8–10 at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center.

The 43rd annual Street Rod Nationals North event will feature street rods, muscle cars, hot rods and classic cars and trucks, all over 30 years old. There will also be activities, entertainment, displays and games. A number of vendors, including Vicksburg residents Joe and Paul Van Nus from Dutchboys Hot Rods, will be on hand to showcase the latest technology and parts.

Gates are open for spectators from 8 a.m.–7 p.m. Sept. 8, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Sept. 9, and 8 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Sept. 10. Tickets are $19, or $6 for children ages 6–12. Younger children are admitted free. Family, senior and military discounts are also available. For more information, visit

Something Celebratory

Brillosa Celebration at Bell’s

A celebration of Latin culture is on tap for Bell’s Brewery’s third annual Brillosa Celebration, from 2–6 p.m. Sept. 24.

This free family-friendly event will be held in the Bell’s Beer Garden, weather permitting, and will include live performances by the Latin jazz band Acana and the dance troupe El Concilio Baile Folklórico. Teresa’s Kitchen will be on site providing food such as tacos, quesadillas and tortas, and Bell’s will have a special tapping of its Brillosa Vienna-style lager. (“Brillosa” (bree-YOH-suh) is a Spanish word that means shiny and bright and was the inspiration for this beer made by Bell’s.)
For more information, visit

Something Outlander-ish

Scottish Festival celebrates the Highlands

If watching seven seasons of Outlander has made you crave more Scottish culture or if you just want to learn more about it, then head over to the annual Kalamazoo Scottish Festival Sept. 9 at Kindleberger Park, in Parchment.

The event, organized by the Kalamazoo Scottish Festival Association, includes such Highland athletics as the hammer throw and caber toss as well as a parade of clans, music, piping, dancing, cultural exhibitions and educational talks about Scottish history.

The performers will include the Kalamazoo Scottish Country Dancers, Kalamazoo Pipe and Drum Band & Highland Dancers, and musicians Brian McClure, Grayson Barton and Toby Bresnahan.
The festival runs from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., and admission is free. For more information, including a schedule of specific events, visit

Something Musical

Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors perform

Emmy Award-winning Memphis artist Holcomb, whose music has been featured on more than 70 of TV’s most-watched shows, will perform at the State Theatre at 7 p.m. Sept. 24.

This Americana artist, touring with his band to promote their ninth album, Strangers No More, already has several critically acclaimed albums under his belt and been featured by NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard and CMT.

Opening for Holcomb will be Josiah & the Bonnevilles, known for the singles “Tennessee Song” and “I am Appalachia.”

Tickets are $37.50–$117.50. For more information, visit

Something Historical

Walks explore two neighborhoods

Frequent Encore contributor Lynn Houghton, author of the historical architecture book Kalamazoo: Lost & Found, leads walks this month that delve into two of the older neighborhoods in Kalamazoo.

The 60- to 90-minute walks are free, and no registration is required. The tours and meeting locations are as follows:

  • South Street/Bronson Park, 8 a.m. Sept. 8; meet at Gazelle Sports, 214 S. Kalamazoo Mall.
  • Westnedge Hill Neighborhood, 8 a.m. Sept. 22; meet at the northwest corner of South Westnedge and Inkster avenues.

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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