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First Things

December 2023

Something Unconventional

Dokidokon adds winter event

Here’s a unique way to ring in the new year: Doki’s Winter Fest, a winter version of the annual Dokidokon anime, gaming and cosplay convention held each summer in Kalamazoo. It is set for Dec. 29–31 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel.

Doki Winter Fest will feature two nights of musical performances, more than 100 vendors from the anime and gaming scene, rooms dedicated to playing video and board games, and workshops on such things as sewing a cosplay costume and making foam armor.

Weekend passes range from $20 for children and $40 for adults to VIP passes for $150 to $850. For more information or to register, visit

Something Petty

The Insiders perform at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe

You can get a double dose of Tom Petty when the tribute band The Insiders performs two shows at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, on Dec. 22 and 23.

The Grand Rapids-based band will perform classic hits by the rocker, who died in 2017.

Doors open at 7 p.m., and the shows start at 8. Tickets are $25. For more information or to buy tickets, visit the Bell’s General Store or

Something Domestic

Exhibit highlights furniture

You can see how furniture has changed throughout the last two centuries by viewing the Off the Shelves exhibit at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum through Jan. 21.

Furniture of all types from the museum’s large collection, ranging from one-of-a-kind pieces to mass-produced items from local and international markets, will be on display, including several pieces not shown to the public before.

The museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit

Something Iconic

Indie rocker Liz Phair to perform at State

Liz Phair, whose 1993 album Exile in Guyville, has been ranked among Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest albums of all time, will perform at the State Theatre Dec. 7.

Phair will perform the 18–track double album in its entirety, along with a selection of additional hits. She will be joined by singer-songwriter Kate Bollinger.

Doors open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 7. Tickets are $42.50–$72.50 in advance and $47.50–$77.50 the day of the show. For more information or to buy tickets, visit

Something Musical
Greensky Bluegrass returns to Kalamazoo

Greensky Bluegrass, the vaunted bluegrass jam band born in Kalamazoo, will return to its roots for two shows at the State Theatre this month, on Dec. 30 and 31.

Over the last two decades Greensky Bluegrass has built up a following for its version of bluegrass, which mixes a string-band sound with rock ‘n’ roll. The band has released 11 albums, the most recent being 2022’s Stress Dreams.

Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 8:30. Tickets are $59–$65 in advance and $64–$70 the day of the show. Passes for both shows are $95. For more information or to buy tickets, 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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