KALAMAZOO, MI — The giant turkey float, the marching bands and the sleigh carrying Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be absent from downtown Kalamazoo this holiday season.

Kalamazoo’s Downtown Partnership announced this week that the annual holiday parade will take a year off due to coronavirus restrictions on large gatherings. Additionally, the Holly Jolly Trolley, which usually runs from late November through December, will also be suspended this year.

The downtown partnership is promising to reimagine the holiday season and will release a safe, socially-distanced plan, Events Director Sue Huggett said.

“We are working with our community partners, leadership network and businesses to create a new and different holiday experience downtown,” she said. “We are in the planning stages to create new and unique experiences for the community. Our team believes this is an opportunity to innovate, be creative, and explore new ideas, programming, and initiatives to bring our community together and celebrate the holiday season.”

Among the new ideas being discussed are enhanced lighting, expanded decorations, changes to Santa’s Workshop, new business-focused initiatives and socially distant attractions, according to the downtown partnership.

Once available, a complete schedule of events and more information will be found at downtownkalamazoo.org.

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