The mission of the Communications & Events Committee is to promote the image of downtown Kalamazoo through advertising, special events and education campaigns as a uniquely vibrant, dynamic, safe and inviting regional center that offers business, retail, entertainment, arts and cultural opportunities for all.
The Communications & Events Commitee membership is comprised of downtown stakeholders who professional endeavors are marketing related, and who, by design, represent the various sectors of the downtown business community. Currently, the committee is dedicated to managing and executing special events and promoting events, activities, and programs. While event focused, the premise of today’s marketing strategy is to expose the local community to the diversity of events, retail opportunities and the arts and culture scene.

Current Initiatives

  • Look Closer Branding
  • Main 2010 marketing tactics
    - Digital billboard on South Westnedge (north side) and Gull Rd (west side) 
    - Radio
    - Kalamazoo Gazette
    - MiBiz (annual)
    - Monthly Ezine Updates and downtown news and information
    - Regular email blasts (event and activity-driven schedule)
    - Twitter Updates
    - Facebook Updates - DOWNTOWN KALAMAZOO page 
We thank our local media outlets for their attentions to downtown news and events, as they continue to cover the positive growth and opportunities. Special thanks go to:
  • Lori More and other WKZO AM 590 radio hosts
  • Midest Communication
  • Kalamazoo Gazette
  • Channel 3 WWMT
  • MiBiz
  • Business Weekly


Establishing downtown Kalamazoo as a retail destination is a primary goal. DKI's events  are designed to stimulate our local economy,specifically the businesses within the DDA, with  activities and programs that ultimately help to ring our retailer’s registers. Through an event consultant contract with the EVENT COMPANY, under the guidance and direction of the Event Marketing Sub-Committee, DKI develops, manages and executes the following events:

Chili Cook-Off
Held in late January, this event features a chili contest where retailers and the restaurateurs compete for bragging rights to best recipes in several different categories. Held in conjunction with Great Winter Adventure (a Downtown Kalamazoo Association Charities), this great family event has drawn thousands of people even in the bitterest of cold for the chance to try and vote on and collect and obtain the next best chili recipe.
Extended Art Hop
Monthly Art Hops, normally managed by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, take on a larger presence during the March, June, October and December events, to include retail and office locations. These extended Art Hops have become a signature event, drawing up to 8,000 and including as many as 70 locations throughout the downtown area featuring local artists and their multi-medium work and outdoor live entertainment, as weather allows. All Art Hops take place the first Friday of the month. This event is done in partnership with the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo. Free.
During selected first Fridays of the month, special attention is focused on various downtown areas. Recent events have put the spotlight on the West Michigan Avenue corridor, as well as the cluster of businesses and retailers on East Michigan Avenue. It’s our way of calling attention to places that, perhaps during the rush of the day, we might not otherwise notice. Participating stores and businesses typically will offer a “progressive hors douvres party” and special entertainment. Free.
Art on the Mall
A “June Jubilee” event, this art show goes on its 27th year, held on the Kalamazoo Mall. A juried event, it calls to regional artists and has become a wonderful addition and extension of the Kalamazoo Art Fair in Bronson Park. Free.

Do Dah Parade
Just like it sounds, this might be THE downtown signature event that kicks off the summer on Super Saturday (the first Saturday of June). A parade of silliness and parodies, this event draws over 30,0000 people each year, featuring local groups, organizations and businesses who aren’t afraid to poke fun at themselves in one way or another. Applications to participation can be made on line. This event has drawn attention as far away as California and could very well have included your next door neighbor. Traditional parade route: Free.
Sidewalk Sales
Real sidewalks. Real Sales. That’s our motto. Deep discounts at this annual summer event have people looking forward to this sale all summer. With over 30 stores offering sales, many of them gather under tents on the Kalamazoo Mall. Live lunch-time entertainment each day. This three day event (beginning on Thursday) takes place in mid-July. 


Denise Negrea, 269.344.0795


Chris Crowell
Gazelle Sports

Dean Hauck
Michigan News Agency

Carl Brown

Sarah Lee
Greenleaf Hospitality 

Beth McCann
Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo

Renee Newman, Vice-Chair
Discover Kalamazoo

Kevin Romeo
Rhino Media Productions
Al Shifflet
WMU Medical School