Kalamazoo cancels tree lighting ceremony

The annual event, held in Bronson Park the day after Thanksgiving, has been cancelled this year over COVID fears.

The City of Kalamazoo has cancelled its annual tree lighting ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The event, held the day after Thanksgiving in Bronson Park, typically draws thousands of people to downtown Kalamazoo. That kind of crowd is forbidden by state coronavirus rules and was deemed unfeasible by event organizers.

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“The Tree Lighting Ceremony is a hallmark event in our community and a tradition for so many families,” said Kalamazoo’s Director of Parks and Recreation Sean Fletcher in a statement. “We are disappointed to have to cancel the ceremony but protecting our community’s health and safety has to be our top priority.”

City officials say Bronson Park will still be decorated for the holidays, and other traditional activities are still planned. Santa’s Workshop is slated to be set up at the Radisson Plaza Hotel beginning December 5. An outdoor holiday market will be set up on the Kalamazoo Mall on the three Saturdays leading up to Christmas.

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