Encore June 2018

Page 1

Ditch Your Car and hit the trails

June 2018

Get Fresh at a Farmers’ Market

Experience Local Color

Meet Greg Ayers

Southwest Michigan’s Magazine


See Your Town Like A Tourist


Love Where You Live Funds Giving to one of our Love Where You Live Funds is a lasting way for you to show your love for our community and be part of our work. These gifts become part of a permanent endowment, which means they benefit Kalamazoo County forever. We invest them so they grow and maximize the resources on hand to address community needs.


LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE FUNDS • Love Where You Live Fund / Greatest Needs • Economic and Community Development Fund • Education and Learning Fund


• • • •

Health Fund Housing Fund Individuals and Families Fund Youth Development Fund




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Ditch Your Car and hit the trails

Get Fresh at a Farmers’ Market

Experience Local Color

June 2018

Meet Greg Ayers

Southwest Michigan’s Magazine


See Your Town Like A Tourist

Stop the Clock

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encore publications, inc.


marie lee


alexis stubelt

Photographers brian k. powers

Contributing Writers

jordan bradley, marie lee, kara norman, adam rayes

Copy Editor/Poetry Editor margaret deritter

Advertising Sales tiffany andrus celeste statler krieg lee


mark thompson

Office Coordinator hope smith

Encore Magazine is published 12 times yearly. Copyright 2018, Encore Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Editorial, circulation and advertising correspondence should be sent to:

www.encorekalamazoo.com 117 W. Cedar St. Suite A, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 Telephone: (269) 383-4433 Fax: (269) 383-9767 Email: Publisher@encorekalamazoo.com The staff at Encore welcomes written comment from readers, and articles and poems for submission with no obligation to print or return them. To learn more about us or to comment, visit encorekalamazoo.com. Encore subscription rates: one year $36, two years $70. Current single issue and newsstand $4, $10 by mail. Back issues $6, $12 by mail. Advertising rates on request. Closing date for space is 28 days prior to publication date. Final date for print-ready copy is 21 days prior to publication date. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by those interviewed and published here do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Encore Magazine or the official policies, owners or employees of Encore Publications.

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From the Editor Welcome to the debut of Encore’s “See Your Town Like a Tourist” issue!

Southwest Michiganders know that summer in our state is short, so we have to pack a lot of fun into those precious months between late winter and early winter (known elsewhere as spring and autumn). But sometimes we forget that a lot of fun can be had right here in our own community. This issue helps readers rediscover all the great times to be had and sights to be seen right here. When visitors come to town, we say, “Oh, you must go here or there and do this or that,” but when was the last time you enjoyed a cocktail and the view of Kalamazoo from the SkyDeck? Had a Sweetwater’s doughnut or a cup of joe from the Kalamazoo Coffee Co.? Attended the Do-Dah Parade? Went to a concert in the park? Found little treasures in area secondhand shops or local produce and artisans’ wares at a farmers’ market? This month’s issue is all about seeing the greater Kalamazoo area the way a tourist would — enjoying all the delicious, unique, entertaining things about our community that we boast about to our far-flung friends and family. Putting this issue together was a great adventure for our staff who discovered very quickly that there was more to talk about than we could possibly fit into one issue. So we plan to make “See Your Town Like a Tourist” an annual special issue. Every June, you can look forward to suggestions and information to rediscover the community you live in the way a tourist would. So get out there and see the world that you live in. It’s awesome.

TELL US Where would you go as a local tourist? Give us your suggestions for the places, things, events and activities you think belong in the next “See Your Town Like a Tourist” issue! Email your ideas to editor@encorekalamazoo.com.

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FEATURES See Your Town Like A Tourist


Ditch Your Car


Find a Farmers’ Market


Discover Treasure


Experience Local Color


Pedal, paddle or beat a path to see the nature of the place

How to get the most out of these fresh air, fresh food venues

Seek and ye shall find — or at least have fun looking

Learn, or rediscover, what makes Kalamazoo unique

DEPARTMENTS 5 From the Editor 8 Contributors Up Front

10 First Things

Happenings in SW Michigan

14 Five Faves — Artist David Curl picks Kalamazoo’s top public sculptures

46 Back Story

Meet Greg Ayers — Think of him as Kalamazoo County’s number one tour guide

ARTS 40 Events of Note 43 Poetry

On the cover: Jordan Bradley and Peter Broe, our local tourists, enjoy an evening at the SkyDeck overlooking downtown Kalamazoo. A special thank you to Entertainment District/SkyDeck/The Reedy Group. Photo by Brian Powers

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Jordan Bradley

Jordan grew up in Battle Creek and frequently hopped down I-94 to explore the Kalamazoo area. As a kid, she fancied she’d grow up to be an explorer, discovering new life, charting new territory, the works, and all in some fantastic 1910s safari outfit. While working on the “Discover Treasure” story for this issue, she found that the real treasure was the new perspective a local tourist finds in exploring. “This portion of The Mitten has so much to offer its residents, from the beautiful outdoor parks and activities to fun local stuff,” says Jordan. “Who knew you could find a celery stalk mascot named Mr. Crispy in Portage?”

Kara Norman

Kara is a writer and designer who lives in Kalamazoo, where she shares a home with her partner, two kids and approximately 4,000 toys. Kara says if she were on vacation in Kalamazoo, she would drink a beer at Arcadia Ales, eat brunch at The Crow’s Nest and shop for books and postcards in the divinely narrow aisles of Michigan News Agency.

Marie Lee

Even though she has been a resident of Kalamazoo for 20plus years, Marie admits she still feels like a newcomer to the area. In writing the story “Experience Local Color” she was amazed at some of the local places and things that she hadn’t yet experienced. “I am embarrassed to admit it, but I have never had a drink at Louie’s Trophy House or the Green Top Tavern, seen a play at the Barn Theatre or been to the USTA tournament,” she says. “But it’s also great to know there are still things out there to discover.” Marie is the editor of Encore.

Adam Rayes

A native of the east side of the state, Adam has been something of a tourist in Kalamazoo since he started attending Western Michigan University two years ago. "Every day I learn something new about the city and the surrounding area and I am excited to discover even more of what Kalamazoo has to offer," he says. One of Adam’s first explorations was of the local food truck scene for a story that appeared in the March issue of Encore. Adam, a WMU student, visited a number of Kalamazoo County's trails for the “Ditch Your Car” story and when he returns after his summer break he plans to hike many more.

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First Things Something Artistic

Meet Encore’s featured artist Mary Hatch Not only can you see paintings by Mary Hatch, who was featured in Encore’s May 2018 issue, you can also check out the new collaborative book, Art Speaks, by Hatch and poet Elizabeth Kerlikowske at Encore’s special Art Hop exhibit, 5-8 p.m. June 1, at Mercantile Bank, 107 W. Michigan Ave. Both Hatch and Kerlikowske will be present and live music will be provided by Neil Jansen. Kazoo Books will be on hand to sell copies of Art Speaks and Encore staff members will be there to meet and greet all you art lovers.

Phantoms, oil on canvas, 1986

Something Theatrical Barn Theatre to do Hairspray

You don’t have to be the nicest kid in town to enjoy the Barn Theatre’s production of Hairspray, a musical set in the early ‘60s about a Baltimore gal with a dream of dancing. Watch how Tracy Turnblad’s journey from social misfit to dancing queen on the popular Corny Collins Show opens up a whole new world for her. It'll even make you want to bring back that crazy beehive hairdo. The Barn Theatre is located at 13351 West M-96, in Augusta. Show times are 8 p.m. June 19-23 and 25-30 and 7 p.m. June 24 and July 1. Tickets are $39-$48 and available at barntheatreschool.org or by calling 731-4121. 10 | ENCORE JUNE 2018

Something Impressive

New Odyssey to hit Portage stage Take three guys, give them 30 instruments, and what do you get? An impressive, entertaining evening June 28 at the Overlander Bandshell, in Portage’s Central Park. New Odyssey is a Chicago trio that uses technology and musical instruments of many types, including a pocket trumpet, accordion, sousaphone, melodica, banjo and bass trumpet, to play an array of music spanning five decades. The show begins at 7 p.m. and is free. For more information, call Portage Parks & Recreation at 329-4522.


Something Fun

Partake in Kalamazoo Pride Celebrate and support Southwest Michigan’s LGBTQ community at 2018 Kalamazoo Pride, a two-day festival this month at Arcadia Creek Festival Place, in downtown Kalamazoo. Now in its 11th year, Kalamazoo Pride is OutFront Kalamazoo’s largest fundraiser, supporting the organization’s efforts to advocate on behalf of LBGTQ people, build community and support individuals and families through its youth group, Faith Alliance, and many other programs and resources. The Pride festival features entertainment, local food, family-friendly activities and local vendors. It runs from 6 p.m.–12:30 a.m. June 8 and 2 p.m.–12:30 a.m. June 9. Two-day passes purchased in advance are $15, or you can buy a single-day pass for $10. For tickets or more information, visit pride.outfrontkzoo.org.

OutFront Kalamazoo/Terry Johnston Photography

Something Flowery

See and smell flowers galore You can catch an early summer buzz at the National Garden Clubs Standard Flower Show June 6 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel, 100 W. Michigan Ave. Sponsored by the Kalamazoo Garden Council, this competitive flower extravaganza is themed “What’s All the Buzz About?” and celebrates pollinators such as birds, bees and bugs. With clever section titles, including “Butterflies are Free” and “Flight Patterns,” the show offers opportunities to see unique floral designs, horticulture specimens and educational exhibits and, really, to just stop and smell the flowers. The show runs from 2-6 p.m. and admission is free. For more information or a show schedule, visit kalamazoogardencouncil.org.

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Something Visual

See work by award-winning teen filmmaker With such memorable characters as psychotic puppets and flying pigs, Kalamazoo native Nathan Ginter has been making films since he was a kid. Now you can see what this award-winning teen’s work is all about. Disturbingly Comforting: The Short Films of Nathan Ginter will be shown from 6:30–8 p.m. June 14 at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. Emcee Katherine Mumma will moderate a discussion with Ginter and the audience following the screening. Ginter, a graduate of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, was just named a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, is a National YoungArts competition winner and has received numerous Kalamazoo Teen Filmmaker Festival awards. In his films, he grapples with challenging themes by approaching them with humor and absurdity. Admission to the screening is $5, or $3 for students and free to KIA members. For more information, visit kiarts.org.

Something Romantic

Sigh at The Bridges of Madison County It’s a heartbreaker, but, oh, so romantic.

Farmers Alley Theatre will stage the Tony Award-winning musical The Bridges of Madison County June 8–24 at the Little Theatre, on Oakland Drive at Oliver Street. Based on the beloved novel and movie of the same name, the musical explores the forbidden love affair between a lonely rural housewife and a rugged photographer and the covered bridges that brought them together. Tickets are $15-35. For a schedule of shows or to buy tickets, visit farmersalleytheatre.com or call 343-2727.

Somethin’ Jammin’ See Marley and Matisyahu

If you dig chill reggae beats, Bell’s Brewery has the perfect evening lined up for you June 9 when reggae performers Stephen Marley (yes, Bob’s son) and Matisyahu bring their good vibes and tunes to the brewery’s beer garden. Jewish-American reggae vocalist Matisyahu is best known for his 2005 single “King Without a Crown,” while Marley is an eight-time Grammy Award-winning producer and solo artist. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 the week of the show or $40 the day of the show. For tickets or more information, visit bellsbeer.com. 12 | ENCORE JUNE 2018


Something Musical Catch a concert in the park

What’s summer without outdoor concerts? You won’t have to find out thanks to a slate of free summer performances, which begin this month in Kalamazoo and Oshtemo. The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo is bringing back its annual series of Sunday concerts in Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo. Attendees are encouraged to bring picnic meals (but there’s no grilling allowed) and blankets or lawn chairs to the concerts, which all begin at 4 p.m. The summer concert schedule is: June 3: Kalamazoo Singers June 17: Kalamazoo Concert Band July 1: Dacia Bridges Project July 15: The Accidentals July 22: Kalamazoo Big Band August 5: Kris Hitchcock August 19: Schlitz Creek For more information, visit kalamazooarts.org or call 342-5059. Oshtemo’s Music in the Park concert series presented by the Oshtemo Friends of the Parks also begins this month, with concerts being held at the gazebo at Flesher Field, 3664 S. 9th St., The scheduled concerts, which begin at 5:30 p.m., are: June 10: Cornfed Girls July 8: Zion Lion August 12: Lake Effect Jazz Band For more information visit oshtemofriends.org or call 375-4260.

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Five Faves

Artist picks Kalamazoo’s top public sculptures by


I’ve lived here for 50 years and have seen many wonderful public sculptures installed, so it’s hard to choose favorites, but I enjoy art in all media. The best works are those that contain unexpected surprises — those worth examining more than once — such as these

local treasures that I’ve picked out. Unfortunately, viewing two of these will be difficult due to the current renovations in Kalamazoo’s Bronson Park, but, no matter their status, they belong on this list:

Fountain of the Pioneers Bronson Park

When Justice and Mercy Prevail Bronson Park

Did anyone really like this 1940 concrete monstrosity created by Italian-American sculptor Alfonso Ianelli? Why does it head my list even though it was removed from Bronson Park last month because of its perceived symbolism of the subjugation of Native Americans? Because for 78 years, this sculpture dominated the very place where, not that long ago, indigenous people actually lived, which is often a forgotten fact. Passersby reacted to its crumbling Art Deco style and inauthentic Indian headdress and read into it as symbolism of subjugation. Now that this historic monument is gone, it will be too easy to dismiss unpleasant history that cannot be denied and should never be repeated.

The full title of this 1976 bronze and concrete installation is When Justice and Mercy Prevail, Children May Safely Play. It was created by local sculptor Kirk Newman. It has not actually functioned as a fountain since plumbing problems resulted in shutting off the water to it years ago, but when these eight wonderfully lifelike children are relocated to their new places on the south side of Bronson Park, as part of the park’s makeover that has begun this year, they may once again safely play.

Prospect 1200 Academy Street The late Kalamazoo College professor Marcia Wood designed this 12-foot-

high welded stainless steel piece to contrast sensuous, undulating “feminine” forms with the severe rectilinear lines of the nearby Light Fine Arts Center. It was fabricated in Kalamazoo by David Volosky and Leon Hillman and installed in 1982. The scale of the brushed metallic shapes invites viewers to walk around and beneath them and peer through the openings.

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The Wheel of History North Burdick Mall

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, 507 N. Rose St. This

Not everyone agreed with the Public Arts Commission’s 2002 selection of this site-specific, 12-foot-high concrete wheel created by Mark Lere. It has been criticized as “unstable,” but could the artist have intended to portray the delicate balance between history, politics and art? Follow the path of “footprints” it has left embedded in the sidewalk and you’ll see at once why this enormous disc belongs where it stands — adjacent to the Kalamazoo Public Museum.

larger-than-life bronze memorial was paid for mostly by individual donations and installed on the near-North Side of Kalamazoo in 1989. But sculptor Lisa Reinertson didn’t stop with a mere representation of the man — she embedded into his flowing robe episodes from the civil rights struggle and King’s distinguished career, such as a black slave laboring in a field, the Selma-to-Montgomery march, King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and a pensive King seated behind the bars of the Birmingham jail. To remember more than the heroic appearance of America’s civil rights icon, walk around his likeness and see these scenes and many more.

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A professional photographer and author, co-author or editor of 15 books, Dr. David Curl is a Western Michigan University emeritus professor of education and professional development and a former adjunct professor of art at Kalamazoo College. The father of sculptor Steven Curl, Dave is also the proud “godfather” of the beloved sculptures created by “Planet Steve.”

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n w o T r u o Y See Tourist Like a

Do what the locals do

Seasoned sightseers say that to really experience and enjoy a new destination, you’ve got to see it the way the locals do. But what if you are the local? Well, then we say “see your town like a tourist.” This summer, get out and explore the greater Kalamazoo area as if you've never been here before.

Ditch Your Car Find a Farmers’ Market Hunt for Treasure Experience Local Color

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Courtesy/Discover Kalamazoo

f you want to know the nature of a place, you have to get out in it. The good news here in Kalamazoo? You won’t have to go far. There are more than 100 miles of trails for biking and/or hiking in Kalamazoo County and even more in the surrounding region of Southwest Michigan. There are also 83 public lakes and several rivers. And that’s before you cross any county lines. So start paddling, pedaling or blazing a trail to see Kalamazoo’s backyard in a whole new light.

Take the trails

Hikers and bikers of all skill levels have plenty of choices for local outdoor excursions. While some trails are designed for just one activity or another, many are multipurpose, allowing bike tires, shoes and occasionally even horse hooves to share the same beaten path. If you want to take a hike, but aren’t sure of your fitness or skill level, the Kalamazoo Nature Center, at 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., is a great place to start. The KNC’s 10 miles of hiking trails vary in required skill level and allow visitors to explore woods, wetlands and prairies, with a chance to encounter the creatures that call these environments home. Not quite as expansive, and good for a quick hike in the woods, is the Asylum Lake Preserve, which can be accessed from parking lots on Parkview Avenue and Drake Road or through an entrance along Winchell Avenue. It offers 247 acres of beautiful, diverse nature to hike through. Much of the trail system is unfinished, according to Western Michigan University, which owns and operates the preserve, but some hikers prefer that undeveloped look. Swans and other waterfowl are often seen on the lake, as are deer and other wildlife in the woods. Less than three miles east is another WMU property, the Kleinstuck Preserve, which can be accessed from Chevy Chase Boulevard (where there are several parking spaces), Stearns Avenue, Hudson Avenue or a trail that runs behind the tennis courts at the YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo. It encompasses 48 acres of upland and swamp forest, scrub

Mountain biking the Maple Hill Trail in Markin Glen Park.

and marshland for visitors to explore freely. Bird watching is great in the spring, and the white tails of deer can often be seen disappearing into the woods. A couple of benches on either side of the central marsh make for pleasant resting spots. Offering both hiking and biking trails is Al Sabo Land Preserve, which can be entered from a parking lot at 6310 Texas Drive, in Texas Township. The preserve’s picturesque 741 acres offers about 25 miles of hiking trails. It is suggested that visitors bring a compass and a map to traverse Al Sabo’s trails, but even with a map the crisscrossing trails can be a bit hard to follow for some. (One person I know got lost in the park on a hot day while walking with a friend and three dogs. “Thank goodness we had water bottles at the car when we finally found it,” she said.) The Al Sabo preserve was established to protect groundwater and is named after the former Kalamazoo Utilities Department director who initiated the purchase and preservation of the land. Biking was once allowed on most of its trails, but since 1993 bikers have been limited to seven miles of trails, according to the Texas Township website. The preserve was closed in 1992 due to excessive erosion caused primarily by bikes and then reopened a year later thanks to “many Saturdays of volunteer restoration work,” according to the website.

Bicyclists need not despair at the limited biking opportunities on Al Sabo’s trails, since there are many trails in Kalamazoo County and beyond designed just for biking. The Maple Hill Mountain Bike Trail, for example, is five miles of pure bike loop on the west side of Markin Glen Park, which is located at 5300 N. Westnedge Ave. Designed to be accessible to slow-rolling beginners yet challenging and rewarding for those with enough skill to ride at higher speeds, the Maple Hill Trail features jumps, rock features and climbs that give riders “long descents” as a reward, according to the trail’s website. The direction riders can go on the trail alternates depending on the day of the week, to spice things up a little bit more. The Portage Bikeway System contains 55 miles of paved and off-road trails for bikers to enjoy, connecting riders to nature as well as local retail businesses and neighborhoods. The Portage Bikeway connects several parks, including Haverhill and Millennium parks, Celery Flats, and Bishop’s Bog and West Lake Nature preserves. It also connects to the Portage Creek Bicentennial Park, which contains the Portage Creek Bicentennial Trail, a 3.5-mile multipurpose trail that even meanders out to Portage Road, passing by the Air Zoo. One of the area’s largest multipurpose trails, the 34-mile Kal-Haven Trail, which

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Trail Maps and Other Info Kalamazoo Nature Center 269-381-1574 naturecenter.org Kal-Haven Trail State Park michigan.org/property/kal-haventrail-state-park 269-674-8011 Fort Custer State Recreation Area michigandnr.com/parksandtrails 269-731-4200 Al Sabo Land Preserve texastownship.org/about-texastownship/parks-facilities 269-375-1591 Kalamazoo County Parks (Markin Glen, KRVT) kalcounty.com/parks 269-383-8778 Asylum Lake Preserve wmich.edu/asylumlake

anyone with a need for “motorized or nonmotorized mobility devices,” the site says. While hikes and bike rides through forests and meadows are nice, some people may be looking for something a little more … wet. The Bow in the Clouds Preserve, along Nazareth Road north of Gull Road, for example, gives an opportunity for visitors to walk on a boardwalk over beautiful wetlands. The same is true for the Bishop’s Bog Preserve Trail, in Portage, which travels through a bog that’s a holdover from the Ice Age. This trail is part of the Portage South/ Central Greenway, where six miles of trail link five parks, and a quarter of the trail floats on bogs and marshes. But if that’s not watery enough for you ...

Get some liquid therapy

Look no farther than the area’s abundant lakes and rivers for some great paddling or float trips. Start close to home on the Kalamazoo River by paddling or floating down any stretch of the river’s 123 relaxing miles. The lower section of the Kalamazoo River has been designated as a Natural River by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Courtesy/Discover Kalamazoo

runs from Kalamazoo to South Haven, has designated sections where horses are allowed and permits skiing and snowmobiling during the winter. The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail is arguably the crown jewel of trails in Kalamazoo County. The newest trail in the Kalamazoo County park system, this multipurpose trail has been in the works since 1991 and currently has 22 miles of 10-foot-wide paved pathway that connects River Oaks County Park, Mayors' Riverfront Park, Verburg Park, the Riverview Launch and more, according to the parks section of the Kalamazoo County website. And that’s just what the KRVT currently has to offer. In the future the county hopes that the trail will be 35 miles long. When it reaches that point, the trail will connect “Battle Creek to Lake Michigan, D Avenue to Portage, Augusta to Gull Lake,” the website says, and will also connect to the Kal-Haven Trail, Portage Bicentennial Park Trail and others — meaning that the KRVT will connect more than 140 miles of trails. The KRVT (like parts of the Kal-Haven trail, planned Asylum Lake trails, and several other trails) is Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, meaning that it is accessible to

20 | ENCORE JUNE 2018

Encore file photo

and, as a result, the river between Lake Allegan and Hacklander Landing in Fennville offers some very nice paddling with minimal development, according to the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council. You can find on the council’s website (see box on Page 22) detailed maps of the Kalamazoo River, Battle Creek River and Rabbit River that showcase each of the rivers’ access points. If you haven’t got a boat to float, you can rent kayaks and canoes from several local liveries and stores. Plainwell Kayak Co. and Lee’s Adventure Sports both rent watercraft, and Trailspotters of Michigan offers dropoff and pickup points on the Kalamazoo River. Nearby, St. Joseph County offers miles and miles of rivers and creeks for enthusiasts to paddle as well. Those looking for some light whitewater fun might enjoy a trip on the Rocky River. The Three Rivers-based canoe and kayak livery Liquid Therapy offers an Opposite page: The Kal-Haven Trail is a multipurpose pathway. Above: Kayaking the Rocky River.

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Doe-Wah-Jack’s Canoe Rentals 52963 M-51 North Dowagiac paddledcri.com 269-782-7410 Lee’s Adventure Sports 311 W. Kilgore Road Portage leesadventuresports.com 877-785-0964 Liquid Therapy Canoe & Kayak Rentals 221 S. Main St. Three Rivers sites.google.com/site/ liquidtherapycanoeandkayak 269-273-9000 Plainwell Kayak Co. 211 N. Main St. Plainwell plainwellkayakcompany.com 269-365-2926

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Canoe/Kayak Rentals and Liveries St. Joseph River Canoe & Kayak Livery 602 Fisherman’s Road St. Joseph fishermanswharfsj.com 269-277-4434 Third Coast Paddling & Surf Shop 212 State St. St. Joseph and 110 N Whittaker St. New Buffalo thirdcoastpaddling.com 269-468-9399 Trailspotters of Michigan trailspotters.com 386-227-7768 U-Rent-Em Canoe Livery 805 W. Apple St. Hastings urentemcanoe.com 269-945-3191

opportunity to paddle on the Rocky’s “wild and beautiful, sparsely populated” waters, with a “small class ll whitewater at the end” of the trip, according to Liquid Therapy’s website. The livery will also put paddlers on four other rivers. History buffs might also enjoy the designated Michigan Heritage Water Trails of the area, which offer not only navigable

R ecliners aren’t just for Dad anymore

Sunset over Eagle Lake in Fort Custer Recreation Area.

waterways but history lessons along the way via historical markers (at bridge crossings) that highlight events or themes related to the waterway. The Heritage Water Trails in our area include: • the River Country Heritage Water Trails, on the St. Joseph River from Colon to Mendon to Three Rivers; on the Portage River from Portage Lake to Three Rivers; and on Nottawa Creek, in St. Joseph County, from Shorts Road to the St. Joseph River; • the Bangor/South Haven Heritage Water Trail, along the Black River, in Van Buren County; and • the Kalamazoo Watershed Heritage Water Trail, which includes the Kalamazoo River and its many tributaries.

All in one

Finally, if you just have to do it all — pedal, paddle and hike — then Fort Custer State Recreation Area, in Augusta, is for you. With four miles of multipurpose trails, 15-plus miles of mountain biking trails with names like Amusement Park and Zoom Zoom, and three lakes and access to the Kalamazoo River, you can pretty much get all the nature you can handle here. If you bring your horse, you can ride that too. But you can’t ride a horse alongside your biking buddy, since they are not allowed on the same trails. The good news is that the recreation area offers cabins for rent and camping sites so you can truly experience it all.

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a t a h s e Peace at Play r F t e . GPizzazz bringsamessage 2Peace t e of harmony to kids k r M ’ s r e Farm out of t s o m t the e g food o t h s e r f How , sh air e r f e s the venues

Ken Campbell


Brian Powers


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armers’ markets are full of bright, colorful fruits and veggies, locally harvested meats and dairy products, baked goods, artisans’ wares and maybe even a live band or two. With more than 10 markets in the region that happen on various days and evenings, there is ample opportunity to find the fresh products you are looking for. But in spite of its bounty — or because of it — shopping a farmers’ market can be overwhelming. So much to take in! So much to eat! So much to see! Let us make it easier for you. Whether you’re a new farmers’ market shopper or you hit one on a regular basis, here are some tips for getting the most out of your foray to the farmers’ market:

One of the biggest perks of a farmers’ market is that you can talk to the person who grew or made what you are buying. Gaby Gerkin, who manages farmers’ markets for the People’s Food Co–Op of Kalamazoo, recommends that you bring a list of questions the first few times you attend a market. Some questions you might ask: • Where are your products from? • Do you grow everything that’s on the table? • If not, where is it coming from? Is it from a nearby farm? Don’t just assume that all products that vendors are selling are locally raised products; sometimes the vendors are selling for other farmers or they are selling produce that is out of season in our area but in season in another.

Read signs

Some markets have signs that indicate what percentage of items are grown or made by a vendor, a system that makes it easier to get around the market. At the Kalamazoo and Portage markets, look for any combination of four signs — Grower, Producer, Retailer and Artisan (see inset box) — to easily determine what a vendor is offering. Gerkin also recommends asking about any labels you see. “If someone has a ‘Certified Organic’ or a ‘Certified Naturally Grown’ sign up, just say, ‘What’s that mean?’ Approaching vendors can be intimidating, but everyone wants to help.” Engaging in conversation with a vendor can further clarify signs. For instance, some vendors buy produce from neighbors who don’t come to market. It may fill a void in their own products and a half peck of apples from their friend down the road is still a local product to you.

Courtesy/Discover Kalamazoo

Ask questions

Opposite page and above: The Kalamazoo Farmers Market offers produce, flowers and wares of all types.

Time it right

Get to the market early to have your pick of the freshest produce, especially if you don’t like crowds. Markets get busy around 10 a.m. Later in the day you might find some deals, but you might also miss some vendors who pack up early if they sell out. Speaking of deals, if a vendor needs to get rid of something, sometimes you can get a bargain, but be respectful if someone doesn’t want to give a discount. When you go to the grocery store, you wouldn’t haggle with cashiers over a price.

Ask for seconds

During peak season, some vendors heavily discount imperfect goods, and there’s no shame in asking if they have any of those around. Sometimes they will refer to these as “mis-picks” or “seconds.” A half a bushel of tomatoes deemed not plump enough for salads can still be made into a delicious sauce.

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One of the biggest hurdles to shopping a market is just getting used to the environment and the market’s layout. The more you do it, however, the more shopping at markets can become your norm. At the height of the season you can find a market almost every day of the week. And, thanks to winter markets, you can buy local foods yearround: everything from produce to meat, bread, mustards and vinegar. “Literally everything can be made here by your neighbors,” says Gerkin. “It doesn’t just have to be a fun atmosphere on Saturdays.”

Courtesy/Discover Kalamazoo

Stay open-minded

Clockwise from top: Friends laugh while shopping at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market; a variety of produce available at the market; the Texas Township’s Fresh on Q! Market is under a newly built pavilion.


TO REMEMBER DiscoverKalamazoo.com

PC: Erin Denay

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Local Farmers’ Markets Kalamazoo Farmers Market When: Saturdays, 7 a.m.–2p.m., May–Nov. Tuesdays, 8 a.m.–1p.m., June–Oct. Thursdays, 3–7 p.m., June–Oct. Where: 1204 Bank St., Kalamazoo Who and what: 1 00 vendors, food trucks, artisans, live music Kalamazoo Night Market When: Every third Thursday, 5–10 p.m., June–Sept. Where: 1204 Bank St., Kalamazoo Who and what: F armers, food trucks, artisans

Otsego Farmers Market When: Saturdays, 8 a.m.–2 p.m., May–Nov. Where: 112 Kalamazoo St., Otsego Who and what: Farmers, artisans, live music Portage Market When: Sundays, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., May–Oct. Where: 7900 S. Westnedge Ave., Portage Who: 30 vendors Plainwell Farmers Market When: Thursdays, 3:30–6:30 p.m., midMay–Oct. Where: 798 E. Bridge St., Plainwell (Community Center parking lot) Who: Farmers, artisans, bakers

Richland Farmers Market When: Wednesdays, 3–6 p.m., May–Sept. Where: 9400 East CD Ave., Richland Who: About 50 vendors Texas Township’s Fresh on Q! When: Saturdays, 8 a.m.–noon, May–Oct. Tuesdays, 4–7 p.m., June–Aug. Where: 7110 West Q Ave., Texas Township Who: 35 vendors Vicksburg Farmers Market When: Fridays, 2–6 p.m., mid-May–Oct. Where: 300 N. Richardson St., Vicksburg Who: 30–50 vendors

Follow best practices: • Bring your own bags. Most vendors have disposable plastic bags, but to really be in the spirit, bring reusable bags. • Have cash. Many vendors accept credit cards, but some do not. To be safe, bring plenty of cash or checks. • Circle the market when you arrive. Bring a shopping list to the market, but also take a lap to peruse the vendors and their wares to see what appeals to you before buying anything. After you’ve seen everything on the tables, you can go back to certain vendors for what you really want. • Find out what is in season. Markets list this info on their websites, or you can ask a local farmer. Seasonal produce will taste the best, last the longest and may be more affordable.

• Inquire about food assistance programs. Many markets accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Bridge Cards, Double Up Food Bucks, WIC Project Fresh coupons, Senior Project Fresh coupons and other alternative currencies. Check websites for details. • Leave room for a snack. Grab food from a food truck, treat yourself to an iced coffee, or maybe plunge into that pint of fresh berries you just bought while catching up with a friend. • Leave pets at home. Service animals are welcome, but pets are not allowed at most markets.

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ou never know what you’re going to find when you set out as a tourist in your hometown, but one of the best ways to take home a little treasure is to visit secondhand, vintage and antique shops. Just like treasure hunting, shopping these stores isn’t for everyone. It takes a certain combination of gumption, patience, a good eye and, sometimes, just dumb luck. You can go out in search of something — the perfect rockabilly dress, red leather cowboy boots, a panther-shaped planter — and find exactly what you’d hoped to find, or nothing at all. The best results of any treasure hunt come when you’re open to the adventure and mystery of it all. “What I like about vintage is it sort of tells a story,” says Jayne Gulliver, owner of J-Bird Vintage, a clothing store in Kalamazoo’s Vine neighborhood. “I think that that’s the really fun, exciting part of it. When you buy a vintage item and wear it, you are continuing that story.” In the greater Kalamazoo area, there are a myriad of secondhand shops to explore (see list on Page 31). Though it’s hardly an uncharted jungle, the region offers a rich market of previously loved items, a treasure trove of things with character and stories all their own. You’re not likely to find anything as remarkable as the tomb of a pharaoh buried under sand dunes (although there is the lost city of Singapore under Saugatuck), but it is possible to find a new favorite blazer or a simply fabulous mirror. You won’t even have to dig in the sand. You can just travel over to J-Bird, KalamazooKitty or The Heritage Company, to name a few.

rack of women’s clothing to reveal a blushpink dress from the 1950s. “It was a big day (for the dress’s original owner),” Gulliver says. “She was just getting ready to start college and her mom had bought this dress for her just for that occasion. So it was the beginning of her college experience.” Gulliver even has some formal wear from a former Miss Kalamazoo. “She was so sharp,” she says of the woman’s stellar style.

A majority of the items in J-Bird Vintage once belonged to Kalamazoo residents. To fill her trove, Gulliver attends estate and garage sales. People also bring items to her. “It might be a collection they’ve had for a while or some of their parents’ items,” Gulliver says. “Or people are downsizing. It keeps it interesting.” While J-Bird Vintage has items that date back to the 1800s (a wedding dress petticoat from 1835, to be exact), Gulliver says she personally gravitates to wares from the 1970s.

Nestled into a corner of the vibrant Vine neighborhood, J-Bird Vintage, at 511 W. Vine St., is filled with clothes and accessories that tempt shoppers with possibilities. The store’s clothing racks aren’t organized by size but by decade. And they have stories. Fabric rustles like leaves in a rain forest as Gulliver pushes aside the hangers on a full Right: Jayne Gulliver features vintage clothing of all types in her Vine neighborhood shop, J-Bird Vintage.

Brian Powers

A good vintage

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Heritage’s storefront, at 150 N. Edwards St., is classic, with clean lines, tall windows and brick walls. But stepping across the threshold takes you into a world ripe with potential, as if you’re Howard Carter himself stepping into King Tut’s tomb for the first time. “It’s just fascinating,” says Millie Wrench, a frequent patron of Heritage. “You kinda wonder, whose house was it in? What was the family like?” What began in a 700-square-foot space on Locust Street in 1986 has expanded over the past couple of decades to Heritage’s current three-level space (including basement), housing everything from classic claw-foot Left: Wares displayed at KalamazooKitty’s Main Street location. Bottom: troVe, located in Portage, features home décor, vintage and handmade wares.

“They’re just funky and super fun,” she says. Gulliver, a social worker in her pre-J-Bird life, says she has always had a love for vintage wares. A Kalamazoo native, she recalls shopping at Souk Sampler, an establishment located in the back of a larger clothing store (Common Market at 722 Locust) that was “billed as a traveling Beledi boutique” by the now-defunct weekly newspaper Kalamazoo News in 1979, offering “a potpourri of clothes, jewelry and other such stuff.” “It was a great vintage store,” Gulliver says. “I thought it’d be so fun to be in the same neighborhood.”

New homes for old stuff

Old clothing isn’t the only secondhand treasure to be had in the area. From weekend antique markets to upscale stores that offer gently used furniture and home décor, shoppers can find plenty of places to pursue that perfect knick-knack, couch or even an antique doorknob they’ve always coveted. The Heritage Company specializes in architectural salvage, saving antique lights, heater grates, handcrafted doors, decorative moldings and other building and home items that are no longer being produced in the same style, if at all. Most of its items come from old homes or buildings that were torn down or gutted.

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Treasure Map

There are dozens and dozens of shops in the greater Kalamazoo area where you can go on a quest looking for secondhand treasure. While not possible to list all of them here, these are suggestions on some places to start:

Books Kazoo Books 2413 Parkview Ave. Friends of the Kalamazoo Public Library Bookstore 315 S. Rose St.

Building materials Habitat for Humanity ReStore 7612 S. Westnedge Ave. The Heritage Company 150 N. Edwards

Music Green Light Music & Video 47167 West KL Ave. Satellite Records 808 S. Westnedge Ave.

Children’s clothing Once Upon A Child 643 Romence Road Hand Me Down Rose 5462 Gull Road, Suite 11 Second Childhood 6784 S. Westnedge Ave.

Clothing 360 Consignment 4618 W. Main St. Caroline’s My Style Consignment 4231 Portage Street Double Exposure 7067 S. Westnedge Ave. J-Bird Vintage 511 W. Vine St. Plato’s Closet 6392 S. Westnedge Ave. Style Encore 6410 S. Westnedge Ave., Portage Style M.E. Boutique 563 N. Drake Road

Lights for sale at The Heritage Company.

Furniture and home decor Boomerang for the Home 6022 S. Westnedge Ave. Christy’s Furniture on Consignment 3029 Oakland Drive KalamazooKitty Two Locations: 6883 W. Main St. and 4217 Portage St.

Portage Thrift Center 2375 E. Milham Ave. The Purple Awning 100 W. Grant Street, Plainwell Salvation Army Thrift Store 5117 Portage Road Second Impressions Upscale Thrift Store 3750 S. Westnedge Ave.

Pick! Curated Art and Select Vintage 356 S. Kalamazoo Mall

St. Vincent DePaul Society Thrift Store 513 Eleanor St.

Reclaimed Home Décor 5949 Lovers Lane, Portage

St. Luke’s Thrift Shop 432 S. Burdick St.

Retro of Kalamazoo 1301 S. Westnedge Ave.

Markets and Fairs

Simple Treasures 3721 S. Westnedge Ave. troVe 8639 Portage Road, Portage

Thrift stores American Cancer Society Discovery Shop 4502 West Main St. Garden House Antiques 6187 West D Ave. Goodwill Industries of Southwest Michigan Three locations: 420 E. Alcott St., 5609 W. Main St. and 411 W. Milham Ave. Kalamazoo Gospel Mission Thrift Store 131 E. Harkins Court

Allegan Antiques Market Allegan County Fairgrounds, 150 Allegan Co. Fair Drive, Allegan Last Sunday of the month, April through September Centerville Antique & Vintage Flea Market St. Joseph County-Grange Fairgrounds 316 E. Charlotte St., Centerville July 18, Aug. 12, Oct. 14 Kalamazoo County Expo Center Features a variety of shows with vintage and antique wares. Visit kalcounty.com/ parks/expocalendar for schedule. Vintage in the Zoo 1204 Bank St. June 3 & Aug. 5

NuWay Thrift Store 211 E. Cork St.

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Encore file photo

bathtubs to more than 1,000 old doors to light fixtures that Heritage owner Rodger Parzyck has cleaned and rewired. There’s even a small totem pole and a case full of tchotchkes — things that Parzyck says he doesn’t consider all antique, but that people enjoy perusing nonetheless. “It’s taken me 32 years to acquire all this stuff,” Parzyck says. Parzyck first got involved with salvaging items from old buildings while he was attending George Washington University, in Washington, D.C., to become a physician’s assistant. “They were trying to save some old buildings down there, and somehow I got involved with it,” he says. “When I came back to Kalamazoo in ’78, I got involved with the (Kalamazoo) Historic (Preservation) Commission.” Though he’s partial to things from the 1920s, Parzyck loves getting items as old as possible. “Kalamazoo was established in 1837,” he says, “so you just don’t find a lot of very old stuff. I love the old wood that comes out of Greek revivals, the boards that are 18 inches wide because they came from virgin pine trees.” Customers come from as far away as Traverse City, Chicago and, on occasion, New York, he says, to explore Heritage in hopes of

finding a treasure that will complement or complete their homes. As more people tear down or rehab older houses to replace old with new, Parzyck says he hopes to work with demolition companies and contractors to salvage the things that people sometimes forget about, like heating grates and original woodwork. “I just love saving things,” he says.

Allegan Antiques is a monthly antique and vintage flea market in Allegan.

Second life for furniture, housewares

Saving and repurposing also appeals to the proprietors of several other local shops, including Christy’s Consignment, Boomerang for the Home, KalamazooKitty and troVe, which have found a niche market in selling

higher-end and hard-to-find secondhand furniture and housewares. Seeing a gap in the local market for good-quality secondhand furniture, interior designer Kitty Copeland, owner of Kalamazoo Kitty, had been traveling as far as Detroit to find what she needed for her design clients. Copeland points to the lack of craftsmanship in new, factory-made furniture. “We try to make sure that the stuff we get in here is well-made,” she says. “It’s solid wood. It’s good quality.” Though the quality of Copeland’s offerings certainly brings customers back, she says her two store locations also hook customers by being set up to feel like a “living Pinterest board.” “The way we set it up in the stores, each little area is its own kind of vignette, something that you would find in your own home,” says Copeland. This kind of organization and store setup is something Heritage’s Parzyck admits envying. “I go into other stores and it’s nicely organized and everything is dusted and it’s all in its place and I think, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to come into work and have it be like that?’” Parzyck says with a good-natured chuckle. “But we actually have better sales when the place is just full of stuff and disorganized because people like to treasure hunt and they like to go through boxes and find stuff that looks like it’s buried.” Even in Copeland’s designed vignettes, there are surprises here and there, little nooks with small treasures. Though Heritage customer Wrench and her husband visit Parzyck’s hall of wonders on a monthly basis, on this trip she admits that she has seen at least 10 things she’d like to take home. Standing in a section of the store that is filled with case after box after shelf brimming with doorknobs and drawer handles, Wrench gets a gleeful look on her face. “It’s the thrill of the hunt!” she says.

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Spiritofkalamazoo.com w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 33

e c n e i r e p x E . 4 l a c o L Some r Colo

Brian Powers

over, c s i d e r or azoo Learn, m a l a K akes m t a h w unique

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The red glasses that artist Mary Hatch, left, wears are nearly as memorable as her many paintings including Gentle Days, above.




t starts with the city’s name: Kalamazoo — unusual and fun to say. Although there are four places named Kalamazoo in the U.S., the other three don’t even have post offices, so do they really count? Besides, our city’s the only one that had a No. 1 song about it — “(I’ve Got a Gal in) Kalamazoo” (recorded by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra in 1942). From the get-go, this community has been different. In fact, unique is what Kalamazoo specializes in, and it’s evidenced by those quirky characteristics folks refer to as “the local color.” To make your foray as a local tourist complete, we’re pointing out some of Kalamazoo’s highlights and hot spots that you should rediscover or, if you’ve been living under a local rock, try for the first time: Above: Delicious doughnuts from Sweetwater’s Donut Mill. Left: The wall of mugs at Black Owl Café. Opposite page: Mr. Crispy greets our picnicking couple in Portage.

Kalamazoo Avenue and Water Street, in an old gasoline service station. With floor-toceiling windows that open to let in fresh air during good weather, this shop has long been a favorite of those who savor sipping the shop’s distinct coffees and teas while watching freight trains rumble by a couple dozen feet away and cause traffic backups on Kalamazoo Avenue. Water Street’s popularity has brought growth in the form of four additional locations, each with its own eclectic décor and atmosphere:


Kalamazoo has its own homegrown doughnut shop, Sweetwater’s Donut Mill, which has garnered various national nods, including being named the best doughnut shop in Michigan by the food and wine blog Thrillist in 2015. Since Sweetwater’s first opened on Stadium Drive in 1983, the shop has filled a hole in the hearts of local patrons, so much so that it has opened two additional locations, at 2138 Sprinkle Road and 2807 Capital Ave. in Battle Creek. It has also licensed its first franchise location, in Plainwell, which opened in February. But for that good old doughnut shop vibe, right down to the wood countertops and barstools,

visit Sweetwater’s original location, at 3333 Stadium Drive.

& Coffee

Kalamazoo boasts many great coffee shops, but those that stand out from the crowd are Water Street Coffee Joint’s multiple locations and the Black Owl Café. What sets these establishments apart are their beans: Both businesses roast, sell and serve their own coffee — Water Street Coffee under its own name and Black Owl under the name Kalamazoo Coffee Co., whose beans are roasted in a space adjacent to the café’s kitchen. Water Street Coffee Joint opened its original location in 1993, on the corner of

• The shop at 3037 Oakland Drive has cozy leather couches, copper tabletops and custom light fixtures made from architectural drawings and blueprint designs of the former Bryant Paper Mill, as well as a lot of local writers who use it as their “unofficial” office. • The shop at 245 W. Centre Ave., in Portage, features a more modern, light interior with three levels of seating and a fireplace and now serves cocktails. • A bright, airy, colorful café is located in the atrium of Borgess Medical Center, 151 Gull Road. • And a drive-thru-only location can be found at 2603 S. Sprinkle Road (where you go for the coffee, not the culture). w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 35

Craft beer trail


Summer in Kalamazoo doesn’t slide in quietly. It gets a big kickoff with what’s been dubbed “June Jubilee” — a celebration in downtown Kalamazoo held the first weekend of June that includes art fairs, live music, an “Animotion” film festival, a poetry reading, a used-book sale, an ice cream social and, topping it all off, the Do-Dah Parade. This irreverent, eccentric and just-for-the-fun-of-it parade will begin at 11 a.m. June 2 and wind its way through downtown Kalamazoo with general silliness and people who like to make fun of This page from bottom left: The Give a Craft beer trail passport is a good excuse to sample local breweries; kids enjoy Schoolcraft’s July 4th parade; and walking canoeists in the Do-Dah Parade. Opposite page, top: The bar inside Louie’s Trophy House; bottom: If you drink 130 different beers at Big T in Lawton you’ll get into its special club and earn this shirt.

Encore File photo

Blame it on Bell’s Brewery. Bell’s began making craft beer 30 years ago and annually tops lists of the best U.S. craft breweries. It was the first flower that attracted beer-loving bees to Kalamazoo and now the whole region has become one large beer garden. The best way to experience all the unique craft beer offered by the area’s 15-plus craft breweries is to follow the Give a Craft beer trail, created by Discover Kalamazoo, the destination marketing organization for Kalamazoo County. To do so, pick up one of the Give a Craft passport books at any of the participating breweries, at Discover Kalamazoo’s office (141 E. Michigan Ave.) or at the information desk in the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport. Then amble around town, getting a stamp on your passport as you visit each of the participating breweries. The passport includes all the information needed for you to do a self-guided trail tour: locations, hours and favorite brews. When

you’ve completed the tour, return your stamped passport to Discover Kalamazoo to get some swag. Make your beer trail tour last all summer, hitting a new location every week so that you can savor each location. For more info, visit bit.ly/kalbrewtrail.


Something about coffee must attract creative geniuses, because the décor of the Black Owl Café, at 414 Walbridge St., is also chockfull of imaginative repurposing, which has sprung from the mind of co-owner Darren Bain. Black Owl Café is housed in a former electric motor factory and is often filled with the aroma from The Kalamazoo Coffee Co.'s roasters. The illustrative, quirky art on the coffee bags is drawn by Bain and the coffees have such clever names as Killer Beanzzz and Long in the Socks. With luck, you might persuade the folks there to give you a tour of the upstairs Americana Room with its unique “wall of doors” and brick wall painted like the American flag.

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Neighborhood pubs

You won’t find Sam and Diane, but you will find a lot of folks who know each other by name at some distinctive neighborhood pubs. The region has hundreds of watering holes, but moderation is key, so we highlight only a few here: Louie’s Trophy House, 629 Walbridge St. Louie’s Trophy House, a North Side pub that will celebrate its 100th birthday with a big ol’ party July 14-15, is notable for several reasons:


• It’s the oldest bar in Kalamazoo. Started by Polish immigrants as a soup kitchen and restaurant to serve the surrounding working-class Polish neighborhood, it was rumored to have been a speakeasy during Prohibition. • It’s got a lot of stuffed animals. No, really, stuffed animals, like a taxidermied bear, bobcat and deer heads. You know, good U.P. wood cabin décor. • It’s where you can catch lots of local bands and comedians, and it has drink specials every night.

Brian Powers

Green Top Tavern, 250 E. Michigan Ave. Michigan author Darrin Doyle, who features this downtown dive bar in several of his novels, says Green Top Tavern “embodies the city of Kalamazoo.” With its blue-collar roots, tasty burgers and great people watching from its streetside location on busy Michigan Avenue, Green Top Tavern is a place to pop into to escape the hipster haze and Tinder-ing of the brewpubs. With its strong drinks, working jukebox, pool table and dartboards, it’s truly Kalamazoo: not swanky or showy, but always interesting.

themselves and others. In the past, onlookers have been treated to dressed-up dogs, Star Wars and Ghostbusters characters, tutu-clad clowns doing dance routines, police officers wearing pig noses and driving police cars decorated with doughnut boxes and … well, really, you just never know what you’re going to see. After the parade, stick around downtown for all the other June Jubilee fun. For a complete schedule, visit junejubilee.com. If you are feeling nostalgic and patriotic this summer, Schoolcraft’s Fourth of July celebration will let you hark back to the days when a Fourth of July parade was every small town’s event of the year. Schoolcraft, located 15 miles south of Kalamazoo, makes an all-day affair of celebrating our nation’s birthday, starting with a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. and followed by a 5-mile running race, a car show, a parade, an ice cream social, a chicken and ribs barbecue at the American Legion, fire truck rides, tours of the Underground Railroad house, a dance and, of course, fireworks. It doesn’t get more Norman Rockwell than that. For more information, visit villageofschoolcraft.com.

O’Duffy’s Irish Pub, 804 W. Vine St. Tucked away in Kalamazoo’s historic Vine neighborhood, O’Duffy’s boasts that it’s the area’s “only Irish pub” and is probably about as close as you’ll get in Kalamazoo. It has a lot of dark wood, from the floors to the massive bar, is television-free and serves Guinness. Even the live music acts are booked for that Irish pub vibe, from bluegrass and Americana bands Whiskey Before Breakfast and Who Hit John? to Megan Dooley and the Duffield Carron Project. The menu includes boxty, a traditional Irish potato pancake, but regulars say the Gorgonzola Burger is ar fheabhas (first rate). Big T Restaurant, 155 N. Main St., Lawton If you pride yourself on being an imported beer connoisseur but you’re not a member of Big T’s Tommy Tetuski Memorial Beer Drinking Club, you might need to check your ego. Located in Lawton (a roughly 20-minute jaunt west from Kalamazoo down I-94), Big T offers a chance to hang where the locals do and see Christmas decorations year-round as well as partake of the bar’s more than 250 imports and many domestic beers. Those brews figure prominently in the Tommy Tetuski Memorial Beer Drinking Club, which is allegedly named for a patron and seaman who wandered into the joint one night and left an indelible impression on the owners. The point of joining the club is to drink 130 different brews from Big T’s selection to reach the status of “Grand Master of w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 37

Beer Steinery.” When you do, you will receive a T-shirt, mug and hat, and your name will be engraved on the bar’s Wall of Foam.

Who needs Wimbledon? For more than 70 years, Kalamazoo has hosted a tennis tournament that has seen the likes of Rod Laver, Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick play on the courts of Kalamazoo College’s Stowe Stadium. The USTA Boys’ 18 & 16 National Championships, which will be held Aug. 3–12 this year, is the most important event of the tennis year for the 400plus junior players who come from all over the U.S. to vie for the national championship title, which comes with an automatic bid to the main draw of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships. With tickets as cheap as $5 to watch a day’s play (the semifinals and finals cost more) and free admission on most days for kids, the tournament is a great way to see a future star while enjoying sunshine and sport. Visit ustaboys.com for a schedule and more information.

The Barn Theatre

Speaking of rising stars, catch a performance by a Barnie today and you may be witnessing the Jennifer Garner, Lauren Graham or Tom Wopat of tomorrow. The Barn Theatre, in Augusta, is the oldest resident summer stock theater in Michigan. For 16 weeks each summer, accomplished Actors Equity Association members journey to this converted dairy barn to perform in one of the theater’s eight productions. They are joined by young “apprentice” actors, affectionately called Barnies, who learn the craft of theater production and act in shows alongside the pros (yes, Garner, Graham and Wopat were all Barnies). This year’s season’s schedule features The Civil War, June 5–10; Noises Off, June 12–17; Hairspray, June 19–July 1; Bonnie & Clyde, July 3–5; Run for Your Wife, July 17–29; Disney’s Beauty

38 | ENCORE JUNE 2018

Courtesy/ YourGameFace.com

Tennis, anyone?

Clockwise from above: Competitors at the USTA Boys' 18 & 16 National Championships held in Kalamazoo; a playbill for the Barn Theatre; a scoop of summer heaven from Dean’s Ice Cream in Plainwell.

and the Beast, July 31–Aug. 12; Bullets Over Broadway, Aug. 14–26; and Disaster! Aug. 28–Sept. 2. For more information, visit barntheatreschool.org or call 731-4121.

Ice cream

The whole point of seeking out local color is to get the flavor of the place, right? And there’s no better way to do that than with locally made ice cream. Plainwell Ice Cream, at 621 Bridge St., in Plainwell, makes about 65 flavors and 50,000 gallons of ice cream a year and has a seasonal specialty, Blueberry Marble, that’s available only during June and July. Locals also go for Island City Fudge, French silk, butter pecan and salted caramel. We say live a little and get a scoop of each. If you’re too short on

time to drive to Plainwell, you can also get many flavors of Plainwell Ice Cream at Spirit of Kalamazoo, on the Kalamazoo Mall. If you feel like licking a cone by a river, head to Dean’s Ice Cream, at 307 N. Sherwood Ave., in Plainwell, on the banks of the Kalamazoo River. There you’ll find nostalgia is popular: An orange and vanilla mixture, which tastes like a Dreamsicle, is on the favorites list, as are the old standbys vanilla and mint chocolate chip. There is nothing traditional about the flavors offered by Lafayette Creamery, which opened in 2016 at 7933 Eighth St., in Texas Corners. Offering more than 20 flavors, with such drool-worthy names as Cherry English Walnut, Cinnamon Peach, Habanero Caramel and Salty Pecan Cookie, this shop specializes in culinary creativity in a cone.


Summertime PORTAGE – THURSDAYS 7:00 pm at Overlander Band Shell JUNE 14 JUSTIN SHANDOR JUNE 26 NEW ODYSSEY




For Full Summer Schedule, visit:



Encore File photo

Special Thanks The following businesses, organizations and individuals helped our See Your town Like A Tourist issue happen: Big T Restaurant/Ray Piecyk Jordan Bradley Nabe Bowerman/Bonamego Farms Peter Broe City of Portage Dept. of Parks, Recreation & Senior Citizen Services Crisp Country Acres Dan Cunningham Entertainment District/The Reedy Group J-Bird Vintage/Jayne Gulliver Pedal Bicycles/Tim Krone Retro of Kalamazoo/Thom Clark Spirit of Kalamazoo/Kathleen Widner Charles. D. Thomas & Laura Rahfeldt-Thomas

w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 39

PERFORMING ARTS THEATER Plays Noises Off — A hapless troupe of actors attempts to mount a dreadful comedy, 8 p.m. June 12–16, 5 p.m. June 17, Barn Theatre, 13351 West M-96, Augusta, 731-4121. Musicals The Bridges of Madison County — Farmers Alley Theatre presents the story of a forbidden love affair between a lonely housewife and a photographer, 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., 7:30 p.m. Thurs., June 8–24, The Little Theatre, 798 Oakland Drive, 343-2727. The Civil War — A gospel, country, rock and folk musical about soldiers, leaders and slaves, 8 p.m. June 5–9, 5 p.m. June 10, Barn Theatre, 13351 West M-96, Augusta, 731-4121. Hairspray — A musical comedy about a teen transformed from a social outcast to a sudden star, 8 p.m. June 19–23 & 26–30, 5 p.m. June 24 & July 1, Barn Theatre, 731-4121. Other A Last Gasp Musical — Fusion of music, dance, drama and visual arts featuring music by the Last Gasp Collective, 8 p.m. June 9, 7 p.m. June 10, Wellspring Theatre, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, 5471248. Take My Wife . . . Please — An original New Vic comedy revue of Anglo-American humor, 8 p.m. June 15 & 16 and every other weekend through July, New Vic Theatre, 134 E. Vine St., 381-3328. Young at Heart — New Vic Theatre Youth Talent Showcase, 8 p.m. June 22 & 23 and every other weekend through July, New Vic Theatre, 134 E. Vine St., 381-3328. COMEDY Crawlspace Eviction Improv Comedy: Clue — Improv and sketch comedy show inspired by the board game Clue, 8 p.m. June 22 & 23, Epic Center, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, 599-7390. MUSIC Bands & Solo Artists JJ Grey & Mofro — Southern soul rock group, 8 p.m. June 1, Bell's Eccentric Café, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., 382-2332. Gun Lake Live Summer Series — Hurricane Band, June 6; Jedi Mind Trip, June 13; Union Guns, June 20; Typo, June 27; all shows 6–10 p.m., Lakefront Pavilion, Bay Pointe Inn, 11456 Marsh Road, Shelbyville, 888-486-5253. The Boardman Brown Band — Enjoy the band and views of the city, 7:30–9 p.m. June 8, WMU Heritage Hall, 625 Oakland Drive, 387-8816. The SteelDrivers — Nashville-based bluegrass group, 8:30 p.m. June 8, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332.

40 | ENCORE JUNE 2018

Stephen Marley & Matisyahu — Reggae artist and band, 7 p.m. June 9, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Adam Labeaux — Improvisational folk rock and soul, 9–11 p.m. June 9, Arcadia Ales, 701 E. Michigan Ave., 276-0458. Corn Fed Girls — Outdoor concert with the Americana acoustic band, 6–7:30 p.m. June 10, Flesher Field, 3664 S. Ninth St., Oshtemo Township, 216-5233. Justin Shandor — City of Portage summer concert series features this Elvis impersonator, 7 p.m. June 14, Overlander Bandshell, 7800 Shaver Road, Portage, 329-4522. Steep Canyon Rangers — Americana bluegrass band, 8:30 p.m. June 14, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Reverend Horton Heat — Three-piece psychobilly band, 8:30 p.m. June 15, Bell's Eccentric Café, 3822332. Trevor Hall — Acoustic, folk, reggae singer/ songwriter, 8 p.m. June 16, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. The Posies — Seattle rock band, 8 p.m. June 21, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Marie Miller — Folk and pop singer/songwriter, 8:30 p.m. June 23, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Dacia Bridges Project — Vocalist/songwriter joins with three Kalamazoo musicians, 6:30 p.m. June 27, First Presbyterian Church, 8047 Church St., Richland, 629-9085. New Odyssey — Band featuring three musicians with 30 instruments, 7 p.m. June 28, Overlander Bandshell, Portage, 329-4522. Chingy, Ying Yang Twins and Petey Pablo — Rap and hip-hop artists, 8:30 p.m. June 29, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Modern Adventures — Local alternative rock band, 8 p.m. June 30, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Orchestra, Chamber, Jazz, Vocal & More 2018 Bach Festival Week — Concerts and lectures highlighting the works of J.S. Bach, June 1–9, 337-7407; see kalamazoobachfestival.org for schedule and specific listings below. Feast or Famine — Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chorus and Kalamazoo Philharmonia present Requiem for Those Who Died of Famine and Belshazzar’s Feast, 8 p.m. June 2, Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave., kalamazoobachfestival.org. (Related Art Hop exhibit and lecture, June 1; see VISUAL ARTS.) The City Sings Bach — Area church choirs and organists honor the life and works of J.S. Bach, June 3; times and locations available at kalamazoobachfestival.org. College Singers Concert — 3 p.m. June 3, Dalton Theatre, Kalamazoo College, 337-7070. Concerts in the Park — Kalamazoo Singers, June 3; Kalamazoo Concert Band, June 17; all concerts begin at 4 p.m. Sundays, through August 26, Bronson Park, 342-5059. Bach-Around-the-Block Organ Crawl — The music of J.S. Bach performed on pipe organs in downtown churches, 7 p.m. June 4, starting at First Baptist Church, 315 W. Michigan Ave., kalamazoobachfestival.org.

International Percussion Ensemble Concert — Community members and Kalamazoo College drummers play tribal dance instruments, 7 p.m. June 5, Light Fine Arts Building, Kalamazoo College, 337-7070. Bach Rocks: The Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet — The quartet presents a blend of Arabic, Eastern European and world-music-influenced original compositions, 7:30 p.m. June 6, Dalton Theatre, Kalamazoo College, kalamazoobachfestival.org. Jazz It Up with Bach: The Merling Trio — Bach Festival finale featuring commissioned works and selected repertoire, 7:30 p.m. June 9, Dalton Theatre, Kalamazoo College, kalamazoobachfestival.org. VISUAL ARTS Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., 349-7775 Exhibits High School Area Show — Artwork by high school students in the region, through June 10. Passion on Paper: Masterly Prints from the KIA Collection — Including works by ToulouseLautrec, Mary Cassatt, Howard Hodgkin, Richard Anuskiewicz, Luis Jimenez and Vija Calmins, through July 15. Vibrant Bounty: Chinese Folk Art from the Shaanxi Region — Folk paintings and artifacts of rural China, through Aug. 12. West Michigan Area Show 2017 — Works of artists from 14 Michigan counties are showcased, through Sept. 2. Global Glass: A Survey of Form and Function — Exhibition surveying artists and works from the mid-1960s to the present, June 23–Oct. 14, with opening reception 5–8 p.m. June 28. Events Sunday Public Tours — Docent-led tours: KIA Collection, June 3; High School Area Show, June 10; West Michigan Area Show, June 17; Global Glass: A Survey of Form and Function, June 24; all tours begin at 2 p.m. ARTbreak — Programs about art, artists and exhibitions: Robert Gwathmey, talk by Greg Waskowsky, June 5; Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson, video, June 12 & 19; West Michigan Area Show Artists, talk, June 26; sessions begin at noon. Unreeled: Film at the KIA — A screening of Disturbingly Comforting: The Short Films of Nathan Ginter, 6:30 p.m. June 14, KIA Auditorium, followed by a discussion with the teen filmmaker. Get the Picture: Luis Jiminez — In-depth discussion of the artist's Assyrian Lion, from the KIA collection, noon June 21. Other Venues Solo Gallery: Hannah Owens — Colored pencil, digital and pastel art, through June 29, Portage District Library, 300 Library Lane, 329-4544. Rita Grendze: Signs for Those Seeking Light — Cast-off books that have been cut by hand, mounted and suspended give voice to writing as a powerful visual language, through Dec. 16, Atrium Gallery, Richmond Center for Visual Arts, WMU, 387-2436.

Art on the Mall — Outdoor juried art fair, including jewelry, pottery, sculptures and garden art, noon–8 p.m. June 1, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. June 2, Kalamazoo Mall and South Street, downtown Kalamazoo, 342-5059. KIA Arts Fair — Juried art fair and children's activities, 3–8 p.m. June 1, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. June 2, Bronson Park, 349-7775. Art Hop — Art at locations in Kalamazoo, 5–8 p.m. June 1, 342-5059. (Also, see listing below.) Bach Festival Art Hop — Kalamazoo Philharmonia conductor Andrew Koehler speaks on History Untold: Famine in the Ukraine, the Ukrainian Holodomor of 1933, with artwork by Ukrainian and Kalamazoo students, 5–8 p.m. June 1, with lecture at 5:30 p.m., Kalamazoo Public Library Central Branch, 315 S. Rose St., 337-7407. Painting in the Parks — Expert artists offer stepby-step instructions to create a masterpiece, 6–9 p.m. June 7, Schrier Park, 850 W. Osterhout Ave., Portage, 329-4522. LIBRARY & LITERARY EVENTS Kalamazoo Public Library Summer Bag-of-Books Sale — 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. June 2, parking lot, Central Library, 315 S. Rose St., 342-9837. Poems That Ate Our Ears — Poetry reading by children who won this annual Friends of Poetry contest, with books containing the entries for sale, 1 p.m. June 2, Central Library, 342-9837. First Saturday @ KPL — Stories, activities and door prizes for the family, 2 p.m. June 2, Central Library, 342-9837. Self-Publishing Tips with Sonya and Sean Hollins — Bring book ideas and learn tips for publishing, 6 p.m. June 4, Eastwood Branch, 1112 Gayle Ave., 553-7810. Gemini Music for Children and Families — Sing-alongs, folk tales and music from around the world, 11 a.m. June 30, Oshtemo Branch, 7265 W. Main St., 553-7980. Parchment Community Library 401 S. Riverview Drive, 343-7747 Parchment Book Group — Discussion of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, by Phaedra Patrick, 6:30 p.m. June 4. Crybaby Concert — Fontana Chamber Arts presents a fun concert for children under 5, 11 a.m. June 9. Front Page: Donuts & Discussion — Read and Write Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo Literacy Council discuss the importance of reading, 10:30 a.m. June 16. Mystery Book Club — Discussion of Thyme of Death, by Susan Wittig Albert, 6:30 p.m. June 18. Stories on the Lawn — Parchment School District teachers and administrators will read stories, 10:30 a.m. June 22 & 29. Party for the Park: 85th Anniversary of Kindleberger Park — 1–4 p.m. June 23. Portage District Library 300 Library Lane, 329-4544 Friends of the Library Book Sale — 9 a.m.–3 p.m. June 2. International Mystery Book Group — Discussion of Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, 7 p.m. June 14.

Drummunity — Play in a drum circle with the family, 6 p.m. June 21. Richland Community Library 8951 Park St., Richland, 629-9085 Children's Author Ruth McNally Barshaw — An interactive program with the writer and illustrator, 10:30 a.m. June 27, First Presbyterian Church, 8047 Church St., Richland, 629-9085. MUSEUMS Gilmore Car Museum 6865 Hickory Road, Hickory Corners, 671-5089 Classic Car Club of America Museum Grand Experience — Restored classic automobiles, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. June 3. Vintage Motorcycle Weekend: Saturday Ride & Swap Meet — Vintage motorcycles 25 years and older, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. June 9; swap meet, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. June 10. All Air-Cooled Gathering — Rare air-cooled cars, from early examples to modern cars, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. June 16. Ultimate Vintage Truck Show — All types of trucks and utility, military and emergency vehicles, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. June 23. Kalamazoo Valley Museum 230 N. Rose St., 373-7990 Habitat Earth — An award-winning film that journeys through vast networks of life on Earth, 3 p.m. Sun., Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat., through June 15, Planetarium. Kalamazoo A–Z — Rarely seen items from the museum's collections, through Aug. 26. Cats & Dogs — Entertaining and interactive environments that help us understand life as a cat or dog, through Sept. 9. Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon — The band's 8th album set to stunning visuals, 7 p.m. June 1, 4 p.m. June 2 & 9, Planetarium. Animotion Festival — Cats-and-dogs-themed day of presentations and demonstrations, noon–4 p.m. June 2. IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System — This show follows NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer and its mission, 4 p.m. Sun., through June 10. NATURE Kellogg Bird Sanctuary 12685 East C Ave., Augusta, 671-2510 Wild Edibles Workshop — Danielle Zoellner and sanctuary staff lead a hike to explore the Lake Loop trail for edible plants, 9 a.m.–noon June 9. Birds and Coffee Walk — A walk to view birds of the season, 9 a.m. June 13. Father's Day at KBS — Dads get in free with families, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. June 17. Other Venues 14 Billion Years of Nuclei — Zach Constan of Michigan State University speaks about the origins of 92 naturally occurring elements from Big Bang nucleosynthesis and recently discovered neutron-star mergers, 7 p.m. June 1, Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center, 600 W. Vine St., Suite 400, kasonline.org.

Kalamazoo Astronomical Society Public Observing Sessions — View the sky through multiple telescopes: Venus and Jupiter, June 2; Jupiter and Saturn, June 16; sessions begin at 9:30 p.m., Owl Observatory, Kalamazoo Nature Center, 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., kas@kasonline.org. Family Discovery Hikes — A guided hike with new themes and trails each week, 2 p.m. June 3, 10, 17 & 24, Kalamazoo Nature Center, 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., 381-1574. Invasives Walk — An evening hike to search for invasive plants, 6:30–8:30 p.m. June 5, Bow in the Clouds Preserve, 3401 Nazareth Road, 324-1600. What's All the Buzz About? — Kalamazoo Garden Council Standard Flower Show, 2–6 p.m. June 6, Radisson Plaza Hotel, 100 W. Michigan Ave., 327-3115. Father's Day Tike Hike — Rock and treasure hunting along Lake Michigan, 3:30 p.m. June 10, Pilgrim Haven Natural Area, South Haven, 324-1600. MISCELLANEOUS Kalamazoo Farmers Market — 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Tuesdays, 3–7 p.m. Thursdays, through October, 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturdays, through November, 1204 Bank St., 359-6727. Portage Market — 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Sundays, through Oct. 28, 7900 S. Westnedge Ave., Portage, 359-6727. (See listings of additional farmers’ markets on Page 27.) Radical Spirit with Joan Chittister — Benedictine nun shares her thoughts on living a free and authentic life in this event sponsored by Transformations Spirituality Center and the Fetzer Institute, 7–9 p.m. June 1, Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave., 381-6290. Movies in the Park — View Justice League under the stars, 9 p.m. June 1, Grain Elevator, Celery Flats Historical Area, 7328 Garden Lane, Portage, 329-4522. Mt. Zion's Biker Blessing — A short ride to the blessing site and celebration to promote a safe riding season, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. June 2; ride begins near Macy's at The Crossroads mall at 10:30 a.m.; blessing follows at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 120 Roberson St., 388-3111. Do-Dah Parade — Fun floats and whimsical costumes, 11 a.m. June 2, downtown Kalamazoo, 388-2830. Walking Tour of Downtown Kalamazoo Breweries — Learn about the local beer culture, noon–4:15 p.m. June 2 & 30, starting at Old Burdick's Bar & Grill, 100 W. Michigan Ave.; June 9, 16 & 23, starting at Central City Tap House, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall; 350-4598. Hippie Fest — Bohemian shopping, family activities, live entertainment, noon–7 p.m. June 2, Kalamazoo County Expo Center South Lawn, 2900 Lake St., hippiefest.org. Vintage in the Zoo Market — Shop vintage and antique clothing, furniture and housewares, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. June 3, Kalamazoo Farmers Market, 1204 Bank St., 773-319-4866. Bike the Zoo — A monthly community bike ride, 6–7:30 p.m. June 4, 11, 18 & 25, starting at PFC Natural Grocery & Deli, 507 Harrison St., 568-6870.

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Kalamazoo Pride 2018 — LGBTQ pride festival presented by OutFront Kalamazoo, with live entertainment and information booths celebrating diversity, June 8 & 9, Arcadia Creek Festival Place, 145 E. Water St., 349-4234. Lunchtime Live! — Live music, food trucks and vendors, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. summer Fridays, starting June 8, Bronson Park, 337-8191. Parade of Homes — Homes with the latest trends in construction and design, 4–9 p.m. June 8 & 15, 1–9 p.m. June 9, 1–5 p.m. June 10, 6–9 p.m. June 11–14, 1–7 p.m. June 16, 375-4225; see kalamazoohomepage.com/parade-event-info for details. #Letsride Bronco Motorcycle Rally — Bike rally, blues concert, photo stations and giveaways,

42 | ENCORE JUNE 2018

5–7:30 p.m. June 8, WMU Heritage Hall, 625 Oakland Drive, 387-8816. National Cereal Festival — World's longest breakfast table, parade, children's activities and entertainment, 8 a.m.–1 p.m. June 9, downtown Battle Creek, bccerealfest.com. WMU BTR Park Bike Race — A day of competition and prizes, with cycling and racing clinics on June 8; 8 a.m.–5 p.m. June 9, WMU Business Technology and Research Park, 4717 Campus Drive, 387-2072. Kalamazoo Mud Run — 5K obstacle course race, 8 a.m.–noon June 9, starting at Comstock High School, 2017 N. 26th St., kalamazoomudrun.com. Vicksburg Old Car Festival — Old car show, crafts, swap meet, and steam and gas engine show, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. June 9, with Cruise Night and

'50s Drive-in on June 8, downtown Vicksburg, bit. ly/OldCarfFest. Monarch March Family Fun Run and 5K — Run, walk or jog on the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail to promote Michigan Nature Association efforts to preserve habitat for monarch butterflies, 10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. June 9, starting at Mayors' Riverfront Park, 251 Mills St., 517-580-3021. South Haven Harborfest — Celebrate Southwest Michigan's maritime history and enjoy music, crafts and food, June 15 & 16, downtown South Haven, southhavenharborfest.com. Buttermilk Jamboree — Music and arts festival with swimming, dancing and local food, June 15– 17, Circle Pines Center, 8650 Mullen Road, Delton, 269-623-5555, buttermilkjamboree.org. United Kennel Club Premier Dog Show — Agility, obedience and dock-diving events, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. June 15–17, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 343-9020. Movies in the Park — View The Lion King under the stars at sunset, with family activities at 7 p.m. June 15, Spring Valley Park, 2600 Mount Olivet Drive, 337-8191. Haunted History of Kalamazoo Tour — Learn about Kalamazoo history mixed with the paranormal, 8–10 p.m. June 16, Bronson Park, 220-9496. Historical Tours and Speakers Series — Learn about the national and local women's suffrage movement, 2 p.m. June 17, Celery Flats, 7335 Garden Lane, Portage, 329-4522. Six Starz Skate Jam — Skateboarding competition, 4:30–7:30 p.m. June 21, Upjohn Park Skate Park, 1018 Walter, 337-8191. Kalamazoo Night Market — Food trucks, artisans and fresh goods, 5–10 p.m. June 21, Kalamazoo Farmers Market, 1204 Bank St., 359-6727. Cheetah Chase — 5K run through the zoo, 8–11 a.m. June 23, Binder Park Zoo, 7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek, 269-979-1351. The Great American Campout — A family camping experience, with hiking, swimming, campfire dinner, movie under the stars, bonfire breakfast, and s'mores, 5 p.m. June 23–10 a.m. June 24, Ramona Park, 8600 S. Sprinkle Road, Portage, 329-4522. KalTour — Kalamazoo Bicycle Club's road tour for bicyclists of all ages and abilities, June 24, Schoolcraft High School, 551 E. Lyons St. Starting times vary depending on distance, kalamazoobicycleclub.org/events/kaltour, 823-2819. Kalamazoo Backyard BBQ — Great Lakes Burn Camp fundraiser, with motorcycle ride, classic cars, games and food, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. June 24, Kalamazoo County Expo Center West Lawn, 998-3575. Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival — Hot-air balloons, air show, carnival and fireworks, June 29–July 4, W.K. Kellogg Airport, 15551 S. Airport Road, Battle Creek, 269-962-0592 or bcballoons.com. Kalamazoo Reptile & Exotic Pet Expo — Buy, sell or trade reptiles, small mammals and exotic pets, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. June 30, Kalamazoo County Expo Center North, 779-9851.


Spiders in June All through the night they worked

stitching the beach and the roadsides

at their weaving spinning gossamer

with their summer cloth until

from leaf to stalk, stalk to weed,

when the sun appeared the morning webbed

from spindly branch to flower petal,

their filaments, every ray of light

looming their fabric under silver moonlight,

sticking to the threads of their invisible presence. — Robert Haight Haight has taught writing and literature and directed the visiting writers series at Kalamazoo Valley Community College for many years. His most recent book of poems is Feeding Wild Birds (Mayapple Press 2013). When not in the classroom, he divides his time between the Lower and Upper peninsulas.

Never Miss A Month!! How Beads Help Kids with Canc er

Taking on Taiko Drum ming

Fresh on the farm: Donut Dep ot

Meet Yolonda Lave


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Arborist Services of Kalamazoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Barn Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Betzler Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4


Binder Park Zoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Bronson Health Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Concerts in the Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Dave’s Glass Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 DeMent and Marquardt, PLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 DeVisser Landscape Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Discover Kalamazoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Fence & Garden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 First National Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Gilmore Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Greenleaf Trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6


Halls, Closets & More . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43


Heritage Christian Academy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Hettinger & Hettinger, PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Kalamazoo Community Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Kalamazoo County Parks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Kalamazoo Institute of Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Kalamazoo Public Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Kalamazoo Public Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16


Keyser Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 LVM Capital Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Mercantile Bank of Michigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Metro Toyota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Parkway Plastic Surgery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 PFC Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Portage Printing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

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RAI Jets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Spirit of Kalamazoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Vandenberg Furniture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Varnum Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Willis Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 WMUK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Win Some Kalamazoo Swag! Can you find the Encore magazine in the photos of our local tourists that open each story in this special issue "See Your Town Like A Tourist?" Well, here’s the trick: identify WHICH issue (month and year) appears in each photo to be entered into our contest to win a free T-shirt of your choice at Spirit of Kalamazoo. There will be three winners, and winners will be drawn from correct entries received by June 30. To enter, email or mail us with the following information: (1) headline that appears on the photo;

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44 | ENCORE JUNE 2018

(2) where the issue of Encore appears in that photo; and (3) which issue (month and year) of Encore it is. Happy hunting!

BACK STORY (continued from page 46)

to be the first president and CEO under the new structure. Last August was my 10-year anniversary. What attracted you to this field? Sports is my background and that’s what I had been around, but the opportunity to promote sports as well as a whole lot of other things was really inviting. I have done this kind of work in three really great communities where there is a lot of great product. I can’t imagine doing this in a community that doesn’t have higher education as part of its fabric, as has been the case in all three communities I’ve worked in. With colleges and universities, there’s always something going on. There’s always activity and events to look forward to and an influx of people coming and going. There’s always a next something to look forward to. What’s behind the name Discover Kalamazoo? Our legal name is the Kalamazoo County Convention and Visitors Bureau, but we went through some branding and strategic planning and decided to create a Michigan DBA (Doing Business As) as Discover Kalamazoo. At the time there were a lot of other bureaus in the country going in the direction of calling themselves something other than a bureau. We were the first in Michigan that went that route. We really like the word “discover” for two reasons. We were already using the website

discoverkalamazoo.com. We also think the word “discover” speaks to both visitors and residents and promotes to both audiences. We didn’t want residents to think we weren’t available to them for things to see and do in the community. So we started using the name in July 2009 and we’ve had a lot of fun with it. What do you like most about what you do? No two days are the same. We are always looking forward to the next event. There is always something being developed in our community, whether it’s new bricks and mortar or new programming. Our top attractions — which we consider to be the Air Zoo, Gilmore Car Museum, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo Valley Museum and the Kalamazoo Nature Center — are always reinventing themselves, looking for another new exhibit to come in. They don’t want people to think, “I’ve visited that once. I don’t need to go back.” We are very, very fortunate for the quality of those five institutions. They rank among the best in their fields. We love to work with WMU and have many partnerships across campus. We have a great partnership with WMU’s Office of Admissions to help recruit students to come into the community. We are told by family members of prospective students that when they’ve visited other colleges, they never saw the community. To us, it’s a high compliment.

How do you keep track of everything going on in the community? We have a very talented team with a great skill set and great passion for our community. Our team does a lot of field trips — we go out and see something that’s brand new or just opened or some aspect of the community we aren’t as familiar with. At the end of the day, people aren’t coming to visit Discover Kalamazoo, they are coming to visit all of our places and products, and so for us it’s really critical that we stay apprised of what’s going on and when something new is happening. What is your favorite thing to do as a tourist in your own town? I love to play golf and we have great golf courses in our region. I also love being able to attend a variety of sporting events, anything from the Kalamazoo Wings to the Kalamazoo Growlers to the USTA Tennis Championships to curling and all the events at WMU and Kalamazoo College. Once I came to Kalamazoo, I also became more appreciative of the arts and love Art Hop and get out as often as I can. And I will take our downtown against any other of a community our size. It’s the pulse of the community. It’s great to see all the different things happening there, from the construction to event programming. There’s just always something to look forward to. — Interview by Marie Lee

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Greg Ayers

President and CEO, Discover Kalamazoo Greg Ayers is always thinking about the next thing. The next convention, the

next sporting event, the next museum exhibit or other happening that will bring visitors to the greater Kalamazoo area. “People would be surprised that we are working on events right now that are all the way out to 2025,” says Ayers, who oversees Discover Kalamazoo, which promotes tourism for Kalamazoo County and a little beyond. It’s Discover Kalamazoo that is responsible for enticing both visitors and residents to experience the area’s wealth of attractions, events and activities. In advertising and marketing the area as a destination to tourists, Ayers says, the organization focuses on luring not only large groups and events, but the “simplest of groups, like a couple or family looking to visit the area for a few days.” “We’ve done an excellent job as a community working together to get Kalamazoo on the map,” Ayers says, “but the compliments and comments we get from people who visit the area or who organize groups to come to the area are what tell us we’re succeeding.” How did you end up here? Discover Kalamazoo is my third convention and visitors’ bureau position. After graduating from college at Illinois State University in Normal, I worked in minor league baseball, with the Peoria Chiefs, who are in the same league with the West Michigan Whitecaps and Lansing Lugnuts. I was there for just over four years, and then I went back to Normal to work at the Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau for three and half years. I then became executive director for the South Bend-Mishawaka Convention and Visitors Bureau and was there eightand-a-half years when I was recruited to come to Kalamazoo. What enticed me about the position here was that the organization had just split from the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce and I had the chance (continued on page 45)

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