Maple Hill Holiday Parade Kalamazoo
The Parade Units
Our marching bands are front and center and their participation is critical to the success of the event and community celebration.
Marching bands participate for free and the transportation costs are covered at the end of the event. If you are associated with a band, high school, or marching band program, please reach out and let us know how we can help you be a part of this great tradition.
This is the holiday parade, so that means that ALL holidays in November and December count for this parade. Creativity, people who want to entertain and get dressed up in a costume, and the pure joy of promoting your business or organization is the purpose.
Entries are $75.00 and an application allows the event team to help you plan out what the entry will look like and how it needs to be decorated with everyone dressed up.
In 2021, parade units are eligible to win two prizes for "best of show." The for-profit organization winner will receive a trophy and the nonprofit winner will receive a cash prize to support the charitable mission.
Here is a hard copy of the application.
Ah, we love the balloons. This year, there are 2 types of balloons, helium and cold air. To sponsor a balloon the cost is $3,500 for helium and $2,500 for the cold air.
The sponsorship package is filled with amazing benefits, advertising, social media, and the pure joy of making sure that everyone Ohh's and Ahh's because The Kalamazoo Holiday Parade has a 36 year tradition of big balloons and lot's of smiles.
Click at the bottom if you are interested in being a sponsor. There are many other opportunities to sponsor for a smaller cash donation and trade agreements are perfect ways to be a sponsor as well.
Event Day Information
What about Parking?
We want to make parking as easy as it can be when a community comes downtown to see a parade. It could get busy, which is exactly why we encourage everyone to stay downtown, shop, participate in the after parade day activities and eat lunch.
The easiest parking is parking in a ramp - there are ramps on South Street (The Epic Ramp) and on Portage Street (Kalamazoo Ramp). And the Radisson has a ramp on Rose Street.
There are metered parking, but you cannot park along the route. Watch for signs. And, please don't park where there is a "you car will be towed sign" because, trust us, it will get towed.
If you have never been downtown, we suggest that you download the downtown map found at www.discoverkalamazoo.com.
It takes work and creativity to have a parade unit
But, you "got" this!
Being a parade unit takes a lot of commitment. And, this is why we have some pretty specific guidelines. The parade application outlines all of them. If you are considering being in the parade, here are some basic guidelines this year:
All walking units should consider a way to make their walking unit have "depth." We recommend that you include a decorated vehicle.
No "street clothes" allowed - so that means that everyone has to be dressed for the parade (a hat is not a "dressed for the parade" element.
Walking units should be limited to 25 people so that you make the best impression.
Decorations are designed to help people remember your organization or business - a wreath on a truck is not decorations.
The Parade Lineup
The parade typically features about 100 units and the parade is typically about 90 minutes long. We advise that you bundle up when you come downtown, and of course be ready to spend the day and stay after the parade for all the activities.
If you have a unit in the parade, you should have received a parade packet that includes the instructions, the line-up, the staging area map, and a detailed route map with the locations of the barricades to navigate closed roads.
The line up can change as more units are added, so make sure to look at the "updated date" on the packet to make sure that you have the most current packet. And, of course you can always call the parade team with questions.
We do love to chat.
Maple Hill Holiday Parade Kalamazoo
It's Time to Attend the Parade
The route map and event day instructions will be available in October when details are confirmed. But, the traditional parade route is:
Start at Lovell & Jasper
Lovell to Park St.
Park St. to Michigan Ave.
Michigan Ave. to Pitcher St.
Pitcher St. to Lovell St.
Parking is available in the parking structures and on the side streets. Please watch for the no-parking and towing zones. These towing zones will be enforced (and it's not fun getting your car towed).
After the Parade
After the parade, join us on the Kalamazoo Mall and throughout downtown for family activities, visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and shopping and eating.
The activities start immediately after the parade and continue all day, with the featured activities at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum and on the Kalamazoo Mall end at around 2:30 p.m.
Check back to download and print the event activity flyer that includes all the specials, the Elf on a Shelf game card, and lunch specials. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Anna Whitten Hall (KVCC) until 2:30 p.m.
We are excited about the fun afternoon of activities that make the Kalamazoo Holiday Parade Day a great tradition.
We're Collecting for
Loaves and Fishes
At the parade there is an opportunity to donate canned and dry goods for Loaves and Fishes. You can also donate money for Loaves and Fishes. Our team of high school students will be walking the route with decorated carts to make sure that we reach out and help people of all situations enjoy the holidays.