First Things

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Something Festive

Hit three festivals in one weekend
encore-magazine-first-things-black-arts-festival-july-2019
Black Arts Festival takes place July 13.

Fireworks, schmireworks. If you want a full schedule of fun in July, check out the month’s second week, when the area is hosting three festivals:

Black Arts Festival

July 13, LaCrone Park

With an eclectic lineup of performers, a rib cook-off and vendors, the Black Arts Festival brings its day of fun to LaCrone Park, 535 W. Paterson St., from noon—8 p.m.

Hosted by the Black Arts and Cultural Center, the free festival will include a full schedule of entertainment, including national hip-hop and spoken word artist Mama Sol, dance troupes Suicide Squad and Rootead Youth Dance Company, and singer Brooklyn Washington.

For more information, visit blackartskalamazoo.org.

Kindleberger Festival

July 10–14, Parchment

The Kindleberger Summer Festival of the Performing Arts, running from July 10—14 in Parchment, offers five days of theater and a day exploding with festival activities.

The youth production of The Skokie Detective Charter School will be performed on The Stage in Kindleberger Park at 5:30 p.m. July 10—12 and 3:30 p.m. July 13 and 14. The musical production of Disney’s Freaky Friday comes to the stage at 7 p.m. July 10—12 and 5 p.m. July 13 and 14. All performances are free to attend, but make sure to bring a blanket or lawn chair.

The festival’s “big day” is July 13, kicking off with an all-you-can- eat French toast breakfast served by Parchment Boy Scout Troup 218 ($5 for adults, $3 for children 12 and under). From 9 a.m.–3 p.m., vendors will be on hand to sell arts and crafts. There will also be a Garden Club plant sale and Friends of the Library book sale. At 10 a.m., a parade makes its way around the park. Other activities include a 5K run at 8:30 a.m.; a children’s area with a petting zoo, face painting and other fun and games from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.; and a classic car show, starting at 10 a.m.

For more details and a festival map, visit kindlebergerarts.org.

Kalamazoo Blues Festival

July 12 & 13, Arcadia Creek Festival Place

In its 26th year, the Kalamazoo Blues Festival returns to the Arcadia Creek Festival Place in downtown Kalamazoo with a slate of local, national and international blues performers.

The two days of music, starting at 4:30 p.m. July 12 and noon July 13, include Kalamazoo-based bands such as Seventh Son, Out of Favor Boys and The Hired Hands and national artists such as Biscuit Miller and The Mix and Davy Knowles. Early-bird tickets cost $24 for a two-day pass, $12 for July 12 and $16 for July 13.

For a schedule of performers and other information, visit kvba.org.