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With such a recognizable moniker you'd think Kalamazoo wouldn't need nicknames, but through the years changing names have reflected the city's refusal to stand still. The Zoo, Celery City and Mall City are a few. The innovative thinking that brought downtown Kazoo the nation's first pedestrian mall in 1959 thrives today. Innovations in life sciences, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals combined with the expertise of Kalamazoo's universities - Western Michigan, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Davenport College - make the city a center of research, development and technology. It's all part of an eclectic, vibrant city with a cultural scene that Kalamazooans love to boast about. The Kalamazoo Symphony, Kalamazoo Institute of Art and scrappy local theater companies are a few of the offerings. Locals love their festivals, many at the Arcadia Festival grounds, and their outdoors, whether it's taking to the Kalamazoo River or biking the Kal-Haven trail or golfing at the nationally-acclaimed Milham Park course. The city's sports fans have competitive college teams, minor league baseball and hockey to follow. And it all comes with a Promise. All high school graduates who live in Kalamazoo qualify for scholarships at any public university or community college.
Tinashe Chaponda at Habitat for Humanity

Putting the focus on Kalamazoo volunteers

Helping others should be fun, says Tinashe Chaponda. He started FOCUS Kalamazoo to prove it could be done.  

Jessica French, Bert Ebrite, co-owners

Guitars and pianos take over north end of Kalamazoo Mall

Entrepreneurs with a musical flair are doing business downtown and finding guitars and pianos fit in just fine in their urban setting. 

La Vie en Orange owner Kori Jock

What you liked about what we wrote in 2014

Arts collective

Creating an arts hub with the help of their friends

When Kalamazoo's DIT concert supporters and the DIY crafters get together the result is a plan for the Kalamazoo Collective Arts Center. 

Dean McCurdy

Hungry to hire: KVCC seeks two visionaries to 'make their mark' in healthy food systems

KVCC's culinary curriculum will be grounded in the powerful intersection of food, sustainability, and health.

Big Mope Pritchetts

Big Moe's taps into nation's barbecue boom

Barbecue is the nation’s passion, and it has never been bigger. Big Moe's is making the most of it.

Barrel aged imperial Stout and  Neopolitan Milk Stout

A buy local gift guide with a high alcohol content

From underwear to T-shirts to barrel aged beers, this collection of holiday gift ideas offers something for the hops head on your list.

Innovation Day

Engineering students show off their best new ideas

The research is done, the data collected, the prototype created. It's time to show off the next big idea at Innovation Day on the Western Michigan University campus.

The Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative

Balancing economic development with residents' needs: Dialogue key as placemaking plans take shape

The final report from a placemaking study of Kalamazoo’s Southtown district is sparking excitement as a blueprint for growth -- and an opportunity to embrace mindful development that includes and empowers longtime residents.

Ready to roll on a cold day

Fat bikes keep winter weather riders on the road

The bike culture in Kalamazoo is growing, even in wintertime.
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Local food offerings rise with opening of new bakery

Traditional Irish scones and cakes are just two of the goods that are attracting customers downtown to the new location of the Victorian Bakery, its first retail setting.

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The Solar Project

The largest solar array in Michigan sits in a field in Charleston Township, the result of a DIY project by a father and son and business partner team, whose company, Kalamazoo Solar LLC, sells the power back to Consumers Energy. But their ultimate goal is to manufacture complete solar arrays in Michigan--at a price individual consumers can afford.
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