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Kalamazoo rings in the New Year during a more subdued Party on the Mall

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Check out the fun at Kalamazoo's scaled-down New Year's Fest, a party on the Mall. (WWMT/Jason Heeres)Thumbnail

Gone were the fireworks, and the big crowds, but the pandemic-forced transition from a crowded Bronson Park festival to a party on the Kalamazoo Mall brought out some hopeful revelers on New Year's Eve.

For the first time in 35 years, Kalamazoo's New Year's Eve celebration didn't take place in Bronson Park. COVID-19 restrictions on crowd sizes and social distancing forced organizers to create a hybrid event; one that can be celebrated on line but also in person, on a smaller scale.

Instead, many performances were streamed online, and a smaller party was held on the Kalamazoo Mall.