Bonus Saves CANvas Project
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Day Trip: Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair

Do you ever get the itch to get out of town? Even if it’s for a day, are you unsure of where to go? If you live in Detroit, Kalamazoo is only TWO HOURS away. The weather was gorgeous June 8 and we couldn’t resist burning up I-94. There was a lot of free fun happening!

We started the day with Do-Dah Parade, a parody to create something laughable and fun to spark conversation. Have you been? It’s a blast. It started in 1984, modeled after the Pasadena, California Doo Dah, known for its eccentric and sometimes irreverent satire. Our favorites from this year’s parade was the infamous Kalamazoo Banana Car

Kalamazoo Banana Car

moms dressed in overalls (like Meryl Streep in Mama Mia) singing Money, Money Money down the parade route and numerous groups raising awareness for inclusion and human rights. The “Life is Electrifying” theme ran throughout and the crowd was full of joy and love.

Love is Love

Afterwards, everyone spilled into Bronson Park to shop over 180 jury-selected artists from across the country. Entry is always free,

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair

plus there are food trucks, entertainment and a kids make-and-take tent where they create three projects. The hit was creating a treasure pouch and being let loose in the KIA Fair with a map to collect hidden treasures.

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair

Our favorite part of the day was watching Bonus Saves finish CANvas Project: a replica of The Peck House, first art center for Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. His medium? 4,000 cans of fruits and vegetables creating a 9-foot model of the 1947 building!

Bonus Saves CANvas Project

We watched intently as he brought a digital rendering to life while Padraig repeatedly said, “Mama! He’s not using glue!” Bonus Saves worked with Berni Proeschl, Associate Professor of Design at Western Michigan University, and Chad Burke of Quarterkick to recreate the mansion from photos and produce a base shell.

Bonus Saves CANvas Project

We didn’t see the masterpiece complete before we left, but we’re thrilled all cans were donated to Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes

If you’re looking for fun ideas in Kalamazoo, I suggest Kalamazoo Valley Museum – FREE admission, plus most programs and events are free too. Do you have a favorite affordable day trip destination? Tell me about it. I’m looking for the next road trip!

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