Arcadia Creek Festival Guide

1. Overview

Thank you for choosing the Arcadia Creek Festival Place (ACFP) for your event! We’re excited to help you host a fun, successful event! This manual will help you plan your event, submit a complete application, and avoid headaches or surprises later. Please read it before applying.

All events in Kalamazoo should be welcoming to everyone and promote the overall wellbeing of our community. Events should attempt to meet the following criteria:

  • Have a theme that enriches the quality of life in the community and that is maintained for the duration of the event
  • Have a variety of revenue sources rather than depending solely on late-night alcohol sales.
  • Complement Downtown Kalamazoo businesses
  • Enhance the image of the Downtown Kalamazoo environment through education and positive exposure
  • Appeal to families and individuals of all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds

Let us know if you have questions or need clarification on anything within this manual- we’re here to help!

Kzoo Parks 
311 or (269) 337-8000

Kalamazoo Experiential Learning Center
(269) 388-2830

2. Fees

Application Fee
due with application


$30 for Returning Events

$80 for New Events 

Security Deposit
due upon approval to secure your event date (deposit will be applied to rental fees)


Rental Fee
billed about six weeks after your event, rental fees are assessed for each day organizers have possession of the site, including set up and tear down days 



 Full Day Rental (4+ hours)


 Half Day Rental (less than 4 hours)


Other Post-Event Fees
billed with Rental Fee about six weeks after event or due privately to contractors


Power Washing/Cleaning

Street Closures


Public Safety Services ($80/hr per officer)

  Actual Costs


3. Submitting an Application

ACFP is programmed and managed by Kzoo Parks, the City of Kalamazoo’s Parks & Recreation Department. Applications must be submitted at least 60 days before your event date.

  1. Contact Kzoo Parks to check availability for your event date. If you are a new Event Coordinator, you’ll need to meet with staff prior to completing the application. Dates for use of the Arcadia Creek Festival Place are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, after first rights of refusal for returning events.
  2. In order to host a festival or event at the ACFP, you must submit the application (found at the end of this user manual), including a detailed description of the event and activities. Additional permits and a site plan may be required as well.
  3. Submit the application to Kzoo Parks with the $100 application fee (payable to the City of Kalamazoo) at least 60 days prior to the planned event. Staff will follow up with you to accept payment for applications submitted electronically. Applications will not be processed until the application fee has been received.
  4. The application will be reviewed by City of Kalamazoo staff for approval, approval with conditions, or denial within 14 days.
  5. Once approval/denial from the City of Kalamazoo has been given, the event coordinator will be notified by telephone and e-mail.

The right to occupy and use the premises for approved events is temporary and revocable at the will of the Kzoo Parks/City of Kalamazoo without prior notice or cause. Site users do not and will not acquire property rights to the premises. Changes to this agreement must be made in writing and signed by both the Kzoo Parks/City of Kalamazoo and the site user.

Returning Events

We try to make sure returning events get approved with their preferred dates. We hold dates for returning events through December 31. Starting January 1, we consider all applications and dates on a first-come, first-served basis. If you plan to host your event again, we encourage you to apply for the next year shortly after your event ends.

A few other things to know

  • Small private parties like weddings, birthdays, reunions, and picnics that only need the pavilion can apply for any day of the year except Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays before 1 p.m. If the ACFP hasn’t been reserved within 90 days of your requested date, then you can apply for any day.
  • Both primary and secondary coordinators (as identified on the application) must be a at least 21 years old at the time of application. Any coordinator changes throughout the event planning process and event execution must be reported to Kzoo Parks/City of Kalamazoo. 


4. Set Up, Tear Down, and Hours of Operation

  • Event set-up must be completed at least one hour before the start of programmed activities. This gives ample time for inspections to ensure a safe event for everyone.
  • Events at ACFP must end by 10:30 p.m. Sundays – Thursdays and by 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The site must be vacated by all persons (including guests and invitees) no later than 30 minutes after closing time, except for event staff, security, and cleanup personnel.
  • You are required to keep to the hours of operation promoted through your event advertising and application unless there is an emergency or risk to public safety as outlined in your Emergency Response Plan.
  • Either the primary or secondary coordinators must always be on-site while the event is open to the public.

Late-Night Events

  • We approve up to five late-night events per year, which allows them to operate one hour later than regular events. Events granted a late-night extension must end by 11:30 p.m. Sundays –Thursdays and by 12:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Late night events are approved based on event seniority specific to ACFP. All late-night events are reviewed on an annual basis by the Kzoo Parks/City of Kalamazoo.


5. Live Entertainment

  • Volume levels and adherence to the city noise ordinance are your responsibility.
  • By hosting an event, you agree to monitor sound levels and promptly address complaints.
  • You are required to lower entertainment volume upon request by the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, Kzoo Parks/City of Kalamazoo, or the On-Site Team. Failure to comply will result in the forfeiture of your security deposit.
  • You are responsible for providing an appropriate sound system for your event and for the placement and operation of speakers, sub-woofers, and amps within acceptable volume levels.
  • You must include your right to control decibel levels in all entertainment contracts. 

Event Notices & Noise Complaints

  • A notice will be mailed to surrounding residents before each event. The notice will include the event details and how to report a noise complaint.
  • When a complaint is received, a Public Safety Officer will go to the complaint location. If the volume is determined to be too loud (a reasonable person would conclude it is too loud), you will be contacted by phone or in-person and required to reduce the volume.
  • Enforcement action will only be taken if compliance is not voluntary.

Movies & Films

  • Events that will show movies or films will need to provide the movie’s title and rating with their application, plus a copy of the license to show the film, its intended audience, and the equipment that will be used.
  • By showing a movie, you agree to include a preview message to the movie/film showing information about its appropriateness. 


6. Electrical Information

  • There are GFI Double-Duplex 20 amp/120-volt receptacles located on every other brick fence column within the site.
  • Each acorn light post has a single GFI 20 amp/120-volt receptacle at 10 feet above grade.
  • The stage also has specific outlets to support sound systems (see the Arcadia Stage section)
  • There are several electrical panels located throughout the site. Licensed electricians must be used when tying into any electrical panels:

Cabinet 1 | Located in a planting bed east of the pavilion

  • Panel EA (200 amps 120/240-volt single-phase power)
  • Panel EAA (200 amps 120/240-volt single-phase power)
  • Control for Arcadia Pond water fountain (do not change)
  • Switches for lighting control:
    • West side entrance column sconces
    • North & east fence column
    • Globes plaza are acorn posts
    • South area acorn posts
    • Pavilion up/down lighting 

Cabinet 2 | Located in a planting bed along the west fence line

  • Primary electrical meter • Panel WA (400 amps 120/208 volt three-phase power)
  • Breaker for fountain controller is in Panel WA
  • 2 GFI double duplex 20-amp/240-volt receptacles
  • Irrigation system controller

Cabinet 3 | Located on Edwards St, directly west of the Globe Building

  • Panel EB (225 amps 120/240-volt single-phase power)
  • Panel EBB (400 amps 120/240-volt single-phase power)
  • 24 GFI double duplex 20-amp/120-volt receptacles
  • 8 single 30-amp/120-volt receptacles (requires fabricated 30-amp extension cord)
  • 10 single 50-amp/240-volt receptacles (requires fabricated 50-amp extension cord) 

Cabinet 3A | Located on the rear of Cabinet 3

  • Panel MDP (800 amps 120/240-volt single-phase power)
  • Panel MDP is the feeder panel for panels EB and EBB

Cabinet 4 | Located in the planting bed next to the stage

  • Panel L (225 amps 120/208-volt three-phase power)
  • Remote switch to Cabinet 1 for plaza lighting control
  • 5 switches for lighting control:
    • Back row of stage down lighting (2 fixtures with dimmer)
    • Front row of stage down lighting (3 fixtures with dimmer)
    • West side fiber optic (do not change)
    • East side fiber optic (do not change)
    • Foot lighting fixtures on loading ramp (must remain on during evening events) 


  • All doors to the site’s electrical cabinets must remain closed from the time the event begins until the time that the event ends and locked at close-out.
  • The only time an electrical cabinet can be open during an event is for temporary maintenance service. It is your responsibility to make sure that an open electrical cabinet is never left unsupervised.
  • Any electrical panels modified for the event must be returned to their original configuration by event check-out.


7. Arcadia Pavilion

  • The Arcadia Pavilion is a multi-use event staging area. It was designed to provide a flexible beverage service area.
  • The entrances can accommodate a six-tap wagon (up to 9 feet tall and 16 feet wide). The Pavilion can fit two wagons depending on event needs.
  • Cooking is not allowed under the pavilion.
  • The pavilion has permanent, adjustable lighting. Additional lighting is not needed.
  • The rigging hooks in the pavilion can support up to 200 lbs.
  • Vehicles cannot remain attached to trailers during your event.
  • The cement pad south of the pavilion can support a refrigerated truck for beverages.


8. Arcadia Stage

The Arcadia Stage is a large, permanent stage with built-in lighting and electrical connections. Kzoo Parks/City of Kalamazoo staff will help you take advantage of the stage for your event if needed.


  • The Arcadia Stage has permanent built-in lighting and additional lighting may be set up if needed. You must provide written detail when connecting additional lighting to rigging points.
  • You must detail your request for fiber optic lighting in writing if it is to be different from the system’s normal running cycle.
  • You are not permitted to change the fiber optic light settings. Evidence that they have been changed may result in forfeit of security deposit.

West Lighting Enclosure

  • 200-amp 120/208-volt three-phase power
  • Three-phase power with Crouse-Hinds Cam-Lock connections (Black, White, Blue, Red, Green)
  • Fiber Optic Illuminator to feed ½ of fiber optic lighting (do not change)

East Lighting Enclosure

  • 200-amp 120/208-volt three-phase power
  • Three-phase power with Crouse-Hinds Cam-Lock connections (Black, White, Blue, Red, Green)


The Stage’s electrical outlets are specifically designed to support professional sound systems for the permanent Arcadia Stage and a secondary stage:

  • 4 GFI double-duplex 20-amp/120-volt receptacles on the back wall
  • 6 GFI double-duplex 20-amp/120-volt receptacles on the back wall of the stage planting bed


• The Arcadia Stage does not have a built-in sound system. You are responsible for providing and operating appropriate sound equipment for their events, and must comply with City ordinances related to volume and permitted hours of operation.


  • There are three rows of rigging points above the stage. Each can support up to 1,300 lbs.
  • High lifts are needed to reach the rigging points and the Event Coordinator must provide lift or placement services.
  • Any ropes or ties used must be removed during event tear down. Coordinators must provide written detail when connecting additional lighting to rigging points.


9. Temporary Stage

  • The 40-foot by 25-foot grassy area to the east of the Arcadia Stage can be used for a secondary stage.
  • Footing material is required to support stage legs (plywood squares, for example).
  • Be mindful of how a secondary stage may affect the overall event volume. Speakers should be adjusted to point in a southeasterly direction.
  • Any damages caused to this area from the use of a secondary staged will be repaired and billed with final event costs.


10. Fencing

  • The Event Coordinator is responsible for fencing needs beyond the permanent site fencing. The location of fencing must be submitted on a map with your application, including the fencing supplier.
  • Kzoo Parks/City of Kalamazoo may require additional fencing based on the event layout and details.
  • Kzoo Parks/City of Kalamazoo will install fencing around planting beds and the Arcadia Pond at no additional cost to the event. 

Fencing for Events with Alcohol

  • Fencing is required for events serving alcohol. This includes installing a temporary sixfoot fence around the entire premises.
  • These requirements are outlined by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) and you must submit maps that outline fencing locations. These must match maps submitted with the application.
  • Fencing is provided along the permanent fencing in compliance with MLCC regulations at no cost to the event.


11. Serving Food

  • All food vendors must follow the rules and regulations of the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services (HCS) Department.
  • We recommended that food vendors that will be cooking on-site be located on Edwards Street to minimize the potential for damage or cleaning costs.
  • Vendors cooking on site are required to lay tarps or tar paper below cooking areas to prevent staining of the cement surfaces.
  • Cooking is not allowed on brick surfaces.
  • All areas must be free of food debris by checkout time.
  • You are responsible for the actions of your event’s vendors.
  • Tar paper must be disposed of in accordance with Kalamazoo County HCS Department regulations.
  • Gray water must be disposed of in accordance with Kalamazoo County HCS Department regulations. The site has a dumpster that can be used to hold gray water, and there is a dumping station located next to the pavilion.
  • A detailed list of event vendors is required at check-in.
  • A copy of appropriate licenses issued by Kalamazoo County HCS must be provided to Kzoo Parks/City of Kalamazoo.
  • Failure to comply will result in the forfeiture of the security deposit.  


12. Serving Alcohol

  • You must apply for a special liquor license from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) to serve alcohol. You must be a non-profit organization to apply.
  • Alcohol may only be sold or dispensed in compliance with all laws, rules, and regulations, including those of the MLCC.
  • Alcohol sales must stop a half hour before the end of the event, or earlier if mandated by the MLCC.
  • Events must strictly follow MLCC fencing requirements.
  • Someone on the event staff must be TIPS (Training Intervention Procedures) or TAM (Techniques of Alcohol Management) trained.
  • Violations may result in the suspension of alcohol services and forfeit of the security deposit.
  • ACFP is not located in the Downtown Social District, and Central Commons cups cannot be brought into the site.


13. Insurance and Indemnification

You must provide proof of the following insurance coverage at least 30 days before occupancy of the site:

  • Liability Insurance Certificate: $1,000,000
  • Liquor Liability Certificate: $500,000
  • Liability Insurance Certificate: $1,000,000 for Edwards Street closure
  • Both general and liquor liability certificates must hold harmless and additionally insure the following parties:
    • City of Kalamazoo
    • Kzoo Parks (City of Kalamazoo Parks & Recreation Department)
    • Downtown Tomorrow, Inc. » Kalamazoo Downtown Economic Growth Authority
    • Kalamazoo Downtown Development Authority
    • Central City Parking/AMPCO Parking
    • Agents, officials, and employees of the foregoing organizations


14. Inflatables

  • If your event will include an “Bounce-a-Round” or any similar inflatable structures, you must provide the following at least 30 days in advance of your event:
  • Liability insurance from the vendor providing the inflatable
  • Liability insurance from the event’s insurer indicating they are aware of and providing coverage for the device


15. Parking

  • You are responsible for ensuring that volunteers, vendors, and staff follow posted parking signs around the site.
  • Support vehicles can park along Koopsen’s Alley, Eleanor Street, Kalamazoo Avenue, and Edwards Street.
  • Improperly parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed, and nearby property owners will tow from private lots. Contact Central City Parking at least 30 days before your event to reserve metered spaces and make parking arrangements.


16. Restrooms

  • For events lasting longer than two hours, one restroom is required for every 500 people.
  • A restroom must be available to persons with disabilities.
  • Health and sanitations regulations are set by Kalamazoo County HCS. If there is food service, placement of restrooms must follow those regulations.
  • If there are more than 12 restrooms on site, they must be placed on Koopsen’s Alley (south of the Eleanor St entrance) or on Edwards St. Restrooms placed on Koopsen’s Alley should have antislamming buffers.
  • For fewer than 12 restrooms, the cement area south of the Eleanor St entrance, under the pavilion, or on the concrete pad south of the pavilion are options.
  • All restrooms must be removed during event tear down unless a prior agreement has been reached with Kzoo Parks/City of Kalamazoo.

Table showing recommended number of restrooms based on event attendance

17. Pressure Washing and Cleaning

  • You are responsible for restoring the site to its original condition.
  • At the conclusion of an event, Kzoo Parks/City of Kalamazoo will evaluate the condition of the site and arrange for it to be power washed as needed to return it to its original condition.
  • Using tar paper beneath cooking areas and taking precautions to protect surfaces will keep pressure washing costs to a minimum.
  • Our team will also make every effort to reduce the cleaning costs passed on to your event.


18. Pyrotechnics, Fireworks, and Open Flames

  • Pyrotechnics, fireworks and other exploding entertainment items are strictly prohibited within the ACFP.
  • Open flames are permitted for cooking only.


19. Safety and Security

  • Events must follow the Crowd Manager Guidelines and have one crowd manager for every 250 people.
  • You’re required to provide certified, professional, on-site security staff for the overall safety and security of guests at events that serve alcohol.
  • Events without alcohol will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis when your application is reviewed. The security staff requirement is based on historical or anticipated attendance.
  • Security staff must be able to provide at any time a current State of Michigan license to provide security services.
  • At least two security staff must remain on-site overnight for multi-day events that require equipment to be left staged.
  • Security firms must provide evidence of Commercial General Liability Insurance at least 30 days before occupancy of the site with limits at least $2 million Combined Single Limit and must hold harmless and additionally insure the following parties:
    • City of Kalamazoo
    • Kzoo Parks (City of Kalamazoo Parks & Recreation Department)
    • Downtown Tomorrow, Inc.
    • Kalamazoo Downtown Economic Growth Authority
    • Kalamazoo Downtown Development Authority
    • Central City Parking/AMPCO Parking
    • Agents, officials, and employees of the foregoing organizations


Emergency Preparation

  • You must develop an Emergency Response Plan for your event to inform staff, vendors, and volunteers what to do in case of an emergency like severe weather.
  • All volunteers, vendors, and security staff should be trained and/or provided a copy of the plan.
  • Your Emergency Response Plan should include the following elements:
  • Procedures for monitoring weather conditions and actions that will be taken to protect staff, volunteers, vendors, and guests from severe weather (severe storm watch/warning, tornado watch/warning, etc.)
  • Procedures to prevent incidents like armed encounters or bomb threats, and actions that will be taken to respond if they arise.
  • Procedures for how the site will be evacuated if necessary, and the evacuation location. You must get permission from the property owner before designating it an evacuation area.
  • Public Safety is always ready to assist should an emergency arise. In the case of an emergency, one of the designated Event Coordinators should call 911.
  • Kzoo Parks/City of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Downtown Development Authority, Kalamazoo Downtown Economic Growth Authority, and Central City Parking/AMPCO will not be held liable for any emergency that occurs during ACFP rental. It is your responsibility to make the best decision during any emergency decision that may occur.

Shut Down Procedures

  • You are responsible for making the decision to shut the event down due to weather, unless conditions create an urgent safety risk (like in the event of a tornado). In that case, Public Safety may require the event to shut down and ACFP to be evacuated.


20. Signage

  • Signs cannot be permanently affixed to any ACFP infrastructure like brick columns or light posts without prior approval.
  • Kzoo Parks/City of Kalamazoo may require signs to be removed if they are deemed to be offensive or inappropriate.
  • Signs cannot be attached to traffic control or road closure signs. • Please be careful when installing signs within planting beds.
  • Signage cannot be tapped/staked into the ground or any structural element within the site.
  • Protruding signs or objects must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards.


21. Tents

  • A Temporary Structure Permit is required for tents in ACFP
  • A site drawing outlining the specific placement, type, and size of tents must be submitted at least 30 days in advance of occupancy.
  • All tents must be clean and in good condition.
  • Tents that require a tie-down system must be placed on Edwards Street and positioned to use the tent-lag system only.
  • The tent-lag system is set at 7.5 feet on-center. It is possible for tents positioned at 10 feet on-center to use the system by adjusting the tents accordingly.
  • Tents can never be staked within the site or attached to permanent structures.
  • Edwards Street must be completely closed before tents can be installed.
  • Personally owned tents must be properly self-anchored.
  • Tent information and vendor contact information must be provided with your application.
  • Refer to Chapter 24 of the Fire & Life Safety packet for fire and safety guidelines.
  • Events that do not follow these guidelines may face forfeiture of the security deposit or removal of the tent. The use of unapproved vendors may result in the immediate removal of the tent or cancellation of the event.


22. Trash & Recycling

  • You are responsible for the daily cleaning of the site and nearby areas as indicated on the site map.
  • When a blower system is used, be careful to protect the pebble paths and planting areas.
  • Trash removal can’t be conducted overnight between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • The size of the clean-up crew should be based on historical or anticipated event attendance.
  • You must provide adequate trash and recycling receptacles and dumpsters.
  • Trash receptacles must remain in the approved event area. Event boxes with liners are acceptable trash receptacles.
  • You are responsible for removing trash from ACFP permanent litter bins before they overflow and replacing liners.
  • All trash and recycling must be removed from the site by the end of the tear down day. Events with Sunday tear downs must have trash removed by the following Monday at 8 a.m.
  • Should trash be removed from the dumpster and found elsewhere within the event area, you are still responsible for its clean-up and removal.
  • You must regularly patrol the site and remove trash during event hours.
  • The site must be returned to its pre-event state of cleanliness after the event is complete and pressure-washing is finished. Any cleanup necessary afterward will be completed and charged to the event. You will be notified before the additional cleaning takes place.


23. Vehicles

  • Vehicles are only allowed on site during set-up and tear down.
  • All vehicles must strictly follow pavement limitations as shown on the site maps.
  • During the event, only pre-listed vehicles are permitted on site. Please provide this information with your application.
  • Please consult with Kzoo Parks/City of Kalamazoo at least 30 days before the event to determine the proper placement of vehicles at the festival site.
  • Event coordinators will be held responsible for any damage to sod and/or underground irrigation as a result of parking on the grass.
  • All vehicles must have the keys removed from the ignition when unmanned. Any violation of this policy will result in the loss of security deposit.
  • Tractors cannot be attached to storage trailers during the event.
  • Trucks and trailers cannot remain parked on Kalamazoo Ave. Please consult with Kzoo Parks/City of Kalamazoo staff to identify appropriate parking for these vehicles.
  • Spotters are required when backing up.
  • Semi-trucks are allowed in the back loading area adjacent to the stage.
  • Beverage trucks are permitted adjacent to the pavilion on the cement only.
  • Trucks with 2-3 axles can back up behind the stage providing they do not block Kalamazoo Ave.
  • Talent buses temporarily park on Kalamazoo Ave during the performance.
  • All vehicles must follow vehicular traffic rules.
  • Any vehicle leakage or markings (oil, grease, antifreeze, tire marks, etc.) on the site that are not removed by standard pressure washing will be removed at the cost of the user. 


24. Site Layout Map

ACFP Site Map


25. Pavement Limitations Map

ACFP Pavement Limitations Map


26. Cleaning Area Map

ACFP Cleaning Area Map