Why Big Festivals Left Arcadia Creek Festival Site

Jul 28, 2016
A photo from Ribfest 2015. Ribfest and Blues Fest still take place at the Arcadia Creek Festival Place.
Kayla Kiley

At a glance, it looks as though Kalamazoo’s festivals are leaving Arcadia Creek Festival site in droves. Over the past two years, Irish Fest moved to Old Dog Tavern. Island Fest moved to Mayor’s Riverfront Park. Taste of Kalamazoo is on hiatus. Greek Fest used to offer days of food and music. Now it will be a sit down dinner for just a thousand people. All of these festivals took place at Arcadia Creek Festival site downtown. 

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Some people knit. Others raise llamas, gather their wool, dye it, spin it and then knit.

Air Show and Balloon Fest continues through Sunday

Concerns over condemned building caused move

Courtesy of Theo & Stacy's

38 years ago, Theo and Stacy Skartsiaris  decided to host a night of food and entertainment at their fine dining restaurant, Dionysos . The couple emigrated from Greece in the sixties and wanted others to be able to appreciate and understand their culture.

"Kalamazoo is changing very much - but 1973 to 80's, people were not willing to try different foods. We were the first ones to decide to bring our Greek culture to Kalamazoo - with Greek food, Greek music, dancing and everything, and Kalamazoo embraced our Greek culture very well," says Mrs. Skartsiaris, who is the proprietor of the family's Theo & Stacy's restaurants.  

"We started to have a Greek night in the basement of Dionysos, but the basement was small," says Mrs. Skartsiaris.

"So we decide 'Let's do it outside in the back of the parking lot.' At that time, Kalamazoo didn't have any festivals, not at all-none. A lot of people thought Theo - my husband - was crazy - and he was crazy," she says with a laugh.