It's almost like it was a different world. Plays at the Civic, K-Wings hockey and the wait for legalized marijuana were in the news a year ago in Kalamazoo.

Kobe Bryant's sudden and tragic death on January 26th left a nation shocked. We know now that was just the beginning of a no good, terrible, very bad year. In Kalamazoo, though, we were optimistic about things to come- there was still plenty of toilet paper, restaurants to go to and shows to see. Here are some of the big stories we were talking about a year ago.

While Kalamazoo was still wondering just exactly when we were going to get the green light, the Battle Creek Provisioning Center opened for legal recreational marijuana sales in the Cereal City. (Remember the "high as hell" guy from Niles that was on Jimmy Kimmel? He was happy about it.) Mooville's Mountain Dew ice cream was perfect for the munchies.

In sports, fans were still packing stadiums and arenas to cheer on their favorite teams. Excitement was building over the Super Bowl matchup of Kansas City and San Francisco. Patrick Mahomes, who was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 2014, would go on to win the game and the MVP award. At home, the Kalamazoo Wings expanded their annual St. Patrick's tradition to an entire green ice weekend. The Grand Rapids Warthogs haven't been active on social  media since July of 2020, so we're not quite sure if the new professional roller hockey team has survived.

We still had lots of entertainment options in January of 2020, including live bands at bars (we miss this). There were chili cookoffs, winter festivals, movies in a theater and plays like the comedy Born Yesterday at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre.

Manufacturing was thriving in Kalamazoo and Bronson Healthcare added 130+ new jobs at the beginning of the year. Michigan hasn't gotten those toll roads yet. Did Battle Creek every get that $93,000 for the "Merry Christmas" presidential rally at Kellogg Arena?

Those are some of the biggest stories we were talking about in Kalamazoo in January of 2020, before anyone had heard a Wuhan, China, only the bad guys wore masks and Coronavirus was just one of those big long words on the back of cleaning products that nobody reads. Although, world's tallest toilet paper pyramid built in Midland may have been an ominous sign of things to come.

We hope you enjoyed a quick look back, here's to a better future for all!

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