There were big changes at longstanding local businesses as other industries tried to get back to "normal" as 2021 rolled on in Southwest Michigan. 

As we begin a hopeful new year in 2022, we take a look back at the biggest stories of 2021 here in Kalamazoo, around Michigan, and across the rock and roll world. These were the big stories in May and June of 2021 that everyone was talking about.

Big Changes at Longstanding Local Businesses

Back to Normal? What Is Normal?

  • We were afraid the historic Barn Theatre in Augusta was history, but they announced a return to live, in-person shows to mark their 75th year. Allegan County Fair released a statement promising to open the midway after shipping a season for only the second time in their 178-year history. Michigan International Speedway also gave the green flag to the return of race fans to the track.

New Flavors Come to Kalamazoo

Rock & Roll

The woman famous for cartwheeling across the hood of a Jaguar on MTV in all those '80s Whitesnake videos, Tawny Kitaen, died at 59WKRP in Cincinnati star Frank Bonner who made Herb Tarlek loveable also passed away. In less depressing rock news, a 1987 bootleg of Deep Purple playing Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo was unearthed.

In Memoriam: 2021 Deaths

Remembering the musicians, actors, producers and others who have died in 2021.
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