KALAMAZOO, Mich — Every year on December 6, Joseph and Tami Idzkowski celebrate their dating anniversary. Typically they’d get dress up and go out to a local restaurant, Tami said.
However, this year was No. 32, she said. So they dressed up as a prom king and queen, complete with sashes and crowns, and headed to Bell's Brewery.
“This is a fantastic day for Kalamazoo,” Joseph said about Eccentric Day. “And all of Bell's Brewery, Larry Bell and everything he does for everybody.”
Friday was the annual Eccentric Day at Bell's Brewery. Doors opened at 9 a.m. and hundreds of people walked through the door dressed in their favorite costumes.
Larry Bell, president of Bell’s Brewery Incorporated, said a day to celebrate individuality.
“It’s about exploring the deep dark corners of your personality and your closet,” Bell said. “So let’s get rid of the social norms for dress. What do you wanna dress up as? Right, what do you like? So it’s one day that you can let your freak flag fly.”
Unicorns, mermaids, superheroes, and villains were among the costumes seen at the event. Bell dressed in green stripe button-up shirt with a pattern green tie and a mustard yellow blazer, fedora and glasses.
“It’s come as you aren’t,” said Bells Brewery sales specialist Kate Flood who dressed as domestic goddess and walked around with a gold toilet bowl cleaner. “So it’s the part of you that you hide the rest of the year. You can really just come in all these different characters and go kind of crazy.”
Even though the event is called the 13th Annual Eccentric Day, it’s the 30th year they’ve been hosting the event, which lasts until 2 a.m. the next day.
Flood suggested if anyone attends, they dress accordingly.
“It’s fun. It’s quirky. It's Kalamazoo,” she said. “My favorite thing is people who don’t know it’s happening and walking in with this look of sheer horror on their face. Then we tell them they’re welcome.”