Friday, 24 January 2014 17:17

February Eclectic Roundup

Written by  Audria Larsen
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Papercuts exhibit at Muskegon Museum of Art Papercuts exhibit at Muskegon Museum of Art

Outhouse 500 & Chili Cook-Off
Downtown Coopersville
Feb. 22
10 a.m.-2 p.m., (616) 997-5164

Usually by February, Michiganders have been plunged into the depths of winter-related madness. The annual Coopersville Outhouse 500 and Chili Cook-Off is proof of ice on the brain. Each year, groups of participants race thematically decorated outhouses along Main Street. And kiddos can get in on the deranged fun with a mini-outhouse race. There is a decorated toilet seat competition and subsequent auction, a polar plunge for the brave and of course, the chili cook-off to heat things up. To sweeten the day, doughnuts, hot cocoa and coffee will be available, plus a breakfast buffet and lunch offerings, all at nearby locations. A euchre tournament rounds out the day filled with numerous other events like a parade and snowmobile showcase.

Papercuts: The Art of Contemporary Papercutting
Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon
Through March 16, (231) 720-2570

The fine art of papercutting is featured at the Muskegon Museum of Art this month, showcasing careful craftsmanship and design creativity executed by seven artists. More than 30 works of art will be on display, created with wide variety of papers and tools like knives or lasers. Ranging from the abstract to narrative commentaries, including complex installations, these captivating pieces will change the way you think about a simple product used in everyday life. Hailing from a tradition reaching back as far as 6th century China, the international group of contemporary artists brings a modern perspective to the craft. Enjoy free tours of the exhibit, led by MMA docents, on Thursdays in February, 1-3 p.m.

Yeti or Not: Snowshoe Race
Robinette's Apple Haus and Winery, Grand Rapids
Feb. 15, 9 a.m.
$18 online registration/$25 on-site, (616) 438-5295

Whether you want to toughen up for your next yeti battle, are an avid runner or simply want to dominate snow harder, the Yeti or Not Snowshoe Race is for seasoned sprinters and novices alike. "We want it to be competitive, but we also want it to be something that creates community," said Karen Osborn, race director. "It's something to do rather than sit inside. The woods are so gorgeous. You stop and look around and see the beauty of it all." Competition and nature aside, Osborn says snowshoe racing is a cardio workout that is "super fun" and a "different energy." Osborn hopes to eventually host annual qualifier races for the Snowshoe Nationals. In the meantime she says, "I'm trying to create the community of snowshoeing and the idea of snowshoeing. I'm just trying to get people out there." And, with varied terrain, plus cider and doughnuts, Robinette's provides an ideal spot for racing, Osborn said. The race will be held regardless of snow levels.

Miller Auditorium, Kalamazoo
Feb. 11-12, 7:30 p.m.
$35-$58, (269) 387-2300

Sometimes you just need a mega dose of a musical theater to shake things up. Memphis promises to be just that. The song-and-dance Broadway show is based on a true story centering on the underground dance clubs in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1950s. Described as a "thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love," the story deals with race and rock 'n' roll, centering on a white radio DJ and black club singer who have outsized ambition and a whole lot of passion. Winner of four 2010 Tony Awards, Memphis' "explosive" dancing and "irresistible songs" will melt away wintertime angst.

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