Downtown Holland will be crawling with fire trucks Friday, Oct. 4 from 7 to 9 p.m. No, the stroopwafel factory isn't on fire. It's the Holland Fire Truck Parade! Fire Prevention Week kicks off with the 31st Annual Fire Prevention Week Kickoff Parade. But kids of all ages come for the fire trucks. The festive procession will include more than 50 big, shiny vehicles from Ottawa, Allegan and Kent Counties' fire and public safety departments. Look for a heavy rescue truck from Ford International Airport, as well as massive police wreckers. Hmm, rugged. The parade will begin at 8th and Columbia streets, continue west on 8th Street to Pine Avenue, then end at the Holland Civic Center. There will be fire and safety demonstrations: watch an extrication exercise, a hazmat team in action and crawl through the smoke trailer. "We love showing kids why they can't play with matches or lighters," said Firefighter Mark Klomparens. "Sometimes it's easier to go through the kids than trying to reach the parents."
After the parade, stick around downtown Holland to enjoy the gourmet dining options. With kids in tow, you may be more interested to know that there's a new Jimmy John's at 23 E. Eighth St. The gourmet sandwich shop was opened by MVK Management, which operates six other JJ locations from Grand Rapids to Zeeland. Look for another location to open on Holland's 16th Street next spring. "Jimmy Johns has a reputation for a unique and fun customer experience with each order prepared fast, fresh and flawless," said Operating Partner Ben Soyars. Poppa Steve will take a #5 Vito with extra HOT peppers.
In Grand Rapids, college kids kick it at Menna' Joint (44 Ionia St., Grand Rapids) adjacent to McFadden's and across from HopCat as the bar flies. Started in East Lansing in 2003, Menna's has surfed a cult-like obsession by its customers to open shops in Allendale, Kalamazoo and Mount Pleasant. Maybe Big Rapids will be next if a university opens there. "Downtown Grand Rapids was a natural extension for us considering our success in Allendale near the main Grand Valley State campus and the college's expansion into downtown," Hank Andries, Menna's co-founder said. Known as the only legal joint in town, my pets, Menna's Joint is "Home of the DUB," a freshly grilled tortilla wrap sandwich. Dub dilettantes describe it as a massive American-style burrito served with grilled chicken, chicken tenders, tender steak, cheese, potatoes or vegetables. It's obscenely delicious and wildly addictive. The menu also includes Loaded Fries, the MJ Classic Salad, Soups and Mama Menna's Cookies made fresh daily.
PaLatté Coffee and Art (150 East Fulton St.) is a new independent and family owned coffee shop and art gallery. Owners Federico and Maria Farias, both independent artists, combined their passions for art and coffee to create PaLatté Coffee and Art in the Heartside District. In fact, the shop's name is a fanciful combination of the words palette and latté. While they are creative, Federico and Maria are serious about their coffee. PaLatté's java comes from boutique roaster Uncommon Grounds of Saugatuck. The Farias will serve traditional and specialty espresso beverages (hot and iced), a variety of brewed gourmet coffee, artisan hot and iced teas, blended coffee beverages, pastries and bagels brought in fresh daily by local bakeries and a variety of soups for lunch. Look for the diaphanous Miss Carolita sipping a small non-fat latté, extra SWEET like her dashing fiancé.
The sun has set on Marado Sushi (47 Monroe, Grand Rapids), which rolled its last sushi-meshi and sliced its final sashimi. XO Restaurant bought the cooking equipment. Think about that while eating your sweet and sour chicken, you vultures.
Sundance Grill's downtown Grand Rapids location moved catty corner into the Waterloo of the Gilmore Collection, the ground floor space in the Waters Building (151 Ottawa Ave NW). The larger space will allow the menu to expand and add additional banqueting capacity.
Get ready for Halloween by checking out The Carve at the Holland Farmers Market on Saturday, Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Some of the nation's best professional pumpkin carvers will demonstrate their pumpkin-carving skills, compete in speed carving events and showing off their best work for a People's Choice Award. Pumpkin carvers from the community are also invited to enter their jack-o-lanterns into the amateur competition for a chance to win cash prizes.
GrooveWalk happens throughout downtown Holland Saturday, Oct. 19 from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. Your $10 wristband lets you see 12 awesome bands performing live in 12 different restaurants, pubs and entertainment venues throughout downtown Holland. Groove walk it or ride the GrooveXpress with on-board musical entertainment.