Wednesday, 05 June 2019 12:15

The 50th Annual Festival of the Arts is heating up

Written by  Abi Safago
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Now that the summer heat is arriving, everyone is looking for some way to get outside and enjoy the sun. One of the best ways is to spend some time this weekend enjoying the rich culture in downtown Grand Rapids while the 50th Annual Festival of the Arts kicks off.

Many people local to Grand Rapids, or who are just visiting, are familiar with the stunning and large red piece named La Grande Vitesse, by Alexander Calder. It is one of the trademarks of Grand Rapids, and has inspired the Festival of the Arts for the past 50 years.

For those who are hungry for art and food, this event is the perfect place to be. Many food trucks will be at this festival throughout the weekend in Monroe Center, next to the GRAM. There will also be 16 food booths featuring cultural foods and beverages, so you can try something you’ve never had before. Not only will you be enjoying great food, you’ll also be supporting local vendors and cultural institutions.

The Festival of the Arts is open to everyone, including dogs! It is the perfect getaway for those moving into a new place and looking to buy art to fill the new walls. The festival is set to have more than 50 artists and vendors at the Calder Plaza selling their work during this festival, making sure you are bound to find something you’ll love.

It’s also an amazing place to go as a family. The festival will also have free and interactive activities for kids, such as a Paint-In and Glue-In. Along with this, kids can be inspired by the art showcased throughout the weekend; including the 367 pieces of artwork that will be shown in the Fed Galleries at Kendall College. There will also be live music and dances throughout the festival, so kids can burn off some energy by dancing their day away.

For those who are also looking for a laid back time to enjoy the amazing bar scene that Grand Rapids has, Amber of the Arts by Perrin Brewing, the official festival beer, will be offered at several downtown bars and restaurants this weekend.

Plus, if you’re a fan of dance at all, you’re bound to be coming by this weekend to see a can’t-miss performance — the Grand Rapids Ballet is offering a free show of original work on June 8th at 7 p.m. on Calder Stage.

This event will kick off this Friday, June 7 at noon. The opening ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Calder Stage with Mayor Bliss. For more information about the history of the Festival of the Arts or for more details about times and locations, visit

Festival of the Arts
Grand Rapids
June 7-9

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