Current Events

Visit Downtown Grand Rapids During ArtPrize Eight

September 27th, 2016 by Katie K Team


The Katie K team is excited to celebrate another year of ArtPrize and share one of the fabulous entries we’ve seen downtown in Grand Rapids, MI! ArtPrize Eight is well underway, and there’s still plenty of time to walk around the city and check out all of the different pieces and installations. Above, you can see just one section of the 288-inch wide painting ‘Four Play’ by artist Charles Yoder. The painting shows the transition of the four seasons in a woodland setting during four different times of day. This piece and more can be seen at the DeVos Convention Center in downtown Grand Rapids, and makes an excellent starting point for your tour of the city.

ArtPrize is an independently organized, international art competition decided by public vote and an expert jury. Open by design, the contest features 1,453 artist entries from 44 countries and 40 U.S. states all across the downtown area of Grand Rapids, Michigan. ArtPrize runs from September 21st through October 9th, 2016. You can read more about ArtPrize Eight by visiting

Below, you can hear Katie talk about how great ArtPrize is both for residents of Grand Rapids and for visitors who may be thinking to re-locate here. Check out the audio clip via the player below:


3 Favorite Festivals in Grand Rapids and West Michigan

May 27th, 2016 by Katie K Team

Good times make Grand Rapids great. If you’re looking for fun and family-friendly events to entertain visitors this summer or just to get out and about, here are a few of Katie’s favorite festivals.

festivalGR_2016Attend the Festival of the Arts

June 3rd, 4th, & 5th, 2016

Make your way down to Calder Plaza on the first weekend of June for the 47th annual Festival of the Arts! Every year, Festival presents the best performers in West Michigan on six stages, both inside and out. Thanks to their generous sponsors, live music, dance, theatre arts, and more are all presented free of charge. Peruse the artwork for sale in Calder Plaza, find dozens of food booths operated by local nonprofit organizations, and maybe make a masterpiece of your own with provided art supplies. Also featured is the Festival Regional Art Exhibition, a juried show featuring the works of West Michigan’s finest artists. For more information on the Festival of the Arts, visit

cherryNational Cherry Festival in Traverse City

July 2nd through 9th, 2016

Visit scenic Traverse City this summer and partake in their annual Cherry Festival! Every year, the city is host to a massive celebration of farmers, laborers, neighbors and anyone that comes together because of cherries and their important role in the local economy.

The National Cherry Festival has over 150 events and activities and 85% are free for all! Come and see the U.S. Navy Blue Angels air show, parades, concerts, the arts & crafts show, and more! Kids can enjoy events like pie-eating contests, turtle races and more! Visit for more information.

coast-guardCoast Guard Festival in Grand Haven

July 29th through August 7th, 2016

Experience this massive celebration of the men and women serving in the U.S. Coast Guard during their annual festival in downtown Grand Haven! Attendees can enjoy parades, food, ship tours, a car show, fireworks, a carnival, and more.

Bring the kids down for a great time on August 2nd for kids’s day, where there will be games, displays, storytelling, face painting, arts and crafts, and other fun activities for the whole family. Senior day is on August 3rd, where there will be a pickleball tournament, free lunch, bingo, live music, and informational seminars.

For the complete schedule of events and more information on the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival, visit!

Get Your Tickets: Spring and Summer Serenades

April 12th, 2016 by Katie K Team

Grand Rapids has one of the most diverse collections of music and performance venues in the Midwest. Below, you can check out three of Katie’s favorite places to attend concerts in the spring and summer!

st-ceciliaSt. Cecilia Music Center

Royce Auditorium was first constructed in 1894 and has been called “the Carnegie Hall of the Mid-West.” Designed by famed Chicago Architect Henry Ives Cobb, the Auditorium is known for its intimacy with seating for less than 700, and the incredible acoustics.

St. Cecilia continues their Acoustic Café Series on April 14th with guitarist Leo Kottke, and ends May 5th with a performance by Alejandro Escovedo. Stop by their box office in downtown Grand Rapids for more info on upcoming performances this summer. Enjoy music from genres such as Chamber, Jazz, Folk, and more! For more information on upcoming shows, events, and to order tickets online, visit

fredrick-meijer-gardensFifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens:

June 1 – September 1, 2016

Spend a summer evening in the beautiful terraced amphitheater of the Fredrick Meijer Gardens, and enjoy intimate performances from groups like The Monkees, Of Monsters and Men, The Decemberists, Ben Harper, and more. This venue offers lawn seating and food, beverage and merchandise concessions, all surrounded by spectacular views of gardens and sculpture.

The series runs from June to September, and the full lineup is not yet announced. Meijer Garden Member Presale will begin on Saturday, April 30th and close Friday, May 13th. Sales will resume for members and the public on May 14th.

The annual Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens continues to bring the finest national and international musicians to West Michigan, thrilling music lovers across all genres and all generations. To see the full schedule of upcoming performances announced to-date, and for box office info, visit

DPH_InteriorDeVos Performance Hall

DeVos Performance Hall is a performing arts theater located in the heart of Grand Rapids and is home to The Grand Rapids Symphony, The Grand Rapids Ballet Company, Broadway Grand Rapids and Opera Grand Rapids.

Starting in May, Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera will come to DeVos Performance Hall as part of a brand-new North American Tour. This production boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier, and will be performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this one of the largest productions now on tour. Performances will take place between May 18th through May 29th. For more information on upcoming shows and for ticket info, visit

Spirited Spring Things to do in Grand Rapids, MI

March 31st, 2016 by Katie K Team

The time to hibernate is over: it’s time to celebrate spring in our Grand city! If you’re looking for something different, here are three fun things you can do to “get out there” this spring!

market250Visit the Downtown Market

Fresh, Natural Produce, Informative Classes, and More!

The Downtown Market in Grand Rapids is a mixed-use facility that brings together production, distribution, marketing and education about local produce. The expansive indoor facility features a 24-vendor market hall, and dozens of farmers and artisans line the outdoor farmer’s market shed.

There are many fun and exciting classes and events to attend at the market too, to see what’s happening next, Click Here to see their event calendar! Learn more about healthy cooking, urban farming, and more!

photo_mangiamoAttend a Wine Education Night at Mangiamo!

Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Want to learn more about wine? Attend a Wine Education Night at Mangiamo! This unique restaurant is housed in a beloved 19th-century mansion just east of downtown Grand Rapids. The Gilmore Collection has transformed the historic mansion into one of West Michigan’s best spots for fantastic Italian-inspired dining.

During the class, you can taste wines from all over the world and enjoy the beautiful setting. For more information, Click Here.

beeertours250Explore Beer City, USA

ExperienceGR’s Self-Guided Brewery Tour

Grand Rapids has certainly made some waves in the national and international beer scene. Voted 2012 Beer City USA and again in 2013, Grand Rapids is home to Founders Brewing Co., the 3rd best brewery in the world, and HopCat, voted both the #1 brewpub in the US and the 3rd best beer bar on Earth. has a great self-guided tour on their website called the Beer City Ale Trail, with a printable map and over 40 breweries to check out all over downtown Grand Rapids and West Michigan. You can download and print out the map here.

For an organized, fee-based tour, check out Grand Rapids Beer Tours to see upcoming events.

We’d like to remind everyone to be safe and enjoy beer responsibly!


Support Breast Cancer Month in Grand Rapids

October 14th, 2014 by Katie K Team

MakingStridesScreenFor Katie-K, breast cancer awareness is worth celebrating, this month, and every month. Whether you put on your walking shoes, buy a bra to bridge the Grand, or simply donate to a worthy cause to advance the cure, please think Pink and lend your support.

Bras across the Grand – October 25

Bras will hang downtown at the Blue Pedestrian Bridge during Bras across the Grand. It’s a celebration of breast cancer survivors with an opportunity to honor those who have been lost to the disease. Bring a bra that you’ve decorated or bring a $5 donation and decorate a bra that will be provided at the event. Each donation will support free programs and services to cancer patients and breast cancer research, along with early detection and prevention programs. Bras across the Grand will be held in conjunction with the Making Strides against Breast Cancer 5K. Bras across the Grand will begin at 8 a.m. on October 25, at the Blue Bridge in downtown Grand Rapids.

Strides against Breast Cancer 5K – October 25, 10 a.m., Rosa Parks Circle

The fight to end breast cancer starts with a single step, so join the American Cancer Society Making Strides walk. So far, 569 participants have raised more than $43,000, according to their website. The Making Strides Walk will take place on Saturday, October 25 in downtown Grand Rapids. Visit their website for more information — you can sign up, sponsor a walker, or volunteer to help out.

Grand Rapids’ Celebration on the Grand

April 25th, 2014 by Katie K Team


End your summer in Grand Rapids with a bang (literally) at the 35th Annual Celebration on the Grand. This year marks the first year that the Celebration on the Grand will merge with downtown Grand Rapids’ Amway Family Fireworks on July 4 and 5. The annual celebration was implemented years ago to celebrate the quality of life in the Grand River valley. Events include live entertainment in Rosa Parks Circle and Ah-Nab-Awen Park downtown and a fireworks display over the Grand River. Both the entertainment on Friday and the fireworks on Saturday are free of charge.


Wander North to the National Cherry Festival

April 25th, 2014 by Katie K Team


One fun way to celebrate summer when you live in Grand Rapids is to take a short day trip to a fabulous festival held in Katie-K’s childhood hometown. Celebrate all things cherry this year in Michigan’s gorgeous Grand Traverse Region at the Traverse City National Cherry Festival. Drawing over a half a million people annually, this jamboree is named one of USA Today’s top ten annual festivals. The celebration takes place this year from July 5 -12 and includes concerts, sporting events, air shows, pie-eating contests, pit-spitting competitions, and more (over 150 events!) that involve participants of all ages. Its hosting city is renowned for its 180 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and home of several wineries, microbreweries, golf courses, the Sleeping Bear Dunes, and of course the world record tart cherry harvest. Visit for more information.

Festival of the Arts coming Soon!

April 25th, 2014 by Katie K Team

Festival of the Arts 2014 poster by Dana Ziebarth

One early summer event beloved by the Katie-K Team is the Festival of the Arts, which a fine example of the booming culture Grand Rapids has to offer. Marking the 45th year, the 2014 community celebration downtown will feature art, entertainment, food and fun for adults and youngsters alike. With six stages, music concerts of all genres, dance performances and theatre productions, the variety of things to enjoy is virtually limitless. Alongside poetry, films, storytelling and art activities will be food booths offering cuisine of all kind. All festival performances, exhibits and activities are offered free thanks to the generous donations of local organizations, companies and families. Join West Michigan at the Festival of the Arts June 6-8! Visit for more information.

Founders Fest 2014

April 25th, 2014 by Katie K Team

One of the things the Katie-K team loves about Grand Rapids, MI is the diverse local events that suit every interest. The fabulous beer culture is one of the many reasons why Grand Rapids is a great place to live! Beer City USA is a proud host of Founders Brewing Co.’s annual festival. A street side collaboration of local beer, food, art and some of the nations taproom musical entertainment, Founders Fest is a grand way to celebrate the emergence of Grand Rapids’ eclectic culture in one event. Join other local beer lovers on June 21 and get your tickets by visiting


Celebrate the Kentucky Derby with Equest Center’s “Horsin’ Around at the Derby Day”

April 24th, 2014 by Katie K Team

Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 3.07.58 PM

The Katie-K team will be sporting Derby hats and horsing around to help out the local Equest Center’s Derby Day. In addition, if you’d like tickets to the REAL Kentucky Derby for $5,000, Cathy Ryan (616.262.4994) will DONATE THE PROCEEDS to the Equest Center. Read on for more details!

Join our friends at Equest Center for an afternoon and evening of celebrating the Kentucky Derby and the center’s own horses and riders MAY 3rd.

As the largest fundraiser for Equest Center, the Horsin’ Around at the Derby for Equest’s kids is the premier event for horse lovers and riders. The event will be filled with all the traditions of the Kentucky Derby – Derby hats, Mint Juleps and delicious derby cuisine. The event will also have a Twist auction while guests are enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and a live simulcast viewing of the big race.

Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding, Inc. is a non-profit establishment based out of Rockford, Mich. It’s first therapy class was held in 1991, and since, the company has expanded to having 125-160 riders per week and over 30 acres of land with trails, facilities, barns and paddocks. Equest Center offers equine-based therapy to physically, mentally and socially/emotionally challenged individuals in order to improve their quality of life. By integrating academic, social and physical skills with the aid of a horse, this unique program reaches a variety of people and provides a rich, healthy and distinct alternative to other therapeutic options.

In addition to being a Race for the Roses event replica, the Horsin’ Around at the Derby will offer the opportunity for it’s attendees to bid on the sponsorship of an Equest therapy horse for a year. By sponsoring a therapy horse, you are providing a caregiver, friend, confidant and a provider for an individual in need. Horses available for sponsorship are listed here. Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 3.06.51 PM Space is limited! Tickets cost $100 per person or $775 for a table for 8. Click here for more information about the Equest Derby.

Photos by Joe Mercier of Mercier Graphics


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