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Hispanic / Polish Festivals: West of Division North meets South

We are reaching that time of the year where college students are arriving by the carload and area parents with school-age children begin to worry (or delight) about the long list of back-to-school activities they must engage in before we begin our fall season. 

So much is happening right now that the last thing many of them want to worry about is what to eat.  Lucky for us, over the next few weeks a series of ethnic festivals begin to fill the night air that to stay home would be a crime. 

Kicking off this season of good eats are two cultural happenings in Grand Rapids’ downtown that you simply cannot miss.

The Polish Festival, happening again at Rosa Parks Circle, is a wonderful stop for authentic Polish cuisine - and not that frozen stuff you see at your local grocer that, in my opinion, should only be used in a pinch.  

Not only can you enjoy your pierogis, kielbasa, and kapusta out in the summer air as you chase it with a cold beer, but when the music of the many polka bands hits your eardrums, it will be difficult to stand still. So get in the mix and do your best to keep up with some of the most liveliest of dancing you will see outside of our swing dancers who typically fill this space during throughout the summer. 

Also this Friday through Sunday is the 36th annual Hispanic Festival at Calder Plaza, where you will be amazed at the carnival-like atmosphere as the crowds wander about at this spacious downtown park.  

Challenging one’s view of what is real Hispanic cuisine will not be hard to experience here at the Hispanic Festival as your palate is treated to more than just Mexican as food and beverage vendors bring the diversity of this area to City Hall’s square. 

In addition to the diversity of food is the types of live music one can expect to hear at this event where the infectious beats of salsa, bachata, merengue, and cumbia fill the air.  

Last year I actually watched a man on a horse ride into the event to kick off his performance. Let me tell you that outside of Opera Grand Rapids’ production of Aida at Van Andel Arena — where they had live animals in their production — there has not been another memorable entrance with an animal until last year. It was thrilling.

In addition to these two festivals downtown is the return of the Grand Rapids Yassou - our annual Greek Festival held on the northeast part of the city. For information on their event, please visit their site.  

While you might be busy with wrapping up your summer, to miss these festivals, which are hallmarks of our local society, would be a real shame. Be sure to add one or two…or even all three to your weekend plans. 


Admission: Free 

Music for Miles: Pedaling Change

Grand Rapids in our quest to become a more bike-friendly city has a host of partners working to make sure this happens in a safe and sane manner.

But one group in our region that really stands out to so many as one of the most equitable is The Spoke Folks -- our local bicycle co-op with a mission to provide bikes to everyone who needs one.

This weekend is the return of their music festival, Music for Miles, where area bands play and folks on bikes zip to this warehouse street location to enjoy some grub as they chase it with a beer, cider, or soft drink.

Taking to the stage this year is an eclectic mix of local acts, including BELVE, The Bootstrap Boys, Coffin Problem, I Believe in Julio, Jes Kramer, Joe, and Lambo. 

Immediately after the event closes, folks are encouraged to ride over to the Pyramid Scheme bar downtown for the official after party, where they can dance the night away at this special edition of of Retro D’Luxe.

Admission: $8 in advance, $10 day of event

Mr. Spookity's Summer Bloodbath Triple Feature: A thrill with a chill beverage service

Saturday, Aug. 27, 6 p.m. doors, 7 p.m. showtime
Baxter  
From the mind of one of the co-creators of our former Thriller! Chiller! genre film festival (on hiatus) comes a triple feature that is sure to delight, as well as scare, the pants off thriller movie fans.

Mr. Spookity will guide those attending this micro cinema triple feature program with screenings of “Grizzly,” “Night Train to Terror,” and “Last House on Dead End Street.”

“Grizzly” is a bloodthirsty 15-foot-tall grizzly bear who terrorizes a national park and the only person who can save those trapped within is a park ranger. 

“Night Train to Terror”  is the story of a rock band whose final concert is a one-way ticket to hell, including an appearance by Satan - further proving that South Park were not the first folks to cast this player in a feature. 

“Last House on Dead End Street” is a rarely-screened shocker that you have to see to believe that they actually made this script into a film. It is the story of a young gangster released from prison who goes on a vengeance trip as his way of punishing society.

In addition, Mr. Spookity brings his unique charm to the event as he introduces the films and showcases a host of trailers he has hand selected for the evening.

Also remember that Wealthy Theatre’s micro cinema is a smallish venue with big comfortable chairs and is one of only a few movie theater programs where you can enjoy an adult beverage with your movie. But in order to drink here you will need a membership to the “club,” which is so incredibly cheap considering what it opens up to you and your friends. (Do buy a membership here. It is good neighborhood karma to do so.) 


Admission: $10

Gordon Matta-Clark: Double feature - on the screen and on location

One of the most influential artists of the 1970s, Gordon Matta-Clark, will have his work featured over the course of two days in Grand Rapids. 

Thursday night is a presentation of his 16mm films “Fire Child,” Day’s End,” and “City Slivers” at the Grand Rapids Art Museum with Jessamyn Fiore, Co-Director at the Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark, presenting a lecture after the screenings. 

On Friday at the SiTE:LAB Rumsey Street Project location, another group of films will be unspooled for the public in the garage where this popular ArtPrize venue will be the host location for ArtPrize Eight’s Volunteer Kick Off Party. This is the night of their annual volunteer appreciation dinner event, which is complete with a pig roast and musical entertainment from Disco Brunch. 

For more background on Matta-Clark’s work, here is a statement from Fiore on the occasion of this special Grand Rapids presentation: 

“Gordon Matta-Clark is generally considered one of the most influential American artists of the 1970’s. During his brief but prolific career, he transformed our understanding of how an artist can directly engage with his or her lived environment as he evolved obsolete architectural structures into works reflective of not only their rich history but also turbulent present context. He brought the audience to the work rather than the work to the audience, engaging them through food, conversation, and an immersive art experience – the work being something one would not just look at but journey through. The ramifications of his projects, both realized and unrealized, illuminated social and cultural inequalities endemic to contemporary urban and suburban society. His work was inclusive, like the beginning of a great conversation one can continue through to today. 

It does continue through such great art initiatives like SiTE:LAB in Grand Rapids, supporting large scale artistic interventions that evolve disused community architecture into transformative artistic works inspiring the audience’s active engagement with not only the work, but their own lived city – each installation reflective of its past, present, and future potential. This is an expansive art experience: bodily immersive, socially oriented, actively connecting audience & artist & greater community. Not to mention it's exciting – the scale, the rigor, the enthusiasm all serve as an infectious burst of creative action – one cannot help but personally think and engage in its presence. That SITE:LAB takes the artistic practice of Gordon Matta-Clark as part of its inspiration is an exceptional reflection of his artistic legacy and asserts SITE:LAB as great addition to the ongoing urgent conversation about the potential of contemporary art to effect real change.”

To learn more about Gordon Matta-Clark place visit the David Zwirner Gallery website

Admission: Free

Movies in the Park: Bueller? Bueller? Jumanji!

Friday, Aug. 19, 7 p.m. pre-movie entertainment, dusk - first of two features begins
Before “Jumanji” gets a rumored remake with Kevin Hart and Duwayne Johnson, the locals of West Michigan have made their desires pretty clear this 1995 film is the one they want to see as a part of the Friday night double feature that includes “Ferris Bueller's Day Off.” 

The selection of “Jumanji” was via the public vote that selected this film to close this year’s wildly popular Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.’s (DGRI) outdoor Movies in the Park 2016 program. (“Jumanji” plays before “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”)

“Jumanji” is about a board game that possesses magical powers allowing the players an opportunity to unlock them as they embark on an adventure outside their four walls.  

As this eclectic cast of familiar faces begin to engage with Jumanji — a jungle-themed game — they release Alan Parrish, played by Robin Williams. Parrish has been trapped in the game for decades and can only be fully free if the kids continue to play the game. 

Sure, the premise is pretty straight forward and so, apart from a few giant bugs, ill-mannered monkeys firing off sight gags, and stampeding rhinos in a home setting, this is fairly family-friendly. But I will let you decide if the plot point of hunter Van Pelt — who only fires off his guns at people — is appropriate for your kid.  

I still think that while this is kind of a depressing story if you dive too much into the characters back stories, the film is a touch point for many who are now starting families of their own and want to introduce their young ones to the joys of a simple adventure named “Jumanji.”

As to the other film showing on Friday, “Ferris Bueller's Day Off” is a laugh-out-loud story about a high school boy who will do everything he can to not have to go to school. It all comes to the final act with a Beatles song that is surely the biggest moment I can recall from this classic film.

If only Ferris’ Friday night showing could attract just 10 percent of the thousands who attended Paul McCartney’s Van Andel Arena show earlier this week, then we would have all the makings for the biggest sing-a-long ever in the history of the city. (And yes, I am tossing you a solid program idea for next year, DGRI. Hedwig, please!) 

As always, you are free to bring in your favorite beverages, but you can give the picnic basket a night off because our local Grand Rapids Food Truck Association has invited the following to serve your appetite: A Moveable Feast Truck, River City Cup&Cake, Dorothy and Tony's Gourmet Popcorn, Toppers Pizza, Blue Spoon Catering & Event Planning, Riverside Hot Dogs, RIX STIX Pronto Pup, Love's Ice Cream, What The Truck, and Daddy Pete's BBQ.

Admission: Free 

Fifth annual GRandJazzFest: Breaks the brass ceiling!

Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 20 & 21, 10 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
With the final weeks of summer before us, it is hard for many of us to stay inside knowing that our time in the warm sun is coming to a close. No worries if you are wondering what to do this weekend, as the 5th annual DTE-sponsored GRandJazzFest will arrive back downtown.

GRandJazzFest is a perfect two-day getaway that will cost you nothing to attend, as this is West Michigan’s biggest and longest running free jazz festival. 

While they will have 11 music acts this year, one performer who really stands out is Cindy Bradley —  who becomes the first female jazz artist to headline our local festival on Saturday night.  

Fresh off the heels of Bradley’s Trippin’ N Rhythm release, “Unscripted,” this Buffalo native’s trumpet and flugelhorn is sure to be a huge hit with the audience as she presents a bouncy and hip sound perfect for the diverse number of jazz music fans who attend this annual event. 

Bradley has blossomed into a powerful and charismatic presence on the contemporary jazz festival circuit, touring from the River Raisin Jazz Festival in Monroe, Michigan all the way to the Dubai Jazz Festival. She won Best New Artist at the American Smooth Jazz Awards and was recently named Debut Artist of the Year by the Catalina Island Jazz Trax Festival and Smooth Jazz News.

Another highlight of the weekend festival will be the chance to hear West Michigan’s organissimo, whose most recent release, “Dedicated,” hit number five on the JazzWeek charts and stayed in the Top 10 for a total of eight weeks!

After Saturday night’s programming wraps up, the jazz faithful will be migrating to The BOB for a special after party with pop-up impromptu performances are sure to delight the imaginations of all those who attend.

The after party is also a chance for you to enter to win a drawing for a $400 Gilmore Collection gift card. And the cost to attend is free to those who arrive at the entry to The BOB with their GRandJazzFest program.

GRandJazzFest is two days when you can sit in the sun or shade of this downtown park and hear some incredible tunes that are sure to please all those who enjoy live music in the city. 
 
Admission: Free

Third annual Grand Rapids Mini Maker Faire: See it, demo it, advance it

This year we can expect one thing for certain as we look at record numbers expected to attend this year’s Maker Faire: if all 7,000 people projected to attend are inspired afterwards and rethink the way they “make” things, then the impact from this imaginative group locally could revolutionize the future. And it started here …maybe. Suddenly, when you attend a Maker Faire, things become possible because that part of your brain that creates is suddenly lit up and ready to go. 

That is the beauty of Maker Faires, which are celebrated all over the world. It is wonderfully creative how they take what we love about a traditional science fair and insert a dose of modern innovation with a dash of solid engineering. They create excitement for all people. 

Expect to see vendors at this event who make crafts and jewelery using woodworking and 3D printing; you will see that and so much more at this year’s faire. With close to 100 makers taking part, our local Maker Faire has more than 60 percent new participants this year, ushering in many fresh projects. The event will feature rockets and robots, do-it-yourself (DIY) science and technology, urban farming and sustainability, alternative energy, local food installations, and more.

Each maker booth is adept in how to tailor their projects, offering hands-on experiences for everyone who visits them. No worries about the vast age spread of this event; each conversation provides sufficient depth for everyone. 

If you cannot attend this weekend, consider following all the excitement of the maker movement by reading their magazine supporter Make: the first magazine devoted entirely to DIY technology projects. I think you will enjoy the projects they present in their publication. 

GVSU students and staff, as well as GRCC students, simply need to show their college ID to be admitted free of charge at any ticket booth this weekend to see Maker Faire Grand Rapids. GRPM members are, as always, able to attend for free but will need a ticket.

Admission: Day passes range from $3 - $8 / Weekend passes are $5 - $14

Design Disruptors: Innovate and break (repeat)

Names that now we take for granted, from Uber to Airbnb to Facebook, are all names of things we use on regular basis and can’t imagine being without. 

The reason many of these names are so powerful today is a result of careful design — a word becoming ever more important to those hoping to innovate within our civilization. 

AIGA West Michigan — our local internationally recognized chapter devoted to strengthening our region’s design power — presents a special one-night-only screening of “Design Disruptors,” a fresh documentary about the rising importance of design as a competitive advantage in disruptive technologies. 

The documentary provides the view a look into the world of more than 15 industry-toppling companies — with a combined value of more than $1 trillion dollars  — with a message about the “transformative power of design.”

This film is made for those whose work challenges the system by seeking to perfect the outcomes. “Design Disruptors” is a trial by fire documentary with a wonderfully rich roster of designers who went against the grain to burst through to something new…and something of their own.

The film is an industry-first because of its rare look into the minds of those who put design first, transforming nearly everything we do today, from how we navigate in our cities via what fits in our hand to the discovery of new music while sitting in your bathroom. Art and design is the missing link of STEM education that no seems to want to discuss, but this film makes a case that maybe we should. 

Proceeds from this evening benefit The Midwest Tech Project — a local non-profit that connects inner city students to the world of technology and the tech industry.

Admission: $15

Jaime Harris: Buttery voiced songstress from Austin takes on the Westside

Local musicians often draw their energy from the artists or arts legends of their community. For those seeking or craving to hear some wonderful singer-songwriter styled music from Austin, Texas, then look no further than Thursday’s edition of the Long Road Distillers’ Summer Series, which will feature free live music from Jaime Harris.

Harris has spent years touring from house concerts to sold-out clubs since landing in Austin, where she perfected her buttery smooth voice as she plies it to a series of songs reflecting a spellbinding hybrid of pop melodies with her rooted-in-folk lyrics.  

Since calling Austin her home, local musicians Jimmy LaFave, David Ramirez, Kalu James, The Painted Redstarts, The Purgatory Players, and The Bump Band have all had a positive influence on Harris’s distinct vocal style.

And the result of such training and mentoring has paid off as Harris has opened and shared the stage with such musical acts as Peter Case, The Black Crowes, Bob Schneider, Matt Nathanson, Jessie Baylin, Jon Randall, and Jack Ingram.

Long Road Distillers’ intimate but spacious taproom is a perfect environment to sip some of the area’s top award-winning spirits made on the Westside of the city as you relax to the music of Harris.  

“If you’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing Jaimee Harris perform, chances are good you take away something powerful with you. Her lyrics set something in motion that triggers the memory, melts the heart, warms the soul, maybe even strikes that chord within that leaves you a bit forlorn.” – Laurie Gallardo, KUTX  

Admission: Free

10th Michigan Pirate Festival: Ahoy there, matey, let's plunder together

Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13 & 14, 10 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
You have to love a festival that includes such ancient descriptor words like “swashbuckling,” “plunder,” and “scallywags.” And at the 10th annual Michigan Pirate Festival you can expect a whole lot of this and so much more given their expanded coverage in the Grand Haven area the rest of this week.

Working from an appropriate theme of "Pirates through the Ages,” you can expect a diverse array of pirates from all periods of history as re-enactments are set up all over Harbor Island on Saturday and Sunday.

This is an enchanted festival where young powder monkeys to the most seasoned buccaneers freely interact with one another in an event that really is unique in our region.

If you wish to start early with plenty of family friendly free activities, then head to the Loutit District Library (407 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven).  Here are just a sampling of what is left this week to celebrate.

Thursday, Aug. 11

10 a.m. – Dress like a pirate
1 p.m. – Pirate games and coloring
7 p.m. – Pirate puppet show

Friday, Aug. 12

10 a.m. – Storytelling with Scallywags
1 p.m. – Powder Monkey Olympics
6:45 p.m. – Pirates sail into Grand Haven

You can also receive a free treasure map to 22 area businesses that are participating in this scavenger hunt where valuable clues are hidden all over downtown Grand Haven.

Once we hit Saturday, the festival moves over the weekend to Harbor Island, which will be packed with family activities from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day brought to the community by the Brethren of the Great Lakes.

We know that Michigan has a lot of uniquely named celebrations, from those that celebrate fruit crops to even rubber duckies, but the chance to play for an extended period of time with weekend with people who will try like heck to convince you that they are pirates is sure to be at the top of my list of things to encounter this weekend.

Admission: Free at the library, Harbor Island Pirate Festival is $5 per person, except for children under 13 who are admitted for free. 

Midnight Movie with LaughFest and Pop Scholars: Celebration Cinema revives late night films

Midnight movies used to be a staple of this town as college kids and locals from all over the county would descend upon a local theatre for the best in off-beat entertainment.

Looking to revive that former trend comes Celebration Cinema with a new series of midnight movie nights that will not only satisfy aging Gen X’ers desires to still say they can stay up past midnight, but it will open a new audience to the cult magic and joys of the late, late night cinema.

Joining the film “20 Million Miles to Earth” will be Laughfest, which has invited one of our local comedian troupes, Pop Scholars, to help guide you through the production in a fashion that they could only deliver.

“20 Million Miles to Earth” is the story of a manned space flight on a secret mission to Venus and back that accidentally crashes in the Mediterranean, losing an important addition to their cargo: reptilian-like eggs they harvested from our neighborhood planet’s surface. The story is classic 1950s sci-fi horror, complete even with an astronaut Calder, who is sure to provoke at least one or two outbursts from the comics because of our connection to an artist named Calder.

You could easily pay the standard $11 film admission price, or for $15 you can take advantage of the Midnight Bundle that includes your movie ticket, bourbon BBQ loaded fries, and a drink. And when they say ‘drink,’ they mean more than just a frozen Mountain Dew option, as your admission covers also a free beer or a specialty cocktail called a Starry Night.

And to tempt you even more, the Pop Scholars will be performing much like in the style of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 performance where this improv-focussed troupe will sit in the front row with microphones at the ready as they rip the movie apart with gut-busting one liners.  

Be sure to visit Celebration Cinema’s website for all the fun happening this summer.

Admission: $11 for movie only, $15 for Midnight Bundle

Midtown on Tap: Neighbors that drink together, play together

One of the things I love about our local culture is how we have gone from being known as having a church on every corner to becoming a city with a brew pub in every neighborhood. It is a nice transition in many ways.

Another is that we are becoming a city known for its flourishing neighborhoods, complete with tremendous investment via the new developments that are adding more options to each district. But we are also a city learning to embrace its long-standing roots with the many unique venues that still continue to operate here.

One such neighborhood is Midtown, where, in addition to access to some mighty fine community-supported pubs, a farmer’s market, and a football field used for the other futball sport, too, there’s a  place with plenty of sidewalks to easily access by foot the many other thriving neighborhood business districts that touch its borders.

In addition, this neighborhood, situated just east of Heritage Hill, is the site of the beautifully expansive Midtown Green - a meadow-like green space on a gently sloping hill in the city.

The Midtown Green is also the site each year for the Midtown on Tap - a community-wide celebration with food, music, games and, of course, plenty of delicious beer.

The music and entertainment this year will include local acts Positive Vibes with Heather Winia, Vivacious Miss Audacious, the Triumph Music Academy Band, Avalon Cutts-Jones Music, The Blue Pines, the David Bowie tribute act Brother Wolf & the Wolfpack from Mars, and Cabildo.

Food vendors include B&Y Real Good Barbeque, D’arts Donuts, Riverside Hot Dogs, and Gettin’ Fresh with beverages from Brewery Vivant, Vander Mill, The Peoples Cider, and Farmhaus Cider Co.

And if you find yourself still wanting to continue your beverage tour experience into the evening, then head down to Hopstock on Calder Plaza where from 6:30 - 10:30 p.m you can enjoy plenty of West Michigan brewed beer, including a chance to visit IPA Island - Beer City Collaboration Tent Sponsored by Coldbreak Brewing. Go here for more information.


Admission to Midtown Green is free but you can purchase food and drinks on site.

Tim Kaiser with Jeremy Ensley: Best Alternative Gallery shines on

Recently, I received word that Tanglefoot - a building where I share a studio with a group of local artists - received second place as the Best Local Alternative Art Gallery in Revue Magazine’s annual Readers Choice Awards. What we did not know until the August issue hit the newsstands was who received the top honors.

With much pride, I can say it was Mexicains Sans Frontieres - an original Avenue for the Arts space where, under artist and musician Hugo Claudin, we have witnessed some of the most ground-breaking and off-the-beaten path art programs debut from his loft’s unmarked stage. 

This weekend, Claudin doesn’t waste any time living up to this reputation as he welcomes to Mexicains Sans Frontieres a concert performance by Tim Kaiser.

Often described as maker-composer-performer, Kaiser’s music lives on the fringes of what could someday become common as sounds and our ears evolve.

While the tonal quality and low-tech aesthetics of what Kaiser produces via the instruments he fashions from items no one else would ever think of placing together, much less using to create sounds on a popular stage, in this venue a patron of this style of music is sure to be entertained.

Buttons and knobs on these tiny musical contraptions open, if you will, hidden gateways into notes that are often discarded by the ear as noise-based, but under Kaiser become elevated to a near rapturous experience under the layering and looping with other sounds.

So take a chance this Friday night and welcome some of the most beautiful noise your ear will try to process in this night devoted to the ambient noise genre of music.

Also performing on this evening will be Grand Rapids’ Jeremy Ensley, whose set will include tracks from his Quarterly Report series, complete with visuals. “I'm on a journey and I report back quarterly with audio and visuals,” says Ensley of his sonic series. 

To listen to Kaiser or Ensley, please visit their websites for samples of their music. 


Admission: $10.

Sexy 70s starring Jeez Loueez: Burlesque without borders

After a long day at the beach and sun, where does one go to cool off while basking in the glow? 

That’s easy. Head to the Rezervoir Lounge to enjoy all the shenanigans of the Shimmy Shack Burlesque of Grand Rapids.

This unique brand of Grand Rapids’ burlesque, under the direction of the Vivacious Miss Audacious, breaks down longstanding boundaries, introducing to the stage performers spanning the gender spectrum to create a thrilling themed night of entertainment with each new installment.

Vivacious Miss Audacious is no blushing bride of the stage locally and has, in fact, created not just a name for herself here in our city but has over the years toured extensively, taking Grand Rapids essentially with her everywhere she goes.

This type of ambassadorship of cool translates into named acts seeking to visit and perform here in our city. 

This month’s Shimmy Shack Burlesque’s theme is a tribute to the sexy 1970s and welcomes Chicago’s Jeez Loueez and Cruel Valentine, Indiana’s Gurl Haggard, Grand Rapids’ Vaz DeFranzia, and our very own Vivacious Miss Audacious. The night is hosted by comic artist Jean Anderson and will include an appearance by her Kitten & Girl Friday, Jules LaVerne.

For reserved seating, be sure to purchase your tickets in advance, as these are very limited but well worth it. 

As with any burlesque show, always have plenty of loose bills to share with the performers who will be working their tails off to entertain you in Creston this Saturday night. 

Also, earlier on Saturday night is Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School Grand Rapids, which will be at the same venue from 6 - 9 p.m. See Link for all the details on attending this internationally organized art school in our city. 


Admission: $3 general seating, $10 reserved seating

Running of the Bulls: More like whack-a-mole (still a hoot-n-howler!)

So you cannot afford a ticket to jet off to Pamplona to run with the bulls this year? No problem because this weekend in the city the bulls are coming for you. 

Literally, our local Grand Raggidy Roller Derby team will be acting as the bulls as they race through the streets armed with foam bats playing whack-a-mole as you attempt to race from bar to bar in this updated, and far less deadly, version of Spain’s El Encierro (The Running of the Bulls).

Our local roller derby teammates once again are inviting folks to attend in their free-to-participate downtown Grand Rapids pub-crawl that has a bit of cardio and fear tossed in just for fun on Sunday. 

This year, the activities are taking place along the Ionia strip of bars that include HopCat, Stella's Lounge, Grand Rapids Brewing Company, and The Waldron Public House 

As an added bonus, those who pay for the upgrade while registering for this free event will receive a colorful headband that enables the runners - who are encouraged to play up their 1980s theme this year - to enjoy great discounts and specials at each of the four locations. 

There are even prizes for the most creative bull and most creative runner/runner group costumes. 

Runners can register starting at 11am at Hopcat or go online to save your spot. The bulls will be released at 12 p.m. turning Ionia into a sea of pure bull chaos until 3 p.m.

If you have been wanting to try this event out, you won’t find a better time than this Sunday to hit the streets and test your speed against our mighty bulls. 

Admission: Free
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