It seems with every year as we add more outdoor winter activities in the city, the battle to plan such an event devoted to snow on a day when we can expect to have snow becomes problematic for event producers.
So you can imagine the amount of prayers for snow coming from downtown merchants and restaurants who are eagerly awaiting 2017’s Snow Days.
This year Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and their partners are creating something new with Snow Days -- an outdoor festival where truly there is something for everyone over the course of this five-day event that runs February 10 - 14.
Snow Days is more than just a one stop event as it encompasses three distinct activities that range from free- to the low-cost events geared towards adults as well as families.
First up is the creatively executed Valent-ICE
outdoor ice sculpture event devoted to the theme of Valentine's Day. All over downtown 50+ ice sculptures will turn the city into a giant, albeit a temporary one, gallery of outdoor art.
Popular items this year include a life-sized Muhammad Ali, NASA’s space shuttle, and a whopping 5,000 pound sculpture! There is even a special pop-up ice bar at the Downtown Market.
For the exact placement of entries that will be on display during the festival, be sure to grab a copy of DGRI’s handy Snow Days folding map available at downtown merchants, eateries, and DGRI’s office.
Also appearing downtown on (POSTPONED*) is a Rail Jam
competition for ski and snowboard competitive racers held along the banks of the Grand River at Ah-Nab-Awen Park. In addition to the Rail Jam, this Snow Days location will feature free sledding and open riding for skiers and snowboarders. See their Facebook page
for the schedule of Rail Jam events.
But the event that not only has attracted the most buzz is Sunday's return to downtown of the Human Hungry Hungry Hippos
tournament. This based on the popular tabletop game and instead of tiny plastic hippos, this new version uses real people munching marbles on the ice at Rosa Parks Circle. The registration for this event has already passed and is sold out but do show up to laugh a lot as you watch the battle.
This event is brought to Grand Rapids by DGRI and involves dozens of community partners, local businesses, and sponsors, including Ice Brigade, AGA Nation, AHC+ Hospitality, Craig's Cruisers, the Grand Rapids Public Museum, WOOD TV 8 and the City of Grand Rapids.
If you attend be sure to use the #SnowDaysGR so others can track your favorite activities or entries in the ice sculpture competition.
*The Rail Jam is postponed until later this month due to lack of snow.