G-Sync

While the new Queen film “Bohemian Rhapsody” doesn’t arrive in local theaters until November, fans of the music of this iconic British rock band are in luck as the Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) welcomes a new production set to their music. “The Queen Light Show: From Mercury with Love”, a rock and roll light show presented at the GRPM’s Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium, will open on Saturday night and run through November 21. Arriving in Grand Rapids by way of the Longway Planetarium of Flint, this projected production brings to life a visually rich ...
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On Friday, you have one last chance to catch the local-focused outdoor concert series, Bands at Blandford. Held at the Blandford Nature Center’s farm, this annual outdoor music series has featured numerous local music acts. But the 2018 series ends on September 14, so your time to experience live music in such a unique setting is coming to a close this weekend. For the last concert of the series, Bands at Blandford welcomes the WYCE 88.1 FM Jammie Awards XIX Special Jury Prize winners, Hollywood Makeout. The band formed in 2012 with Tim Broderick (drums), Cedric Canero (guitar), Tim ...
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Rolling back into town for the tenth year is the wildly popular Grand Rapids event: ArtPrize. What started off in many ways as the anti-art festival has developed into a full-blown urban arts event that spans not just the annual public- and curator-driven voting process; it also provides space for pop-up events that in the past have included music, special movies, and even a bevy of private parties all honoring the party atmosphere that downtown becomes for 19 days each year. And 2018 appears to be just as expansive as in the past with many venues kicking off a full week in advance with ...
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Just because you might be low on funds this last holiday weekend of summer, does not mean you have to stay home. In fact, with the college semester in full swing already (signaling to many that summer of 2018 is truly over) you might discover that downtown this year might be a little busier than it has been the last few weeks as folks have tried to squeeze one or two more adventures out of this warm season. One such draw downtown this Sunday is the monthly event “Free Pinball Night” at the Pyramid Scheme. This downtown bar with an indie concert venue out back is not just home to ...
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If you have not attended one of the many GR Swing Dance events that have been popping up at downtown Grand Rapids’ Rosa Parks Circle since May 1 of this year, then you have missed one of the cultural gems of our entire city. More than once, I have been entertaining folks downtown, only to turn a corner on a Tuesday and discover it was GR Swing Dance night as hundreds upon hundreds pack the entire circle, all dancing to the music coming from the stage. It is truly an amazing scene to witness — so many diverse ages and people having so much dancing fun under the open sky! Tuesday, ...
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One of the perks of being at the late stage of summer is that sunset appears earlier with each passing day, making for earlier stargazing activities. And on Thursday, Sept. 6, the Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPL), along with the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association, invites the public come out for a special education-focussed evening that promises to light up the imagination and intellect as they ask we turn our focus to their Night Sky Trivia event. This one night only event starts in the GRPL’s Chaffee Planetarium, which seeks to showcase how to identify the summer ...
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If you live long enough, you find tiny traditions that fill your life with excitement but also some sense of meaning …. and often art has a hand in these moments. One such moment in our city is the annual music series, Ralston & Friends, held each summer at the world class Frederik Meijer Gardens and hosted by local music legend Ralston Bowles. Each summer, Bowles welcomes to the outdoor, open air stage special musical guests who are never revealed until they walk out on the stage. And over the years he has had a series of musicians join him that, should one take the time to dig ...
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This week’s issue of G-Sync Event is focused on the joys of our local music scene. And what is more exciting than the chance to see a band debut a new album of brand new material on a local stage that is also known for hosting some of the best indie acts this world has ever produced? On Saturday night, Grand Rapidians will have a chance to catch live the new electronic band, Pink Sky, who only started about a year ago. The band will hit the Pyramid Scheme stage on the occasion of their double LP being released on this same evening. With so many musical styles happening here from rock to ...
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Just because the local universities have started their fall semester classes doesn’t means that the rest of use (or those students for that matter) should bid adieu to the summer of 2018.  In fact, with day temps still hovering in the high '80s and lows at night in the '70s, let’s keep that outdoor party vibe going a bit longer. One such event that has filled the last summer festival slot is the Breakaway Festival produced by our state’s very own MiEntertainment Group and Prime Social Group. Breakaway Festival, held in Belknap Park on Friday and Saturday, August 24 ...
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While there is no shortage of local bands taking the stages and festival grounds this summer, the tribute act is a bit of rarer beast. (But it’s out there if you look.) And on Wednesday, August 29th at the North Monroe neighborhood’s SPeakEz Lounge will be a thrilling first hosted by our favorite all-things local music website Local Spins. For this special night of music, area guitarist-singer Chris Andrus (of The Mitten Brewing Company) and keyboard player Steve Talaga (a Hope College professor) will join forces on the SpeakEZ stage for a tribute night of music devoted to the ...
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There is something truly remarkable about an artist who can start their artistic career contributing to a knock-off of a Shakespeare play and then over time deliver a series of original musicals that change American Theatre. The legacy of America’s greatest living musical artist Stephen Sondheim, whose early work on “West Side Story” would propel him to create award-winning works based on a giant art painting hanging in a Chicago Museum (“Sunday in the Park with George”) to a vengeful barber whose shaving skills prove deadly and delicious (“Sweeny ...
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As a city, we have always had pockets of creativity where folks can gather and showcase whatever they are working on with others. Often times, this is seen in the fine arts community, but Grand Rapids has always had an underground fashion scene for as far back as I can recall. (And I am talking all the way back to Gaia where poets, musicians, and fashion designers staged after hours shows in the 1980s at this former East Hills eatery.) But with time and proper nurturing comes a maturity of a scene. Over the last few years we have seen a new era of fashion begin to emerge in Grand Rapids from ...
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It is hard to believe that we are already celebrating the fifth year of our own annual Grand Rapids Mini Maker Faire, but time flies when you are tinkering with this much fun in our community. Each year, the Grand Rapids Public Museum invites the public to come out and experience this very hands-on, education-focused event devoted to the joys (and pains) of making things. Billed as “part science fair, part county fair and part something entirely new,” our Grand Rapids Mini Maker Faire has on display over the course of two days the established as well as the emerging local makers ...
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There are no shortages of local partnerships that our Grand Rapids Public Library hosts throughout the year.  And while many often take place inside their facilities around the city, on Saturday you will have a chance to step outside on a journey as you are invited to join others as they pedal from the downtown Library around the town on this one-of-a-kind local history event. “Beyond Her Grave Bicycle Tour” digs into the local legacies of the many women who are buried in the city’s Fulton Street and Oakhill Cemeteries. The library’s special two-day bicycle touring ...
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In 1978, the first cellular phone was introduced in Illinois, the average cost for a gallon of gas was 63 cents, and the phrase ”Drinking the Kool-Aid” was birthed after 900 members of a cult led by Jim Jones were ordered to commit mass suicide. It was a wild, explosive year to say the least.  But on Friday night, the return of the Tribute Show at The Pyramid Scheme will see the popular music series turn its gaze to 1978 with a killer list classic albums performed by local musicians. Selected to be performed this Friday are the following albums: This Year's Model (Elvis ...
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Drag Brunch: Delicious, new, and always outrageously fun

Sunday, Aug. 12, 10 a.m. (first seating), 2 p.m. (second seating)
The launch of Drag Brunch in Grand Rapids is a part of the natural evolution of how urban centers, when under the weight of the same old offerings, see new ways to engage an audience with a concept that becomes the don’t-miss event of the season. And this season is all about the queens — specifically the drag queens — of Grand Rapids who have been performing all over the city this summer in what has often been the hardest ticket to score once the event has sold out.  Covered in Rapid Growth’s RapidChat, “Trevor Straub on mimosas, delicious food, and drag queens ...
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Last week as folks were sorting through their social feeds, you no doubt came upon one or two or ten postings congratulating those who placed on Revue Magazine’s annual Best of the West reader’s poll. (Full disclosure: our publisher Tommy Allen tied for third place with Carol’s Ferals as Best Advocate/Activist.) And while the list (and who is or is not on it) is always the topic of intense debate, I think we can all agree who have visited Creston Brewery that their third place win as the Best Open-Mic Night trailing behind the big guns of Founders Brewing and Rockford ...
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One of the pleasures of visiting the offerings from our creative arts community is the opportunity to rub elbows with all types of artists at these gatherings. And almost always from these encounters, the attendee gets to better understand how layered our arts community truly is. Last month, we ran a story about a few of our local creatives who are stretching their creative wings (as they do our imaginations) with brand new opportunities of access in sharing their story. (See “Michigan Creative Chambers connects the dots for filmmakers, other creatives in Grand Rapids” by Matthew ...
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Ok, the busiest local DJ is once again on the move. But instead of landing at a brunch spot or a steamy yoga studio, AB (Adrian Butler) is back where he belongs this Saturday night as he and others will take to the stage at Eastown’s Billy’s Lounge for The Flamingo Dance Party — one of only a few local bars known and respected for its devotion to booking DJs (and other live music programming) on a weekly basis. For this special night, AB invites folks to join the summer vibes being given off at The Flamingo Dance Party where, for just $5, those looking to get sweaty on the ...
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It is Sunday in the summer, and as you look at the calendar you realize that your weekend options to skate off to the lakeshore are getting fewer. No worries, since on Sunday you have a great reason to head off to the Red Dock bar in Douglas for an early evening event with Grand Rapids’ favorite surf rock instrumental band: The Concussions. Diving deep into their collection of surf rock-inspired music best experienced under the warm sun, The Concussions are known for their energetic, percussion- and guitar-driven shows from a band wearing their infamous skull masks. Joining the band at ...
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For one-night-only, the UICA will be screening the Bangladesh film “Live From Dhaka,” and then afterward present an insightful panel of locals to discuss the film’s significance touching on themes of contemporary life in Dhaka, the role immigration plays, and the status of women's rights. According to the filmmakers, “Dhaka is the city that Sazzad came to as a young ambitious man seeking his fortune. But the stock market crashed and he ended up in debt. His disability prevents him from finding other work, while the loan sharks circle him. His relationship with his ...
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It is no secret that when a baby is hungry, it does not care where it is nor what time it is, and they do so often in a manner that is inconvenient for all parties involved. In short, when a baby wants to feed, we all know it.  But some people still are still getting their undies in a bunch when the original “milk wagon” starts to dole out the juice of life.  Pushing back against those folks who think women should not nurse in public is the international Big Latch On event organized by our local Grand Rapids chapter. First for the haters: please stop. Really, please, stop. Women ...
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Starting at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, August 31, Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc.'s Movies on Monroe will be back at their pop up Grand River-side venue for a night of free entertainment. The night starts off with a full program of pre-movie fun, including host Gabriella de la Vega of El Mundo Musical, DJ Ace Marasigan, dance artist Bird Clarkson, and many more, who will take to the stage to welcome and kick off the night with a festive feel. At 7:30 p.m. the winner of 10 Academy Awards winner West Side Story will begin and I just dare you not to toe tap, sing along, or try to not cry at this ...
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If you are walking around downtown on Saturday and wondering where all the folks adorned in bright colors and the sweetest kicks are heading, you best believe it is the parade of ready-to-dance attendees advancing to the third annual Caribbean Summer Jam. Held at 20 Monroe Live, this celebratory event has grown to become the largest annual summer party in Grand Rapids celebrating Caribbean culture through music and dance. And with every year there will be a little bit of something for everyone at the Caribbean Summer Jam III. For starters, those who enjoy dance music should prepare for a ...
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Over the years, we have celebrated those large corporations that make a lot of good happen here through economic development. And the list of good is truly notable, but there are those who quietly go about their business of doing good that extends beyond our city limits.  One firm that is making an impact on our community through the delivery of their amazing, international award-winning coffee is Madcap—a (once) tiny startup in the heart of downtown that over 10 years has grown to three local locations and loads more of vendors clamoring for their fresh-to-ship coffee beans. (Their ...
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Growing up has a lot of benefits, but none is greater than our ability as adults to begin to see life through our parents’ eyes as we age. Over the next couple weeks, Grand Rapids’ musical theatre fans will have a chance to experience “Fun Home”, a fresh, new musical making its local debut at Circle Theatre of Grand Rapids. “Fun Home” is the winner of five 2015 Tony Awards including Best Musical, and is a one-of-a-kind production that introduces us to its protagonist Alison at three different ages. Alison’s story moves seamlessly between the past and ...
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Ever look at a child and wonder where all that energy went that used to so easily flow from your fingertips as you addressed the tasks before you? Well, lucky for us, a new event, Kid-Preneur Expo/Expo de Ninos Emprendedores, is debuting at the Downtown Market and it is aimed not just at children; it will also provide a fitting reminder of the power of entrepreneurs’ need to creatively express their visions. Each of the kids, who have pre-registered (registration has already closed for this first time event), will compete for an opportunity to win $200. Kid-Preneur Expo/Expo de Ninos ...
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The story of the battle to win the 1990 American Disabilities Act (ADA) is one that if you have never taken the time to read, is well worth the research into this topic. For the winning of the ADA is the story not of one, but of the many who engaged all across the nation in acts of boldness that revealed the very real disparities people with disabilities face every day. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the ...
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While some may be jetting off to the beach this weekend in the hopes that maybe Lake Michigan will be warm enough to dive in above the knee, others know that this Saturday, there is a reason to stay close to home as the Fourth Annual Eat Shop Rock rolls back into the city’s Uptown district. Uptown, a popular region of Grand Rapids, is actually made up of four distinct business districts (East Fulton, East Hills, Eastown, Wealthy Street) running through the eastern portion of the city. This vibrant center is bustling with activity on almost any given day. However on Saturday, Eat Shop ...
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In January 2016, Julee Wilson wrote of Black Girl Magic (a creation of CaShawn Thompson in 2013) as a way for people to ”celebrate the beauty, power and resilience of black women.”  And starting Saturday afternoon, you will have a chance to participate in this act of celebration within the North end’s Creston Brewery as they welcome back Black Girl Magic Vol. 2. Like the last one, organizers Bri Ross’ and Kyd Kane’s Black Girl Magic Vol. 2 will follow the same format as the first with a showcase of black women entrepreneurs and artists market segueing into an ...
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For those who rise early on July 4th and head to the intersection of the Calvin Ave. and Franklin Street, there will be a real historical treat that is sure to melt the most cynical of hearts as the annual The Hollyhock Lane Parade arrives back at this southeast neighborhood. This parade, popular with every politician in our state seeking a vote from the folks in this region, has been happening on these quaint neighborhood streets for more than 80 years. The parade winds from the streets of Calvin through the neighborhood before landing at Giddings’ alley where spectators seeking to add ...
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Start Garden’s 100 Ideas began as a call out to the community to submit their best new ideas in the most unlikely of pitch rooms as folks flocked to bars, community centers, and entrepreneurial support organizations. Almost immediately, this movement to change the way we think of entrepreneurial activity was adopted by so many looking to pitch their idea. On July 10, 100 Ideas enters its exciting conclusion as this entrepreneur competition in Michigan will narrow the 100 ideas chosen to compete down to the final 10 who will receive another $20,000 to keep their idea moving forward. All ...
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By the time Friday night rolls back around in the summer months, the city can seem like it is a ghost town as folks head to the big (or smaller) lake(s).  Lucky for us, on Thursday night there is a Summer SOULstice party brought to us by Grand Rapids Hip Hop Coalition, Totem Soul, The Love Movement Inc. at The BOB. This soul themed, dressed-to-impress event is emceed by Love Movement’s Governor Slugwell with special guest artist 97.3 FM’s DJ Rush the Guillotine spinning on the 1s and 2s all night. Did we mention that this solstice-focussed event is also a celebration of the star ...
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For many neighborhoods of Grand Rapids like those of downtown and Eastown, street festivals are a huge part of the summer fun in the city. But some neighborhoods have not enjoyed the decades-long run of such activities.  One such district that is stepping out more and more with an amazing array of events is Creston, which will once again host their Best of Creston Street Fair and Festival. This newish annual event gives attendees a chance to meet the many local business owners and artisans who hail from this part of the city at this special four-hour street party. Held on Plainfield Avenue ...
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There are two things that go hand in hand with summer: music and water. And lucky for you, a fix for both is available in one spot this Saturday as Riverside Park welcomes the return of the annual Grand Rapids Water Festival. Presented by the Grand River Watershed Arts and Music Council, the Grand River Water Festival is a one-day music event where local and regional music talent share the stage with inspiring environmental speakers. This day long, free event features local vendors as well as nonprofit organizations who are committed to environmental services and will be providing engagement ...
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Thanks to the generous support of Eastbrook Homes, on Sunday night you will have a chance to take the kids (ages 16 and under) to the zoo for free at the Family Frolic at the Zoo. This very special, first time event benefits our local Family Promise of Grand Rapids. It is also unique because at most fundraisers, parents often have to leave the kids at home. This is not the case at the Family Frolic at the Zoo; this event allows parents wanting to be a part of the homelessness solution in our city to enjoy a night out with the kids in tow at our local John Ball Zoo (and during a time when the ...
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The Ebony Road Players are once again producing a series of events to commemorate Loving Day with a Saturday community family picnic/dance and then on Sunday at Wealthy Theatre the play "Neither There, Nor Here."  This annual observation is held to commemorate the victorious Loving vs. Virginia Supreme Court case of 1967 in which the Supreme Court of the United States struck down state laws that sought to ban interracial marriages.   At Rosa Parks Circle on Saturday, attendees of the Loving Day Community Family Picnic and Dance will enjoy food merchants, local vendors, and musical ...
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Every year and traditionally during the month of June, cities all over the world celebrate their community’s LGBTQ citizens. Grand Rapids is no different and on Saturday, our local Grand Rapids Pride will celebrate 30 years of providing space for our LGBTQ to celebrate their accomplishments but also reflect on the road ahead.  Pride began as the Christopher Street Liberation Day on June 28, 1970 and was created to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots in 1969.  At our local Grand Rapids Pride, you will have a chance to meet area organizations and businesses seeking to ...
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Be the Astronaut is an exciting new exhibition at the Grand Rapids Public Museum that seeks to provide an exciting experience all the while exposing kids (and adult kids) to STEM-infused content via the marriage of an physical exhibit with cutting edge video game technology. Guiding the visitors on this journey is a crew of virtual experts who help deepen the space exploration experience throughout every stage of the exhibit. Guests learn what it takes to fly a spaceship, pilot a lander, or drive a surface rover. After this brief training, you are ready to jump into a simulator that takes ...
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It is no secret that I am a huge fan of our design community of West Michigan simply because so many here are creating some truly remarkable designs. Don’t believe me?  Then check out this article on a project that showcases our history and the women devoting their lives to make sure we know this legacy. So if you are looking to stretch creatively or just want to doodle the night away this Monday night, then head downtown to the Grand Rapids Brewery Company (GRBC) for the return of AIGA West Michigan’s community-building Drink + Draw event. Whether you work on a laptop, tablet or ...
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Typically when a nostalgia act arrives in town, I am the first to head for my headphones to drown out the noise. But one revival trend that keep reappearing here is the tribute show series hosted by downtown entertainment venue The Pyramid Scheme. For the latest installment of the Tribute Show, music artists from a variety of local acts have come together to form pop-up acts recreating their versions of classic albums released in 1968. Featured at this one night only performance will be four albums released in 1968: “Folsom Prison” by Johnny Cash, “Dance to the Music” ...
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It used to be when Movies in the Park was debuting in the area, the social media spaces would be filled with folks debating what flick they felt should be included in the summer lineup of films screened free for the public. But this year, the questions has shifted from talk of movie titles to whether one would sit or not on pavement as the popular event moves kitty-corner across the river to the site of a new park in the process of being developed. Personally, I am used to events shifting over time in the city, so while I will miss the old location, I understand that this is a leap to a new ...
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Forgive me, but the Creston area is going to the dogs as the Creston Brewery presents the first of a series of summer events geared towards celebrating in the streets the joys of urban living via communal gatherings. But on Saturday they invite the community to celebrate the joy of dogs at the Creston Brewery Street Party: Doggos. For one day only, they will close down Quimby Street to welcome you and your fuzzy friend to join you for a day devoted to drinking, entertainment, and all things dogs. While the event will feature area businesses and organizations who work with our furry friends, ...
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With the mighty Grand River in sight, the 39th Annual Homecoming of the Three Fires Traditional Pow Wow returns to Grand Rapids Riverside Park, offering an opportunity to experience and learn about the rich, cultural heritage of our first people's lives. And while you will have plenty of opportunities to mingle and query folks about the meaning and cultural impact of our local Pow Wow, nothing is more visually compelling visually than watching the awesome pageantry of the Grand Entry. During this portion of the program, an Eagle Staff guides the Grand Entry, which is leads to the ...
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Migrating back to the city this summer is the return of the exciting crowd-favorite exhibition, The Realm of Flight. This live bird show returns to John Ball Zoo for a second summer starting on May 26 and will run until September 3, 2018. Realm of Flight is exciting live bird theatre and features 10 incredible bird performers who will showcase their distinct talents at this zoo summer series. Folks who attend will be treated to a story-telling parrot, a recycling raven, and even an eagle that will fly over your head. Added to the show this year will be an Eurasian Eagle Owl, a ...
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Like many teens of his era, Egyptian Lover (aka Greg Broussard) started his early days in electro and hip hop by creating mixtapes. His love for remixing spanned across many techniques from his early days of live rhythming over radio broadcasts that he would turn into recordings to his triumphant hit singles “Egypt Egypt” (1984) and “Freak-A-Holic" (1986). "Growing up in the 'hood, the first thing you want to do is to get out of there. In my mind, I took myself out of there, just took myself to any place I could find, which was probably Egypt at the time," ...
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Festival of the Arts arrives back into downtown with all the boldness of Alexander Calder’s La Grande Vitesse that inspired it. However, it was not always love at first sight. In 1969 when La Grande Vitesse was installed in front of City Hall in downtown Grand Rapids, it was thought by many to be a waste of money or ugly. This 43-foot-tall, vibrant red stabile over time would melt locals’ hearts as the city would come to adopt the symbol, adhering it everything from street signs to taxi cabs, and even the city flag. In fact, I am fairly certain that this warming up to love ...
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No one can say for certain if it was the exciting Taiko drumming, the rhythmic Lion and Pacific Island dancers, or even DJ Ace Marasigan (GR Asian-Pacific Festival’s director) mixing Asian dance music. But regardless of the reasons why you and others loved the 2017 Asian-Pacific Festival, it is back. And this year contains a full week of activities centered around the celebration of our Asian-Pacific members of our society. The annual Asian-Pacific Festival seeks to embrace the rich traditions and culture of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans with a week of activity to is certain to ...
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Roaring back into Grand Rapids’ Creston neighborhood is the Second Annual Tour De Quarter held on May 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at City High/Middle School (1720 Plainfield Ave. NE). This event seeks to share with the public information on rider safety, provide local businesses exposure, and demonstrate just how rideable all three of the business districts of the North Quarter truly are. Returning as sponsors of this annual event are The North Quarter Corridor Improvement District Board, community members, Creston neighbors, and many wonderful, local sponsors who ensure this event ...
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Everyone loves choices. Just go to a big box store sometime and you’ll see what I mean. But for a lot of folks with dietary concerns related to gluten, well, Beer City, USA used to be a tough town.  Lucky for those who are gluten-free, we are starting to see more and options increase just as fast as our growing cider scene. Grand Rapids Beer Tours are offering a break from the brews to welcome you to a special tour of area ciders, regardless of your gluten tolerance. For this special afternoon tour, you will tour Vander Mill Ciders, The Peoples Cider Co., and Farmhaus Cider Co. Vander ...
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