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GR8Bit Live!: Ready players

What began as an idea developed after a conversation Northview Public Schools’ Mark Lago had with one of his sixth grade students, who at the time was in the early stages of leukemia (and is now in remission), became the seed that would debut at GR8bit Live! in 2013.

Born out of the student’s sharing about the lack of available video game consoles for kids in treatment led to GR8bit Live!’s mission to provide new gaming equipment for The Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

And while the event has changed a lot over the years, each new edition of GR8bit Live! brings new levels of imagination to those fans within the gaming community of our region.

This year, the two-day event kicks off with a brand new item — a video game show hosted by Schuler Books. The premise is simple: three contestants (already selected) will compete on stage through a series of games and questions with plenty of opportunities for the audience to participate. 

In addition to the game show is the chance to hear the music of Detroit-based Super Guitar Bros., a game show themed act that plays the compositions from popular, and sometimes obscure, video game titles. 

On Saturday, fans 18 or older are invited to a special concert event with guest acts that will be announced on the event’s Facebook page this week.

And just attending the special concert on day two at the Pyramid Scheme registers you for a chance to win the grand prize this year, an Uncharted 4 Limited Edition Playstation 4.

Admission: Schuler Books’ video game show on Friday night is an all-ages event and free. The Pyramid Scheme concert is an 18+ event and costs $10 for admission. 

Michigan authors at Lakeshore Art Festival: Read local

This holiday weekend, why not consider a short drive to the lakeshore community of Muskegon to attend the annual Lakeshore Art Festival, which has been named by Sunshine Artist Magazine as one of the top 200 events in the country to visit.

This festival is home to a juried fine art show, craft fair, artisan food market, children’s activities, interactive art, and performing arts/entertainment. 

And while more than 250 exhibitors will be waiting for the expected 50,000 visitors expected to descend upon this community over their two-day event, it is also an opportunity to secure a new book from a Michigan author who have been granted a special vendor-exhibition space within the Lakeshore Museum (West Clay Ave. & 4th St.) through the blessing of the Lakeshore Art Festival.

The event from Michigan Authors is Friday, July 1 (10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) and Saturday, July 2 (10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.).

“This event is the reincarnation of a really artsy-craftsy show. The new organizer seems to ‘get’ art fairs and has an excellent background in event management and hopes to create a new higher end show,” says Constance Mettler, Call for Artists Publisher. “If you are open on this weekend and live nearby, it may be worth your time.”

Yes, summer in West Michigan means that we have a lot of choices this big July 4th holiday weekend, so why not add securing a new book from a Michigan author? You can pick one up on your way to the beach, which is just a few minutes away from downtown Muskegon. 

Admission: Free 

July 4th Celebrations: Grand Rapidsí best

If you are seeking two great ideas to celebrate your nation’s birthday in the city this Fourth of July, then I’d stress that you cannot miss the Amway Family Fireworks held on the riverbank of  downtown, nor the whimsical Hollyhock Lane Parade (Calvin Ave. at Franklin Street SE).

When the Amway Family Fireworks return on Saturday, July 2, to light the deep blue skies of twilight, they promise to be even bigger and better than any year prior.  

Those hoping to garner a picture perfect view had better head down early to grab a seat on the grassy knolls of Ah-Nab-Awen Park situated along the Grand River. 

And while the fireworks will not actually begin until approximately 10:30 p.m., this July 2 celebration begins earlier with a spectacular music program that kicks off at 6 p.m. and is provided by TownSquare Media. Other events happening to help you pass the time until the big boom-boom include access to family activities, games, food trucks, and even a few other vendors open until through the start of the fireworks celebration. 

On Monday, wake up early and get to Calvin and Franklin Street to secure what I believe is one of the best views of the parade as you look south on Calvin for the must-see-parade of the year, the Hollyhock Lane Parade.

This parade, popular with every politician in our state seeking a vote from the folks in this region, has attracted the biggest names who want to walk these quaint neighborhood streets, which is steeped in so much nostalgia it will be hard to hold your hands still as the display of whimsy and cute become too much to bear.   

As the parade winds down, spectators seeking to add to the experience are often seen racing down the alley behind Giddings Ave., where an old style political stump rally devoted to the power of democracy is held, complete with Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty joining the festivities.  

And if you start to faint during all this patriotic spirit, there is always someone nearby in the alley offering up popsicles to restore your blood sugar. 

Seriously, if you have just moved to Grand Rapids and never been to the Hollyhock Parade (or even if you'been a million times), you owe it to yourself to make this your destination on July 4. 

Admission: Free

Super Friends Bike Ride: Be a local hero with a fabulous cape

There are plenty of moments as a child to wear a mask and a cape in your own home as you play superhero dress-up party, but as adults those opportunities dwindle with each passing year, unless you are lucky to named Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot or Robert Downey, Jr. 

That is, until Thursday night, when New Belgium Brewing Company, which is turning 25 this year, will be hosting a Super Friends Bike Ride starting at Creston’s Reservoir Lounge. 

This community-building cycling event is in part an opportunity to not just dress up as your favorite superhero, but a chance to sample their latest summer offering — a special limited edition beer collaboration between Fat Tire’s brewer friends from Firestone Walker, Avery, Allagash, Rhinegeist, and Hopworks Urban Brewery.

With each paid $15 donation to the Super Friends ride, which benefits The Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition and The Spoke Folks, is a chance to win door prizes that include a New Belgium Detroit Cruiser Bike or VIP tickets to Clips Beer & Film Tour landing back at Ah-Nab-Awen Park on July 15.

In addition, each rider will receive a pint of Fat Tire either before or after the ride — depending on when you get to choose to activate it during this evening.

So let’s go crazy this Thursday night as we take to the streets in an effort to have some Super Friends Bike Ride fun while doing some good for our local cycling community.  

Admission: $15

Equity Drinks: Art and conversation

Much has been written about Equity Drinks in Rapid Growth, but one area often not talked about is the power of art to take complex topics and present them in a meaningful fashion for attendees of this social justice club that has rocked the city with its willingness to address difficult conversations.

To equate Equity Drinks as simply a happy hour celebration would be wrong because, in addition to these social gatherings, they have hosted speaker series to community conversations with leaders in our community, including the Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky. 

It has evolved to include more than just those nonprofit voices or our area business leaders who share a passion for equity work; it is a group of individuals who are committed to creating long lasting changes in society, thus making Grand Rapids a leader in our state.

This month’s edition of Equity Drinks will once again address the issues of our society but will be shared through the lens of art and the spoken word. 

Part of this experience will include the opportunity to break away in groups as attendees respond to the works.  It may not be a scrapbooking-style event, but when Equity Drinks members assemble you can be certain the minds in the room will be discussing ways to create more equitable memories for all to recall at a later time in our shared history. 

Artists participating in this special art edition of Equity Drinks includes: 

Sammy Publes
Marcel “Fable the Poet” Price 
Colby Roanhorse 
Rachel Gleason
Robert Coombs
Kid Kane
Sarah Scott
Ricardo Gonzales
David Frison
Amy Hinman 
Tyler Priest

Admission: Free

2nd Annual Grand Rapids Latin Music Awards: Always hot, fresh and local

Four years ago, Erick Picardo — a local musician and fine art painter of Caribbean descent  — had a vision to create within our city a new platform where we could publicly recognize the contributions of our local Latin American artists and musicians as we collectively celebrate their impact on our city’s culture. 

In 2012, Picardo, a founding member of the Caribbean Coalition for the Arts & Culture (CCAC) —  a local collaboration group for our area's Caribbean business and friends —  paved the way for this awards show and other cultural events devoted to the Latino and Afro-Latino culture to emerge in West Michigan.

Part of CCAC’s Grand Rapids Latin Music Awards’ (GRLMA) mission grew out of their vision to expand our region’s access and experiences with the cultural heritage of Latin America and the Caribbean.

New this year, GRLMA’s ceremony will incorporate a modern twist as urban music and DJ-created rhythms are recognized alongside the more traditional styles of salsa, merengue, bachata, and cumbia. 

The stage will be filled with local musical acts and singers, all of them shining a light on the contributions of our Latin and Caribbean community members.

Admission: $10

Ottawa Hills Garden Tour: Double your floral fun this weekend

What is to be learned from holding a neighborhood garden tour for 22 years? 

Well, for starters, if you stick it out long enough, suddenly your event can grow like the plants in my backyard garden are doing this year, as this level of new growth is simply breath-taking. 

For what could have been just another year of garden touring, this year’s 23rd edition of the free Ottawa Hills Garden Tour has nearly doubled in size, rising up from a more traditional 16 total gardens in 2015 to a jaw-dropping 31 gardens to visit on Saturday.
But the upgrades did not stop there, as this event welcomes to the garden tours food vendors peddling hot dogs, a walking taco stand, and plenty of refreshment vendors. They even have ice cream for those who are overcome with heat to enjoy under a shady tree. 

Also leveraging the talent of this southeast neighborhood will be musicians of Ottawa Hills, who will play musical styles from classical to jazz. Even Noel Webley & His Jazz Friends will make an appearance on this self-guided tour this year.

If you want to support a local entrepreneur of Ottawa Hills there are always plenty of lemonade stands and “pop-up” cookie stores along the sidewalks. Bring cash since I am not certain these little ones will have a square reader on their phone for credit card purchases. 

Event organizers shared this funny story from the early days of this much-beloved community-building event: “When the Garden Tour first began in Ottawa Hills in 1994, it seemed that the people on the tour were the only gardeners in the neighborhood. When Tom Deur told his neighbor in 1993 that he was going to tear out a shabby hedge and put a garden between his house and her driveway, she said, "Now I'll have to look at cornstalks?" He was thinking annuals and perennials. Apparently, gardens could mean different things back then.”

Twenty-plus years have followed, and some gardens are the work of years and years of pruning, whereas some of the newbies additions are the products of writing a big check to a designer. Either way, it will be a lovely day in Ottawa Hills neighborhood for strolling, talking plant talk, and supporting a local small business from a kid who could become the next Mrs. Fields if they remember to set the timer on the oven. 

Admission: Free

Sound Of The City: Debut of the new (and close to you) music

If you have ever been a traveler and wanted to connect with your destination’s music scene, often you had to stop at a local coffee shop to pick up an arts newspaper and quickly scan the pages for an act that caught your eye.

From there you would bypass analog in that classic modern form as you reach for your handheld device to take a quick spin on the world wide web to discover a track listing of the act you were seeking to catch or connect with while in the city. Headphones on, you press play and often press the “advance” button while you wait to make the connection. 

This happens all over the world and has not changed much over time. That is, until radi8er Music debuted as a new platform to connect local music to those seeking to expand their music experience beyond what would be more traditional (wait and see radio), or the very corporately-controlled stations decided what they wanted you to hear via satellite radio stations. 

Rapid Growth has already written about an exciting new platform, radi8er, in May when it debuted to the public as a beta. This Saturday they are expanding their concert arms to reach out and invite the curious public to experience a wealth of local musical talent all held in one spot and on one special day.  

Billed as the “world’s first hyper-local, crowd-powered, real-time, music discovery platform,” radi8er’s new Sound Of The City (Grand Rapids) 2016 festival offers attendees the chance to soak up the songs of our river city via a very diverse array of acts. 

Event & Artist Schedule:
12:00 PM: Doors open.
1:00 PM: Vox Vidorra
2:00 PM: Moto
3:00 PM: Olivia Mainville & The Aquatic Troupe
4:00 PM: Valentiger
5:00 PM: Lipstick Jodi
6:00 PM: Lady Ace Boogie
7:00 PM: Full Catastrophe
8:00 PM: Ty Beat
9:00 PM: The Legal Immigrants
10:00 PM: Event Close

Cash bar, beverages, and food-carts will be available throughout the event.

Learn more at: http://www.radi8er.com/ or buy tickets here.

Admission: $8 (early pre-sale), $10 ticket, and $30 ticket & T-shirt offer.

Grand Rapids Pride Fest: Embracing the beauty of being you

What was to be just another Grand Rapids Pride celebration took a somber turn this year as local officials, event organizers and attendees are having to process the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Forty-nine members of the LGBT community and their friends were massacred at the Orlando Pulse nightclub during the early hours of June 12 as people mainly of color were gathered to dance at a special Latino music night. 

Nothing could be more chilling than to witness such a bloody event during a month set aside to commemorate the advances of LGBT rights in the U.S. and around the world. But this is a group in society who will not back down, as we witnessed at the impromptu outpouring of community support for our area’s LGBT during a candlelit vigil for the victims of this attack outside of the Apartment Lounge.

Here is a list of the organizations in our community that are hosting events this weekend in honor of Grand Rapids Pride. 

As You Are
Grand Rapids Art Museum
Thursday, June 16th

 Arbor Circle's "As You Are" Event with Author Ryan Berg speaking on his book "No House to Call My Home.” This event’s lecture and reading will focus on the ways that society can advocate for safe spaces for our LGBTQ youth. Admission includes access to a cash bar at the GRAM. 

2nd Annual White Party 
Rumors Night Club 
Friday, June 17, 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.

The return of the 2nd Annual White Party where party revelers will celebrate wearing their best whites. Dress to impress and remember that white pants are ok now that it is after Memorial Day. 
$10 for 21+ or $20 those 18 -20.  Tickets sold at the door.

Hand -in-Hand
Ah Nab Awen Park
Saturday, June 18, 11:30 a.m.

With a nod to Hands Across America, this new tradition is one that popped up after Pride organizers canned the fledgling parade. This hand-in-hand event was very popular last year as participants walked together in solidarity from the riverbank park to the festival location at Calder Plaza. This free event is hosted by Mr. Friendly — a stigma-free HIV awareness group from Kalamazoo and founded by Calvin College graduate David Watt. 

Grand Rapids Pride Festival / Street Fair  
Ottawa Avenue between Lyon and Michigan
Saturday, June 18, Noon - midnight

 This is the annual pride festival with a new twist. This year the festival is expanding to spill out into the street, where vendors serving the LGBT community will line the street in this festive social setting. The cost is $5 if you wish to attend the street fair only.

For those who pay the $20 admission fee, they will be granted access to the first annual Grand Rapids Pride Concert on The Calder music extravaganza.  

Artists performing this year include Alex Newell (formerly of “Glee”), breakout and out musician Steve Grand, and special headliner Deborah Cox — who is heading on tour this fall in the lead role made popular by Whitney Houston in the staged musical version of “The Bodyguard.” This special day of music will conclude with DJs spinning until midnight so that you can dance the night away under that giant red sculpture we all adore here in GR. 

If you want to celebrate in comfort and style, then pony up to get your Steelcase VIP ticket

Family Day Block Party
The Apartment Lounge, 33 Sheldon Ave NE
Sunday, June 19th, 2 - 8 p.m.    
The Apartment Lounge's Bob Johnson and staff are hosting a free Family Day Block Party with family-friendly activities for children, which are sponsored by the Grand Rapids Children's Museum, from 2 to 5 p.m. Grand Rapids Pride sponsor Herman Miller will also be present providing additional fun activities for the family.

The School for Scandal: Everything old is (still) new

A play first staged in 1777 is making its way to Grand Rapids, and let’s just say that whoever thought history changes us has a lesson to be learned from this Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company (PCSC) production.

“The School for Scandal” is a restoration period piece complete with costuming echoing the era but hitting on the topics that are still just as contemporary as when author Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s penned this comedy of errors.

Because of PCSC’s choice of this venue and its spartan cast, audience members are immersed in a theatrical experience you cannot gain in any other of our larger venues — which is why they select to host their productions at Dog Story Theater. 

“The School for Scandal” might parody London’s high society, but these topics are not unlike that of a modern prime time soap opera that translate quite well for modern audiences.  

“It's a little like he (Sheridan) was making fun of the ‘Real Housewives of London,’” says Katherine Mayberry, executive director at PCSC, who adds that there are some fantastic physical comedy written into the script, too. 

We know you have a lot of entertainment theatrical options during the summer months, but there’s actually not a lot devoted to classical theatre unless you head to Stratford, Ontario. So, it is rare that we get to see such a quality comedic production of this kind locally. 

“The School for Scandal” features actors Chaz Albright, Michael Dodge, Kat Hermes, Anessa Johnson, Scott Lange, Bridget McCarthy, Eric Orive, Sarah Stark, Kate Tubbs, Scott Wright, and Stephen Douglas Wright.

Admission: $14 for adults, $7 for students and seniors

Founders Fest: Home brewers to hometown heroes

It is hard to imagine when the faithful by the thousands return each year to celebrate the annual Founders Fest — a street festival devoted to music and beer held in front of the brewery’s ever-expanding downtown Grand Rapids location — that it has only been 21 years since home brewers Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers formalized their love of beer and took the first steps to form their company under the (then) name Canal Street Brewing Co. 

For the ninth annual Founders Fest, you can expect the same classic mix of solid beers, including many specialty taps pouring one-offs and those much-sought-after specialty brews. The event also boasts two big stages of entertainment to create a seamless music experience with zero lag time due to band changeovers. 

And for the first time in Founders Fest history, each of the musical acts appearing at this year’s fest have all appeared at one point on the brewery’s taproom stage.  

Artists performing this year include The Motet, Lee Fields & The Expressions, The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, People's Blues of Richmond, The Main Squeeze, and Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta. See their website for a complete guide to their impressive bios and selection of videos to help you plan your visit. 

To help soak up those international award-winning, locally-produced suds is a fine selection of area food vendors who will line the street along side our city’s finest artisans, who, like every year, make up the festival’s Artist’s Row. 

To keep things really festive this year, Grand Rapids-based nationally touring burlesque troupe Super Happy Funtime Entertainment will be busking the event with plenty of selfie evoking sideshow antics for the audience members. 

New this year is that with each paid admission you get get two beer/beverage tickets. But do not delay, this event has sold out in the past and tickets are non-transferrable, according to the website’s guidelines for the event. 

Admission: $30 - 35.

'The Book of Mormon': First great musical of the new century lands in Grand Rapids

If you had told me when I was at the Sundance Film Festival in 1994 that the man peddling a hotel screening of a musical film about an American cannibal would not only go on to create the “The Book of Mormon,” which would win an armful of Tony Awards and become the first great musical of this new century, I would have laughed. 

Funny how time flies, but even more important is what we do with that time, as evident now as this still hard-to-score (on Broadway) smash “Book of Mormon” rolls into Grand Rapids for six days of performances. 

Trey Parker (“Cannibal! The Musical”), along with his “South Park” writing partner Matt Stone, have both spent their entire careers lampooning society in this wildly popular Comedy Central series, so that they wanted to tackle Mormonism as a Broadway show is a no-brainer for most. That is except for one important point: the musical is solid and echoes the advances that made the American Musical Songbook one of the greatest in the world. 

“The Book of Mormon” is the story of two youthful (and a bit naive) missionaries who shipped off to Uganda in attempt to convert them to the Mormon religion. 

The production’s leads include Elder Price as a real enthusiastic missionary dedicated to his faith, while the socially awkward co-lead, Elder Cunningham, is a nerdy and ultimately socially inept truth seeker that ultimately leads him into trouble.  

Set in Uganda, these two Elders begin to encounter a different world than where they came from as they address the nation’s AIDS crisis, poverty and a land embroiled in violence. 

New York Times critic Ben Brantley wrote when this production debuted in 2011, “This is to all the doubters and deniers out there, the ones who say that heaven on Broadway does not exist, that it’s only some myth our ancestors dreamed up. I am here to report that a newborn, old-fashioned, pleasure-giving musical has arrived at the Eugene O’Neill Theater, the kind our grandparents told us left them walking on air if not on water. So hie thee hence, nonbelievers (and believers too), to ‘The Book of Mormon,’ and feast upon its sweetness."

And while we may all find moments in this production where we squirm a bit in our seats, the best part is that this is a musical filled with a heart and something I would have never guessed possible when I met Trey Parker decades ago in his home state of Utah. And that is what makes even the most challenging of theatre a beautiful experience: when the curtain falls on the final act, we know we have all enjoyed a wonderfully crafted journey.  

Admission: Starting at $65. The Book of Mormon offers a limited number of $25 tickets made available via a lottery system. 
Entries will be accepted at the box office beginning two and a half hours prior to each performance. Two hours before curtain, names will be drawn for these limited number of seats. Only one entry is allowed per person. And the box office will check to ensure you have not cheated so play fair, ok?

Crank 2016: Co-op bike party in the street

Summer in the city brings lots of opportunities, and one of my favorite trifecta moments is the combination of music, food with cold beverages, and a nice bike ride. 

All three come together this weekend when The Spoke Folks, the area’s go-to bike non-profit co-op, spills out into the street in front of their warehouse to host the return of Crank.

The Spoke Folks, whose mission is to increase and sustain bicycle ridership in the West Michigan area and beyond, hosts Crank as a way to increase the camaraderie and access to the joys of urban cycling. 

This year Crank, which is always free to attend, welcomes the delicious food of local food truck/caterer  Daddy Pete's BBQ, which will be serving slow-cooked, delicious barbecue that can be washed down via one of their two beer vendors, Brewery Vivant and New Belgium. 

For your musical entertainment, at 1 p.m. Vox Vidorra, led by the soul gripping voice of lead vocalist Molly Bouwsma Schultz, who is complimented via musicians Scott Schultz, Ryan K Wilson, and Theo Ndawillie II, will come together to make some of the sweetest soul music you would ever imagine this side of Motown. 

After Vox Vidorra, at 4pm, The Gabriel Brass Band, with their infectious style of performing, will have the audience dancing in the streets with their New Orleans-style brass section that flows effortlessly between funk and soul.  The band is spearheaded by Dameon Gabriel, a fifth generation musician, along with a few Gabriel’s family members and close friends rounding out this act with roots in both Detroit and New Orleans reaching as far back as the 1940s. 

As always, The Spoke Folks will be offering games, obstacle course challenges for your bike, and the crowd favorite dunk tank with guest from the biking community on the hot seat. 

Guests are encouraged to ride to the event but to also considering bringing an old bike to donate to their 1000 bike campaign.  See their website for all the details on this ambitious program that gets used bikes in the hands of those who most need them …and at a fraction of the cost of a new one. 

Admission: Free

BBQ & Beautify: Friends of Grand Rapids Parks launches new series

What better way to meet new friends, break down those old paths in our contact book, and help our city parks than visiting Friends of Grand Rapids Parks' (FGRP) newest summer community engagement program, BBQ & Beautify.  

The event kicks off at 5 p.m. at Garfield Park with volunteers conducting a park project together for the first 90 minutes, followed by a community dinner commencing immediately after. 

No worries if you are not sure how to perform garden work, as volunteers from the FGRP will be on hand to instruct neighbors how to conduct these simple tasks that create lasting impact for good in our city.

FGRP will also bring along yard games and other park activities, including a few free, park-themed giveaways.

“This series may sound simple but the concept is one that highlights the importance of place,” says FGRP Executive Director Tracey Flower, who shares that this program is aimed at those who live near the parks they are visiting this summer. “Cities grow when programs come to the people and engage in on-site listening and working together, and we are so excited to bring our tools, our ideas, and our turkey burgers, to our city’s parks this summer.”

No registration is necessary; however, those who are interested in learning more about the volunteer portion of the event (i.e. what to wear and/or bring or the scope of the project) can contact FGRP Project and Volunteer Coordinator Rachel Skylis at rachel@friendsofgrparks.org.

Additional dates and parks in the series include: Ken-O-Sha Park (June 28, 2016), Sigsbee Park (July 12, 2016), Richmond Park (July 26, 2016), Joe Taylor Park (August 16, 2016), and Martin Luther King, Jr. Park (September 8, 2016).

This series is supported in part by Kent County Health Connect and REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) grant and through community partners Doorganics, Open Systems Technologies, and West Michigan Credit Union.

Rock The Block: Street party for good

LINC has really upped the ante this year on the popular annual Rock The Block (RTB) street party by welcoming not just the major headliner to the outdoor stage but later inviting those members of the community 21 and older to attend a post-RTB after party with Dead Prez, whose second show will be staged inside their Linc Up space at 341 Hall St. SE.

This community-focused event in the past attracted more 8,000 attendees in 2015 with a special impromptu visit by Grand Rapids’ own 12-time champion boxer Floyd Mayweather.  

The day is a great way to engage with diverse members of our city whose businesses and nonprofits will have booth space at this street party. There are plenty of activities for families and children, delicious food trucks and grilling from area restaurants.

But the big event moment is when RTB welcomes Dead Prez to the main performance stage from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Additional live entertainment, like local singing groups, dance and step troupes, and fitness exercises, will begin at 11 a.m. and run throughout the day.

The group Dead Prez is a major score for this event since it is the first time they have performed a free show for the public in our city.  The band really delivers a hefty punch of social justice topics with their confrontational style and are a breath of fresh air compared to the overproduced hip hop acts under the thumb of music corporations.  They are not to be missed. 

Admission: Street Party - Free; Dead Prez and friends concert at Linc Up - $15. and is a 21+ show. 
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