The smiley faces that have enriched the Grand Rapids landscape now have meaning to them.  The faces were to promote an event to benefit the Gilda's Club of Grand Rapids and celebrate their 10th anniversary.

LaughFest Logo

The event is a 10-Day Laugh-a-thon to take place in Grand Rapids.  LaughFest will be across 25 venues in Grand Rapids, March 10th-20th.  Prices will range from free to $77 a for tickets to individual shows, or you can purchase a festival wide ticket (which will get you into every show) for $250.

The festival will have a star-studded headlining cast: Bill Cosby, Betty White, Mike Birbiglia, and Kathleen Madigan.  LaughFest will also feature local talent and... perhaps you!  It's more than just the average stand-up shows, the festival will include a variety of open-mic type events as well.  And if you need to take a break stop into one of several locations showing comedic movies and TV shows including showings of 'The Best of SNL'.

It's another great event for West Michigan, and another brilliant marketing and PR ploy to grab the attention of the region.  The Grand Rapids Press reported:

LaughFest organizers scattered 250 smiley-face yard signs, 500 T-shirts, 1,500 small signs and 15 banners throughout the area, from the bronze statue of John Ball in John Ball Park to the snout of ArtPrize 2010's "SteamPig" downtown at The B.O.B.

The Gilda's club of Grand Rapids serves over 10,000 people each year and is funded entirely by donation.  Sponsors for the event include The Gilmore Collection, Meijer Inc., Celebration Cinema, Bud Lite, and several others.

A festival of laughs

Celebrating laughter for the health of it — a festival of comedy, performance, film, and a variety of seriously funny stuff that makes us laugh. All proceeds will benefit the cancer, grief and support programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.