Boy it's hard to believe that Festival is this weekend. Is it just me, or has this year been so full stress and turmoil, ups and downs, happiness and sadness, that time, the weeks, months, have just blindly flown by. But, here we are, the first weekend of June, and poof, Festival is here.

In 2020 it was cancelled entirely due to the pandemic. Last year, it came back in a small, moderate way, and this year it's fully back, and I can't wait.

Facebook/If You Grew Up in Grand Rapids
Facebook/If You Grew Up in Grand Rapids
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Festival really germinated after 1969, when Alexander Calder’s sculpture “La Grande Vitesse” was installed in front of City Hall in downtown Grand Rapids. It was quite an honor that the National Endowment for the Arts chose Grand Rapids as the first recipient of their public art works initiative more than 50 years ago with Alexander Calder’s work.

Facebook/If You Grew Up in Grand Rapids
Facebook/If You Grew Up in Grand Rapids
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So, a small band of arts lovers said, let's celebrate as a community, and, let's make it free so everyone can enjoy the arts. From the beginning, the red stabile served as the backdrop to Festival, as well as a symbol of the City of Grand Rapids.

Courtesy Festival of the Arts
Courtesy Festival of the Arts
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That first Festival had just a few art displays and two performance stages, plus a few food booths. But, over the years, boy, did it grow with multiple stages, art shows, family activities, all still free, and food. Ah, yes, the food. Okay, the food isn't free, but it's a way for many churches and nonprofits, to make money and support their work.

Here is a link for all PERFORMANCES. Here is a link to all the VISUAL ARTS! And, here is a link to all the FOOD!

 

Weird Sculptures Spotted From Michigan Roads