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monoel petry/flickr.com
monoel petry/flickr.com
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Grand Rapids Restaurant Week Has Moved From November To August

Grand Rapids Restaurant Week has moved from November to August!  I like that!  The weather is still warm, it's a nice break right before the kids go back to school.  November always seemed to be a bit busy what with Thanksgiving and the December holidays.  Experience Grand Rapids VP of Marketing Janet Korn said that last year's Restaurant Week generated between $500,000 and $700,000 in revenue for the 37 downtown restaurants that participated.

The organizers of Restuarant Week Grand Rapids are trying to attract more people from outside of the immediate Grand Rapids area.

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ArtFestival/flickr.com
ArtFestival/flickr.com
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51st Annual Grand Haven Art Festival Kicks Off This Weekend

We're only a few months away from ArtPrize so look at this as the warm up!  The 51st Annual Grand Haven Art Festival is this weekend, June 23rd - 24th.  Washington Avenue will be turned into an outdoor art gallery.  There will be lots of local talent and it will also feature art from 150 of the nation's leading artists.  There will also be a Family Day Of  Fun, June 23rd, 10am-2pm, with arts and crafts activities for the kids.   Admission and parking are free and open to the public both days.

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stevendepolo/flickr.com
stevendepolo/flickr.com
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West Michigan Chalk Art Festival 2012 In Byron Center

When I first heard about the West Michigan Chalk Art Festival, or really any event that involves chalk, what person do you automatically think of?  If you were living in Grand Rapids in 2009, Rob Bliss, of course!  Remember Chalk Flood? It's the same thing that happens every time I hear American Pie by Don McLean on the radio, on my iPod, wherever; my mind starts streaming images of the American Pie lipdub video (almost 5 million view so far!).  It's still as brilliant as it was the first time I watched it.  It's poetry in motion.  Kind of strange how big events and good music,  have a tendency of cementing memories inside the brain.

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(Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)
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Local Students Create “Star Wars” Video

I'm always excited when I find young film and videos makers who are hard at work on their craft.  You realize that they are the future in creative arts and need, not only an outlet, but encouragement.

 

After watching a "Star Wars" video produced by Derek Postma and his classmate Connor Diemer, I would say that with encouragement and opportunity, we could be looking at the next Lucas or Spielberg.

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flickr, Rampant.Gaffer
flickr, Rampant.Gaffer
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The Amway Fourth Of July Fireworks Are Back This Year!

Fireworks will illuminate the sky once again this year during 4th of July celebrations at Ah Nab Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids, presented by Amway.

In addition to the fireworks, a parade will kick off the celebration Wednesday, July 4 at 5 p.m.

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Michigan Municipal League (MML)/flickr.com
Michigan Municipal League (MML)/flickr.com
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East Grand Rapids Reeds Lake Clothesline Arts Fair This Saturday

This is one art fair you do not want to miss.  It's the perfect setting just off of Reeds Lake, with lots of bars and restaurants close by.  You'll find something for all prices plus you always get a nice variety of art.  There are wood works, pottery, oil paintings, watercolors, textiles, jewelry and everything else in between.  Another perk is you'll have the opportunity to meet the artists and talk to them about the pieces you purchase.

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stevendepolo/flickr.com
stevendepolo/flickr.com
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Festival Of The Arts June 1st, 2nd and 3rd At Grand Rapids Calder Plaza

What's your favorite part of Festival Of The Arts.  In the past I've heard people joking that its name should be changed to Festival Of The Food because there is so much of it there.  Talk about arousing your sense of smell.  Festival offers it all up!  Whether you are looking for Italian, German, Vegetarian, Ribs,  Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, etc., you can find it all at Festival!

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flickr/ColorblindRain
flickr/ColorblindRain
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Meijer Gardens Opens A New Exhibition

I'm always talking about the "gems" of Grand Rapids and West Michigan.

Well, there's nothing finer than the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids.  Not only is it 'world class,' but literally attracts visitors from 'around the world.'

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Kent District Library
Kent District Library
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KDL’s Teen Poetry Contest Winners

Earlier this year I wrote about the Kent District Library's Word Wise, KDL’s ninth annual teen poetry contest. It was open to all, aspiring, teem poets.

Well, it's in the books, and it was once again a huge success thanks to all the great teen poets out there.  This year there were about 200 entries that the KDL staff reviewed.  Once they narrowed down the entries, the "official" judge, David Cope took over.  David is a creative writing professor at Grand Rapids Community College as well as the current Grand Rapids Poet Laureate. He selected 7 winners and 1 honorable mention. Congratulations to the winning poets!  Here they are.

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Grand Rapids Symphony logo
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Grand Rapids Symphony Society Holds Annual Meeting and Elects New Board Members

One of the true treasures of Grand Rapids is our Grand Rapids Symphony.

The Symphony has been performing the classics and pops since 1930, and the Grammy nominated orchestra is rated one of the top regional symphonies in the country.

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East Grand Rapids Library
East Grand Rapids Library
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Art is on Display at the East Grand Rapids Library

Grand Rapids is fortunate to have fine art galleries.  The Grand Rapids Art Museum is world class, and Kendall College, in partnership with Ferris State has some wonderful galleries.

Grand Valley State University has the Gordon Gallery in their downtown campus DeVos Center, and proudly displays their extensive collection throughout the downtown and Allendale campuses

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norjam8/flickr.com
norjam8/flickr.com
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Grand Rapids Heritage Hill Home Tour Is This Weekend!

It's been moved to the Spring and if this is the first you've heard about it, it's happening this weekend! The Heritage Hills 43rd Annual Weekend Tour of Homes happens Saturday and Sunday, May 19th and 20th.

It's a chance to go back in time as families in the Heritage Hills neighborhood open up their beautiful homes to the public.  Hours are 11 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Noon to 6 pm on Sunday.

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