The nation’s first-ever community-wide festival of laughter, Gilda’s LaughFest, is just one week away. To celebrate the start of LaughFest 2018, we're all encouraged to YELLOW UP next Thursday, March 8, in support of the festival and to raise awareness for “the serious behind the funny”—the free cancer, grief and emotional health support programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.

Beginning March 8, businesses all around Grand Rapids will display yellow LaughFest yard signs and window displays. Streets and sidewalks will be dotted with the yellow flags, balloons, stickers and buttons, and at night, the city will glow yellow with LaughFest smiles.

Everyone is invited to YELLOW UP and you can find more information along with lots of fun and simple ways to get involved on social media and at laughfestgr.org, where LaughFest will be sharing contests and giveaways.

A new event this year is the LAUGHsketball game,Tuesday, March 13 at the DeltaPlex. LAUGHsketball, a free community event where comedians will take on local celebrities in a family-friendly basketball game. Doors will open at 5:30, and the game will begin at 6 p.m. The event will also feature activities for all ages, including a rubber chicken toss, dance competition, silent auctions, mascots and some seriously special guests.

All LaughFest information is on their website, LAUGHFESTGR.ORG