Gilda’s LaughFest is relocating its LaughFest Community Kickoff for the 10-day festival on Thursday night to Fountain Street Church because of weather concerns, festival officials announced.

The LaughFest Community Kickoff, presented by Feyen Zylstra, starts at 6:30 p.m. EST Thursday with Fountain Street Church's doors open with pre-activities beginning at 5:45 p.m. EST.

The event will still carry on as planned, with hopes to set a Guinness World Record for the most people wearing paper crowns. Baudville Inc. will provide all participants with a paper crown as well as an exclusive LaughFest button to the first 1,500 people. An official, limited edition LaughFest World Record t-shirt will be available for purchase. The world record attempt will be at 6:45 p.m. EST.

Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain Street NE in Grand Rapids, is also hosting several other events during the festival, including Lavell Crawford on March 11, Jim Jefferies on March 12 and Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood on March 15.

“We are more than happy to host the Community Kickoff event,” Senior Minister Fred Wooden said. “We have plenty of space, and hope everyone will still plan to come out and help LaughFest break a world record, despite the weather.”

The event was relocated from Rosa Parks Circle because of weather concerns, with the National Weather Service's Grand Rapids Office forecasting a high of 18 degrees and low of 4 degrees for Thursday.

The Community Kickoff will be followed with opening night events at downtown restaurants, Clean Comedy Showcases, and a free comedy preview show at 10 p.m. at The Pyramid Scheme (68 Commerce Ave.) at 10 p.m.

The comedy preview show includes a sneak peak of local, regional and national comedians who will be featured during the festival. A suggested $5 donation to Gilda’s Club will be collected at the door.

Fast passes are available for the shows at LaughFest Central, which is located in the Grand Rapids Art Museum, 101 Monroe Center Street NW. The passes guarantee the pass-holders a seat at the show as long as they are seated 15 minutes prior to start time.

Gilda's LaughFest runs March 5 to 15 at venues in Grand Rapids, Ada, Howell and Lowell.

Created by Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, Gilda’s LaughFest debuted in 2011. For more details, visit LaughFest's website or call (616) 735-4242.

Gilda's Club Grand Rapids provides free emotional health care to children, adults, families and friends on any kind of cancer journey or those grieving the death of someone in their life due to any cause. Gilda's Club is a non-profit with clubhouses in Grand Rapids and Lowell. For more details, visit Gilda's Club's website.

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