Sam Iannamico/Griffins
Sam Iannamico/Griffins

The Great Skate Winterfest is this weekend, tonight and all day tomorrow, and it's great fun for everyone. Everything begins tonight, Saturday, at 10 p.m., at Rosa Parks Circle, after the Griffins’ home game against the Milwaukee Admirals has wrapped up. Griff and Finn, the team’s mascots, will take the event’s opening shift, and every Griffins player and coach will follow for an hour each, skating with fans. The lineup of Griffins skaters can be found at

All the fun will include sled dogs, ice sculptors Sunday at 3 p.m. with the Ice Gurus, horse-drawn carriages, winter sport athletes, museums and community partners.

The Great Skate is for the benefit of the Griffins Youth Foundation who provide opportunities for more than 350 deserving boys and girls – many of whom are underprivileged, underserved, at-risk or have special needs – to participate in the great sport of hockey at no cost.

Admission to the Great Skate Winterfest is free, although donations are encouraged and nominal skating fees apply ($3 adult, $1 kids).


On the Great Skate  web site, fans can help raise money for the Griffins Youth Foundation by sponsoring their favorite Griffin or collecting pledges for their own participation in the Great Skate. Attendees will also have the chance to participate in an on-site silent auction that features an array of unique items from national and regional sports teams along with local entertainment venues, cultural institutions, hotels, breweries, restaurants and merchants.

The Great Skate Winterfest is presented by the Griffins, the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, Meijer and Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Other sponsors include Mobile GR and Parking Services, Centennial Securities, Smallegan Real Estate with Keller Williams, Connoisseur Design, FASTSigns, Gilmore, and Michigan First Credit Union.

For more information about the foundation, visit

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