2017 Festival of the Arts takes over Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – A Grand Rapids tradition is back this weekend… Festival of the Arts! The festival kicks off this Friday, June 2nd, and we had Melissa and Jessi in studio to give us the inside scoop.

>>> Watch video above to learn more!

Festival history

Festival of the Arts is an annual three-day celebration of West Michigan arts and artists which takes place in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, on the first full weekend in June.

In 1969, Alexander Calder’s La Grande Vitesse was installed in front of City Hall in downtown Grand Rapids in an area now called Calder Plaza. “La Grande Vitesse” is French for “the great swiftness” or “the grand rapids.”

The Calder stabile inspired arts organizers in Grand Rapids to develop a FREE community celebration of the arts on the plaza on which the Calder was built. Alexander Calder  himself a big fan of community arts festivals  created the original sun logo as a gift for the event. This logo is still in use today.

Over the next 40+ years, the event grew to encompass nearly all of downtown Grand Rapids, with many more performance stages, exhibits, and activities attracting almost half a million people every year, and becoming one of the largest volunteer driven arts event in the nation.

New this year

New this year for Festival of the Arts is Kids World and Block Printing. Kid’s World presents entertainment for kids at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids! There will also be silly and delightful songs for kids…

Dilly Songs shows:

  • Friday at 5PM
  • Saturday at 3PM

Festival details

Festival June 2, 3, 4 in downtown Grand Rapids. Calder Plaza and Kid’s World is at Rosa Parks Circle. This is a FREE festival. To learn more > https://festivalgr.org/