Mark your calendar for Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids’ fifth annual LaughFest, which takes place from March 5 – 15, 2015. While LaughFest conjures images of funny men and women doing stand-up and improv comedy, the festival also includes film, authors, stage and musical acts, workshops, community showcases, family friendly events, and much, much more. There really is something for everyone at this one-of-a-kind 10-day festival that celebrates “laughter for the health of it” and supports the free cancer and grief programming offered by Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids.
We caught up with Wendy Wigger, President of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, to give you the inside scoop on what you can expect at this year’s LaughFest. [read more…]
Founders Brewing Co. Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) Week, March 9-14, allows the Grand Rapids community – and those who travel here – to enjoy the beer ranked one of the best beers in the world by RateBeer.com users three weeks before it officially ships outside Michigan.
Photo courtesy of Rick Fortier
According to the Founders website, Kentucky Breakfast Stout is an imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolates, then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year to make sure wonderful bourbon undertones come through in the finish. And it is precisely the cave-aging that ensures the demand will nearly always outweigh the supply.
In years past, interested beer drinkers have crashed web servers and formed seemingly endless lines around Founders Brewing Co. to purchase tickets hoping to enjoy this Founders tradition. This year alone, tickets sold out in ten minutes for the KBS 4-pack pick up at Founders. KBS Week launched 2014 to allow more beer lovers the opportunity to enjoy KBS. [read more…]
Photo courtesy of Brewery Vivant
Cool Brews. Hot Eats. (CBHE) starts February 16. So where are you heading to experience some of the best beer and food pairings Grand Rapids has to offer? And, just as importantly, where are your friends doing the same?
The third annual CBHE runs Monday, February 16 – Sunday, February 28 and features over 50 restaurants and breweries offering creative fine food and fine beer pairings exclusively for the two-week event. Along with food and beer pairings created specifically for this event, some breweries are hosting special events during these fun and foamy weeks.
Brewery Vivant will serve a Wild Game Stew including venison, elk and wild boar accompanied with a duck liver dumpling exclusively for CBHE.
On any given night of the week in Grand Rapids you can find a place to soothe your soul with live jazz. Just grab your coat and take your pick. Here’s a sampling of where you’ll find it:
LaFontsee Galleries Underground Concert Series
photo courtesy of LaFontsee Galleries
On February 15 at 3:00 p.m., you can catch the inaugural concert in LaFontsee Galleries’ Underground Concert Series presented in collaboration by AdventureMusic.org. A string quartet and jazz quintet with arrangements composed by Steve Talaga will accompany poet Linda Nemec Foster while she reads from her composition “Contemplating the Heavens.”
“The idea for this series is a throwback to the 1990s,” says Megan Dupuy, Marketing and Communications at LaFontsee Galleries. “We had a series with the same title when we were at our old location on Monroe.” During that era, the Underground Concert Series featured artists like Roscoe Mitchell, Reggie Workman, Nels Cline, Regina Carter, Ken Vandermark and the late Fred Anderson. “We’re excited to get to it again!” says Dupuy. [read more…]
It’s hard to think of a better way to escape the chilly Michigan weather than coming inside for a hot meal and a cool brew. The third annual Cool Brews Hot Eats (CBHE) kicks-off Monday, February 16 through Saturday, February 28 and features over 50 restaurant partners that have created a special menu item for the event.
“Grand Rapids is enthusiastic about beer,” said Kate Herron, Community Development Manager, for Experience Grand Rapids. “For those who can’t get a ticket to the Winter Beer Festival, or who prefer to be inside and enjoy beer, Experience Grand Rapids created CBHE. Now everyone can join in on the fun and celebrate local beer, even if they aren’t attending the festival.”
Winter in West Michigan means falling temperatures and snow and comfort food! Fortunately, the thriving restaurant scene in Grand Rapids also means you have plenty of options to choose from—we have lots of places that serve great food and drinks and feature a cozy fireplace (or two!) to help take the edge off the cold outside.
photo courtesy of Grand Woods Lounge
Grand Woods Lounge
Downtown at Grand Woods Lounge, a huge brick fireplace warms the room, adding to the restaurant’s already friendly vibe.
photo courtesy of Grand Woods Lounge
Decorated in the rustic, outdoorsy style of the Pacific Northwest, Grand Woods is the kind of place you can enjoy a hearty meal (like their tasty BBQ pulled pork sandwich or Back Woods Stew) and relax—unless it’s one of the nights they’re featuring a live band. In that case, it’s still the kind of place where you can get a great meal, but you’ll be having too much fun to just sit and relax.
In addition to the gorgeous indoor fireplace, Grand Woods also has a 4-season porch with another fireplace and radiant heat. [read more…]