Annual Experience Grand Rapids community events include, but aren't limited to:
Cool Brews. Hot Eats. (CBHE) celebrates the art of dining together with craft beer, in honor of Grand Rapids' local dining scene and two consecutive wins of Beer City USA. 55+ area dining establishments participate in this winter food promotion by offering a special dish that is made with craft beer as one of the ingredients, or a special dish that can be paired with craft beer.
Experience Grand Rapids holds an annual celebration to share with partners, stakeholders and community members the progress and success of the previous year's tourism industry as well as future plans for the upcoming year. The Joe Tomaselli Hotelier of the Year Award is also presented to a Kent County hotel general manager who displays passion for hospitality, exceptional customer service and community involvement. This event has fast become one of the premier annual events in Grand Rapids.
An invitation to diners to "Taste the City", Restaurant Week GR takes place each August. Experience a variety of earth-to-table menu creations from 50+ restaurants. Indulge in Michigan's freshest harvest and treat yourself to wonderful wines, beers, and spirits. Plus, $1 from every Restaurant Week meal sold goes to the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education.
The Impacting Hospitality Celebration (IHC) celebrates many aspects of tourism. The WAVE awards are presented to nominated individuals who consistently deliver customer service way above visitor expectations. The celebration also recognizes Hometown Champions who have helped Experience Grand Rapids staff bring a meeting or convention to Grand Rapids, thus boosting the local economy and tourism industry. Lastly, Certified Tourism Ambassadors (CTAs) are also recognized. These individuals have gone through the national certification program and are trained to make sure every visitor has a positive experience in our destination. This event is also a kick-off to the annual International Wine, Beer and Food Festival.
A Grand Welcome is our way to reach out to newcomers – especially minority residents – and facilitate connections that will improve their lives, their careers and their sense of belonging. This strengthens the fabric of our community and makes Grand Rapids more appealing for residents and visitors alike.