The story of Grand Rapids cannot be told without acknowledging the tremendous contributions of women from the area and beyond. We honor them every day but especially throughout Women’s History Month, the annual spring observance that highlights the role of women in events in history and contemporary society. Here are some great ways to celebrate female empowerment this March.

Take the self-guided Women Legends Walking Tour to see bronze statues spotlighting eight women, including First Lady Betty Ford. They’re part of the Community Legends Sculpture Project, which pays tribute to notable figures in history through a series of installations situated around the downtown area.

Gilda’s LaughFest, the nation’s first community-wide festival of laughter, takes place every March. It raises awareness and funds for Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, a cancer support community founded by three local women. Since its 2011 debut, LaughFest has brought many of the biggest female names in comedy to Grand Rapids, including Betty White, Lily Tomlin, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Griffin, Amy Schumer, Ali Wong and Loni Love. See who’s coming to town this March.

Grand Rapids Running Tours offers two guided tours ideal for Women’s History Month: “Lady Legends” visits numerous local organizations that were founded by or inspired by women and “Rad American Women A-Z” is a tour of outdoor utility boxes that have been painted in tribute to 26 bold, visionary women. Schedule your running, walking or step-on bus tour.

Meet the women who are crafting the beverage industry in Grand Rapids – and then sample their handiwork at Long Road Distillers, Schmohz Brewing Company, Robinette’s Apple Haus and Winery, Brewery Vivant, Harmony Brewing Company, Harmony Hall, Speciation Artisan Ales and Pink Barrel Cellars.

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