When most people think of festivals, they likely think of an event that occurs during the warmer months, but why should the summer get all the fun?

In Grand Rapids the festival scene happens all year long and brings people of all walks of life together for fun activities, excellent food and drinks, culture, and art.

Listed below are just a few of the festivals and events you won’t want to miss in late winter and early spring 2019.

Ice sculpture at Valent-ICE
Ice sculpture of a dog at Valent-ICE

Ice sculpture at Valent-ICE

Photo Credit: Melody VanderWeide


Valent-ICE: A World of Winter Event

February 14-17, 2019
Rosa Parks Circle

The annual Valent-ICE: A World of Winter Event held at Rosa Parks Circle’s ice rink celebrates love and winter. During this Valentine’s Day-inspired event, you can enjoy watching live ice carving, ice skating, and a walking tour of dozens beautiful ice sculptures. Grab your sweetheart or your family and check out this free event.

Winter Games 2019 by Meijer State Games of Michigan

February 15-17, 2019
Various locations in Michigan

Watch thousands of local athletes go head-to-head in winter sports at the Winter Games 2019 by Meijer State Games of Michigan. Athletes of all ages and abilities will compete in snowboarding, fat biking, speed skating, cross country skiing, and luge events. You can also catch athletes competing in indoor events like basketball, archery, karate, fencing, wrestling, weight lifting, and more.

The Winter Games will take place at various locations across the state. Kent County venue locations include Cannonsburg Ski Area, West Michigan Archery Center, Huff Park, Cornerstone University, and more.

TRhe Beer City Brewsader Passport mobile app

TRhe Beer City Brewsader Passport mobile app

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids


Beer Month GR

February 15-March 15
Various locations

Celebrate Grand Rapids' award-winning, internationally recognized craft beer scene throughout Beer Month GR. 

The event takes place from February 15 to March 15 and will consist of a variety of beer-related events, including Cool Brews. Hot Eats., Winter Beer Festival (listed below), and more.

Explore Grand Rapids' many craft breweries and fill your Beer City Brewsader Passport in the process. For more information on the Beer City Brewsader Passport, download the mobile app available for Android and Apple devices.

Visit the Beer Month GR page for more details, including hotel packages and announcements.

Crowd at the Winter Beer Festival

Crowd at the Winter Beer Festival

Photo Credit: Marty Dunham, Michigan Brewers Guild


14th Annual Winter Beer Festival

February 22-23, 2019
Fifth Third Ballpark

Enjoy delicious craft beer with hundreds of other beer lovers at the 14th Annual Winter Beer Festival at Fifth Third Ballpark! Over 140 Michigan breweries and brewpubs will be on-site, in addition to local entertainment, food options, and ice sculptures.

The event takes place during Beer Month GR (mentioned above), a month long celebration of Grand Rapids’ award-winning craft breweries.

Get your tickets early because this event sells out quickly! Each ticket comes with 15 tasting tokens, and attendees will have over 1,000 different Michigan-brewed beers to choose from.

Designated driver tickets are available for a discounted price.

Shuttle service to and from the festival and downtown hotels will be available. Details on the transportation will be announced soon.

LaughFest 2019 lineup

LaughFest 2019 lineup

Photo Credit: LaughFest


LaughFest

March 7-17, 2019
Various locations in Grand Rapids

Attend various LaughFest events for lots of laughter, and to raise money for a great cause.

The 10-day festival features headliners such as Ali Wong, Ed Asner, Loni Love, Matt Bellassai, and more. There will be plenty of ticketed and free events that include stand-up comedy, improv, live shows, films, authors, and community showcases, just to name a few. In fact, two-thirds of LaughFest's programming are free community events!

LaughFest proceeds from LaughFest will be donated to Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids to support cancer, grief, and support resources.

Who doesn’t need a good laugh?

Tulips at the 90th annual Tulip Time

Tulips at the 90th annual Tulip Time

Photo Credit: Matthew Makowski


Tulip Time

May 4-12, 2019
Downtown Holland, Michigan

Travel 25-miles southwest of downtown Grand Rapids to visit the 90th anniversary of Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan! This four-day festival features over five-million beautiful tulip bulbs, delicious food, entertainment, cultural events to honor West Michigan’s Dutch heritage, and even fireworks!

Peruse through Holland’s Dutch market, watch the parades, and stay for the fireworks for an entire day of outdoor family fun.  

Calder Plaza is home to many festivals and community events throughout the year, including the African American Art & Musical Festival. Here the plaza is part of the Festival of the Arts.

Calder Plaza is home to many festivals and community events throughout the year, including the African American Art & Musical Festival. Here the plaza is part of the Festival of the Arts.

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids


Festival of the Arts

June 7-9, 2019
Downtown Grand Rapids

Festival of the Arts celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019!

This annual event attracts nearly half-a-million visitors to downtown Grand Rapids every year. Bring a good pair of walking shoes, and experience different forms of art on display throughout downtown.

Artists will display their many forms of art, including two-and-three dimensional objects, poetry, dance, theatre, music, storytelling, films, and more.

Food, artwork, and themed gifts will be available for purchase, and proceeds from each purchase will be donated to West Michigan communities.

Annual Homecoming of the Traditional Three Fires Pow Wow

June 8-9, 2019
Riverside Park

The Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians' Annual Homecoming of the Traditional Three Fires Pow Wow is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019!

Head to Riverside Park with family and friends to celebrate the weekend-long event that's free to attend. Entertainment, food, and cultural activities will be available at the event. Stay tuned for more details!

Batty Davis performing at Pride Festival 2018 at Calder Plaza in Grand Rapids

Batty Davis performing at Pride Festival 2018 at Calder Plaza in Grand Rapids

Photo Credit: Pride Festival. Performer: Batty Davis, 2018. Photographer: Eric Zuniga


Grand Rapids Pride Festival

June 14-16, 2019
Calder Plaza

Calling all advocates, allies, and members of the LGBTQ+ community! Celebrate Pride Month at the Grand Rapids Pride Festival taking place at Calder Plaza.

The weekend-long event is filled with parties, national entertainment, drag shows, family activities, and a street fair all hosted in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. Visit the Grand Rapids Pride Center’s website for more information about this year’s event.

Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival

June 15, 2019
Rosa Parks Circle

Join Grand Rapids' Asian-Pacific Community in celebrating their diverse cultures during the Asian-Pacific Festival. Take in cultural demonstrations, musical performances, children's activities, and, of course, food during this family-friendly annual event. 

What events are you most looking forward to attending in 2019? Let us know in the comments below!

Visit the Events page to stay up to date with all local events.

Don't miss a post!
Sign-up for the Insider Experience blog.