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Best Summer Events in Grand Rapids

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Summer is basically here and this weekend kickoffs the fun-filled festivities of “Summer 2014.”

Here’s a look at upcoming events in Grand Rapids this summer- plan accordingly!


 

Going on this weekend:

Movies in the Park June 6
Free

This Friday kicks off the Movies in the Park series at Ah-Nab-AWen Park with a showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Pre-movie festivities kick off at 7 p.m. with the film starting at dusk. Get there early to claim your spot!

 

Local First Street Party June 7
Free

The 11th annual Street party takes place in front of Bistro Bella Vita this Saturday from 3 p.m.-midnight. My favorite guys, the Grand Rapids Soul Club, will be spinning 45s of soul and funk and Founders is providing the beer. There will also be live music, food vendors and food trucks.

 

Festival of the Arts June 6-8
Free

Festival always takes place downtown on the first full weekend in June and is a community celebration of art! There will be live music, food vendors, and of course, lots of art! Festivities kick off Friday at noon and 10 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

WFGR: It's Festival Weekend!

 

Founders Fest, June 21
$25

This is an event I’m really looking forward to. Founders Fest is a street party that takes place right in front of Founders on Grandville Ave. Gates open at 3 p.m. and there are some great acts performing this year including Lettuce (I’m a big fan of Lettuce), former James Brown impersonator Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, and the Founders employee super group the FBC All-Stars. Founders Fest is a 21+ event because, of course, the Founders will be flowin’. Beers like All Day IPA, Founders Fest Wheat & Rubaeus will be on tap as well as some year-rounds, one-offs, firkins & other rarities.

WFGR: Founders Fest 2014

 

Clips Beer and Film Tour June 27
Free

This is just like Movies in the Park, but with beer. Sponsored by New Belgium Brewing, the Clips Beer and Film Tour is a traveling celebration of beer and film. Watch fan-produced short films while sampling over 15 New Belgium beers. Plus 100% of the proceeds from beer sales benefit the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition.

 

Celebration on the Grand July 4-5
Free

This year Celebration on the Grand is combined with the 4th of July festivities at Ah-Nab-Awen Park. Celebration on the Grand activities will take place on Friday and the annual Amway Family Fireworks will kick off at dusk on Saturday. This year’s music headliner is local act The Outer Vibe and they’re always good time!

 

Summer Craft Beer Festival July 19
$30 in advance, $40 at the door

The 4th annual Summer Craft Beer Fest will be held from 2-7 p.m. at John Ball Park. Ticket prices include a souvenir sample glass and 15 sample tickets. Over 100 beers will be available from local and out-of-state breweries including Great Lakes Brewing Co., Saugatuck Brewing Co., and Big Sky Brewing Co. Can you think of a better way to spend a day than outdoors drinking lots of great beer? I can’t.

 

GrandJazz Fest August 16-17
Free

Two days of live jazz music kicks off at noon on August 16th at Rosa Parks Circle. Not only does GrandJazzFest feature local jazz artists like the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra and Grupo Aye, but there will also be renowned musicians like trumpeter and vocalist Rick Braun, who has performed with Rod Stewart, War, Sade, Tina Turner, and Natalie Cole. Even if you’re not a big fan of jazz music, grab a folding chair and come on down!

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