Festivals & Events

Grand Rapids is home to many festivals and events throughout the year celebrating everything from our cultural heritage to our simple need to have fun. Be on the look out for these events, typically on the weekends. Here is a growing list for you to get started.

January

Grand Rapids Ball Drop
Rosa Parks Circle
Dec 31st-Jan 1st
Details to come
Celebrated the new year live with Grand Rapids as we gather to watch the traditional new year's ball drop.

February

Many of the bars and clubs host Valentine's day events. Check their site for details. Tickets may be required.

March

Laugh Fest
Early to mid-March
A 10 day festival of comedy, improve, and shows. Locations all throughout Grand Rapids. Check the Website for details.

Grand Rapids St. Patrick's Day Parade
Usually starts downtown on Monroe Ave.
Start time 11 a.m.
Free
Saturday closest to St. Patty's Day

Irish on Ionia
Celebration on Ionia street.
Usually the Saturday closest to March 17th
Live music all day, a food court, beer tent, bagpipers, Celtic dancers and much more. Tickets are $15 at the gate
check online for updated details
.

April

May

Tulip Time 
Early May / Holland 
The annual celebration of Dutch culture and heritage in West Michigan features more than 6 million tulips on display, three parades, a carnival midway, Dutch dancing and entertainment. General admission is free; concerts are extra.

Great Lakes Kite Festival 
Mid May / Grand Haven
Mackinaw Kites & Toys' hosts the annual event on the beaches of Grand Haven State Park that features giant kites, stunt kite fliers and the World's Largest Outdoor Kite Store. Visitors can be bring their own kites or test-fly the newest kites on the manufacturers' fields, plus there are plenty of extra activities for kids. Free admission.

June

Three Fires Traditional Pow Wow
Early June; All day event
Come see traditional Native Americans dances, music, and crafts. Learn about Native American culture and traditions.

Festival of the Arts 
Early June, Grand Rapids 
 GR's largest annual outdoor event is back for a 45th year to honor the arts in West Michigan. Dozens of food and artist booths stretch from Calder Plaza to Rosa Parks Circle, and local musicians and dancers perform on six outdoor stages. The completely free community festival is supported by the efforts of more than 20,000 local volunteers.

July

National Cherry Festival 
Traverse City, MI
A celebration of all things cherry. Parades, entertainment, contests, and food.

4th of July Fireworks
Downtown Grand Rapids
Several viewing points including Ah-Nab-Awen Park & the Bridges

August

Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival
Late July-Early August
Grand Haven, Michigan
Parades, boats, fireworks, food, crafts, and rides.
 

September

ArtPrize
Late Sept-Early October downtown GR
One of the largest art competitions in the world. Over a thousand entries by various artists are displayed throughout GR.

Michigan Irish Music Festival
Mid September
Heritage Landing in Muskegon
Live music, food, and shopping focused on Irish culture in Michigan.

October

Zombie Dash
Oct 25th evening
Sign up to run a 5k while being chased by "zombie". Fun event through downtown Grand Rapids.

Grand Valley Renaissance Faire
September 27-28th
On the Allendale Campus
19th Annual event! Come join the celebration at Michigan's only free Renaissance Faire!
Vendors, entertainment, food, and more are join together to bring you the Grand Valley Renaissance Festival! For one weekend, the Grand Valley State University campus is transformed into a land of history and fantasy.
 

November

Annual TURKEY TROT 5K
Late Nov.
A 5K through downtown Grand Rapids with benefits going to the Grand Rapids Public school system.

December

Nite Lites Christmas Light Display
At 5/3 Ball Park. Admission $15
See winter light displays throughout the park

Holiday Kerstmarkt 
Late Nov-Early Dec.
This open-air European Christmas Market at the Eighth Street Market Place in downtown Holland features sixteen vendors offering unique handcrafted gifts, authentic Dutch holiday treats, fresh greenery, ornaments and more Fridays and Saturdays.

Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World
Late Nov-Jan.
Frederik Meijer Gardens is transformed by thousands of lights, strolling carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, the Polar Express-inspired Railway Garden and more than 42 international tree displays. Admission is $12 for adults and $4-$6 for kids; carriage rides are extra.

GRAM Christmas Tree Lighting 
Early-Mid-Dec. 
Look on as the giant evergreen placed outside of the Grand Rapids Art Museum is officially lit for the season . Afterwards, enjoy free carriage rides, explore the art galleries or ice skate at Rosa Parks Circle. Check website for date and times closer to the date.



Page last modified September 13, 2021