Sixth annual Laughfest to begin March 10

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By Marco Zamudio – Collegiate Staff

Students at Grand Rapids Community College can expect something to laugh about this March. LaughFest 2016 will feature three on-campus events as part of the sixth annual festival.

Gilda’s LaughFest is a 10-day festival celebrating the integral role laughter has in emotional wellness. It takes place all across West Michigan and has done so every March since 2011. The festival raises both funds and awareness for Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, a nonprofit organization providing free emotional support to families and individuals on any kind of cancer or grief journey.

Wendy Wigger, president of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids and LaughFest, notes that 100 percent of the funds generated by LaughFest go towards making this programming possible.

“The proceeds from LaughFest supplement our organization’s operating revenue that is otherwise entirely dependent on charitable donations,” Wigger said.

LaughFest will stretch from March 10-20 this year.

“We give people the opportunity to come together and participate in fun activities that will bring a smile and laughter to their lives,” Wigger said. “After all, our motto is ‘Laughter for the health of it.’”

All three of the on-campus events are open to visitors of all ages and will be held at GRCC’s Ford Fieldhouse.

LaughFest events on campus are as follows:

Super Saturday Kids Zone 

This carnival-themed children’s event features inflatable bounce houses, games and other kid-friendly activities. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the Van Andel Arena Box Office, LaughFest Central and from Ticketmaster. This event takes place at 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, March 12.

FUNderwear Run

The festival’s FUNderwear Run is a 5K race where runners wear their underwear outside of their running clothes and run around downtown Grand Rapids. To participate in this race, register online. Cost is $35. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and race starts at 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 13.

People and Pets

For this event, attendees are welcome to bring along their obedient pets to participate in pet-related contests, vendor tables, photo booths and giveaways. This event takes place at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 13 and is free and open to all.

To view the full details for the events being held on campus, visit the GRCC events page on the LaughFest website.

“As the nation’s only community-wide festival of laughter, we are thrilled we’re able to host this festival year after year,” Wigger said. “We are thankful to everyone who attends the shows.”

LaughFest 2016 will have more than 200 free and ticketed events to take part in. Highlights for this year include performances by Seth Meyers, Kathy Griffin, Marlon Wayans and Anjelah Johnson, who will be headlining comedy showcases. For a complete overview of all the festival happenings, check out the LaughFest website.

At the close of the event, attendees threw their crowns into the air. (2015)Jonathan D. Lopez | The Collegiate Live
At the close of the event, attendees threw their crowns into the air. (2015)

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