By Chris Powers – Web Editor
After last weekend’s festivities, this may be much more low-key. This week’s list features some culture, plenty of food and beverage related activities, unique baseball promotions and, of course, the weekly movie round-up.
Grand Rapids Symphony Picnic Pops
The 2015 Picnic Pops series kicked off last night at Cannonsburg Ski Area with a tribute to Neil Diamond called “Super Diamond.” The annual concert series from the Grand Rapids Symphony continues tonight at 7:30 p.m. Same-day tickets start at $21 at the door. The event continues next Thursday and Friday with “Classical Fireworks” featuring Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, and then again the following week with “The Piano Men” with hits from Billy Joel and Elton John.
Grand Rapids Downtown Market
There’s plenty to do at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market on Saturdays. Start your day with a Vinyasa yoga class from 9:30–10:45 a.m. ($10). For kids, there’s a scavenger hunt on the market’s green roof from 10 a.m. to noon (FREE). From 11 a.m. to noon, Chef Chris McKellar from Love’s Ice Cream will demonstrate how to make strawberry basil ice cream (FREE). If you’re not one of those people who has to wait until noon to start drinking, the Outdoor Farmers Market Bar opens at 11 a.m. and features a variety of cocktails and weekly beer offerings.
Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters Saturday Experience
If coffee’s more your cup of tea, check out The Saturday Experience at Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters. This open house style experience features free samples of at least three different blends of Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters coffee from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They will also be roasting many of their coffees to order and there is even a special Saturday Experience Roast which can be purchased only at the event.
The West Michigan Whitecaps have a three-game homestand this weekend against the Bowling Green Hot Rods. Tonight’s game starts at 7 p.m. with former Detroit Tiger Dean Palmer signing autographs. The Whitecaps will be giving away Dean Palmer bobbleheads to the first 1,000 fans when gates open at 5:30 p.m. Saturday night is the 10th annual Star Wars Night. The Great Lakes Garrison of the 501st Legion will be in costume to meet fans and take pictures. First pitch is 7 p.m. The first 1,000 fans will get a droid hat and there will be fireworks following the game. Sunday afternoon is not only kids day, but dog day. The Whitecaps invite fans to bring their dogs to the ballpark, with the “world’s largest dog wash” on the plaza in front of the park. Gates open at noon and the game starts at 1 p.m. Kids can run the bases, play catch on the field and get autographs from the team. Also, the first 1,000 kids through the gates at noon eat free.
This Week in Movies
Tonight’s Movie in the Park at Ah Nab Awen Park is Dirty Dancing (FREE). The ‘80s classic starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey will start at dusk, but pre-show activities start at 7 p.m. As always, costumes are encouraged.
Disney/Pixar’s “Inside Out” topped the box office last week, barely edging out “Jurassic World.” They will face stiff competition from “Minions” this week. “Terminator Genisys,” “Magic Mike XXL” and “Ted 2” rounded out the top five for the Fourth of July weekend.
“Minions” is the follow-up to 2010’s “Despicable Me” and 2013’s “Despicable Me 2.” A prequel, the movie is the origin story of Gru’s adorable yellow sidekicks (including a possible retcon) and features the voices of Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton and Allison Janney.
Horror fans will want to catch “The Gallows,” a so-called found footage movie about a group of teens who resurrect a school play that was cancelled 20 years earlier because of a horrible accident. Anyone who was on the internet over Memorial Day weekend may recall the “Charlie Charlie Challenge” which may or may not have been a viral marketing campaign for this movie.
“Self/Less” features Ben Kingsley as a wealthy man who transfers his consciousness into healthy young “empty vessel” Ryan Reynolds in an attempt to live forever. While it might be refreshing to see a sci-fi movie that doesn’t come with franchise baggage, the premise may remind some viewers of Face/Off with John Travolta and Nicolas Cage.
The Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts is screening “The Overnight” starring Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling. This Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee features a young couple, played by Scott and Schilling, new to Los Angeles who get caught up in a family “playdate” with a mysterious stranger they meet in the park played by Jason Schwartzman. Celebration Cinema Woodland also has very limited showtimes for anyone wanting to avoid downtown.