The 48th Festival of the Arts took over downtown Grand Rapids on Friday. Filling the streets with music, art, food and people.
This year’s theme is “Make it a Family Tradition”. Each year, the Festival of the Arts creates an atmosphere of enjoyment for families from all over the city. Festival offers a fun way to celebrate culture, community and history of art within Grand Rapids.
Alana Magniant, who has volunteered at the Art Festival for over 20 years, says she likes to volunteer at the Festival because she loves giving her time to something that makes people happy. “I also like that, at the art tent and some of the food booths, they accept credit cards” Magniant said. “I like the fact that technology is emerging in the festivals to give everyone a better experience overall.”
One of the places where many families spent a lot of their time at was the “Kid’s World” section at Rosa Parks Circle. In this section, kids were able to decorate lunch bags for the Kid’s Food Basket, paint a masterpiece, design a diaper for the Great Start Collaborative and build wooden sculptures at the Glue In station.
The food booths were big hits for many visitors who were looking to try something new. There were 26 different food booths varying foods from a good old American hot dog to Korean tacos. At the Northview Athletic Boosters booth the line was packed full of people waiting to get an elephant ear.
Each year the performances are louder and more unique. On Friday night, the Northview Tuba Ensemble took over the Calder stage, performed music that ranged from the “Star Spangled Banner” to more alternative stuff like heavy metal.
Over at the City stage, an artist named Avalon Cutts-Jones sang classics like “Summer Breeze” by Seals and Croft and “We are one” by Maze ft. Frankie Beverly.
On Sunday, at Rosa Parks Circle the Grand Rapids Sister Cities organization and Bethany Christian Services celebrated the last day of the art festival with a international arts and entertainment event highlighting “Kids from around the World” theme.
Throughout the day there were several musical performances and dancing. At 1p.m., the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra performed at the Calder Stage bringing soul and life to the stage. At the 3:15 p.m., at the same stage the Pacific Island Dancers performing Hawaiian dancing.