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Thousands expected at Halloween on Ionia


The same people who bring you Irish on Ionia every year are putting the last minute finishing touches on plans for the 3rd annual Halloween on Ionia that is expected to draw thousands.

Shane Philipsen, the sales and special events manager for BarFly Ventures, joined the Weekend Morning News team to share more about this year's event which includes a costume contest.


Here is how it works:

STEP 1 - Upon arrival, register your costume at the costume registration tent across from Mcfaddens. Group, couples, or single based costumes are eligible to win. You will receive the same number if you have two or more individuals in your group. Registration is from 3pm - 11pm. We will take your information and issue you a clearly marked number.

One more chance to see clydesdales in G.R.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- If you didn't get to see the Budweiser Clydesdales at Van Andel Arena earlier this week, you're getting another shot.

The famous horses will be at the Grand Rapids Public Museum Saturday. Earlier this year, we told you how the museum is teaming up with Long Road Distillers for the exhibit called "American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition."

That's what brings the Clydesdales to the museum.

You can catch them either outside the building or across the street in the Holiday Inn parking lot Saturday from 11 am to 1 pm.

A look inside the newest hotel in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- We're getting our first look inside the newest hotel in Grand Rapids.

Developers and hotel operators broke ground on the Hampton Inn and Suites on Michigan Street near the Medical Mile in May 2014.

On Friday, WZZM 13 got a tour of the building, which was built on what used to be a parking lot.

Tourism officials say the new hotel will provide a lower cost alternative to those staying in the downtown area.

"It kind of follows the arterial, you got Michigan street here where there is obviously a ton of progress and development happening and this is a great node to further push that development down Michigan Street," said Max Benedict with Third Coast Development.

The $28 million project boasts five floors and 142 rooms. Its three-level parking deck has room for around 200 cars.

GRPD: Shots fired at GRFD not malicious

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids police are investigating what they are calling a "weapon firing incident" that occurred on Tuesday.

Just before 11 p.m., police were called to the area of S. Division Ave and Weston St. SW on a report of shots fired. Once on scene, they were directed to the area of Sheldon Ave SE and Weston St. SE where they found three shell casings.

A witness told police there was an altercation between a group of men nearby and that shots were fired. The group took off before cops arrived. No suspects or victims have been located.

Police later learned the Lagrave Avenue Station of the Grand Rapids Fire Department had been hit by gunfire. A total of three bullets hit the building.

GRPD doesn't believe the fire station or firefighters were targeted.

The incident remains under investigation.

St. Cecilia Music Center kicks off musical season

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- St. Cecilia Music Center is kicking off their season with lineup of world-renowned musicians from all over the world. For 132 years, St. Cecilia Music Center has upheld its mission of promoting the appreciation, study and performance of music in order to enrich the lives of the residents of West Michigan. Today, St. Cecilia Music Center is known by audiences and artists alike as one of the finest establishments to hear and see world-renowned musicians.

The Great Artist Gala with jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves opens on October 29, 2015

The black-tie optional gala includes a roaming dinner and drinks beginning at 6:30pm, the 8:00pm Reeves performance and a post-concert dessert reception. Tickets are $125. The $250 benefactor ticket includes a donation to SCMC and a post-concert meet and greet with Dianne Reeves.

Consul General of Japan visits Pres. Ford's burial site

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The newly appointed Consul General of Japan was in Grand Rapids on Friday to honor President Gerald Ford.

Counsul General, Mitsuhiro Wada, placed flowers at President Ford's burial site which is located on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

On November 20, 1974, Ford became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Japan. In his remarks, he described Japan as "not just temporary allies; we are permanent friends. We share the same goals—peace, development, stability and prosperity." He went on to say that the issues of peace and economic well-being are inextricably linked. He called for peace and cooperation, to solve problems including the cold war, the economy and the environment.

5th annual Fork Fest aims to promote local business

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- It's an annual food party that celebrates West Michigan businesses and it's happening Thursday night at Romence Gardens & Greenhouses.

The fifth annual Fork Fest will feature food and drinks from more than 40 local businesses. The vendors will include local farms, restaurants, grocery stores, distillers and breweries.

"Fork Fest has an amazing atmosphere," says Elissa Hillary, Executive Director of Local First, which is the event host. "We will have people milling around between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. to sample food from those vendors. You come, you grab a plate, look around, talk to people and meet the people behind your food businesses. This event is about building connections and meeting people who produce the things we get to enjoy."