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'Movies in the Park' begin August 2

'Movies in the Park' begin August 2

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The inaugural “Movies in the Park” takes over Ah-Nab-Awen Park Friday, August 2.

Based on online votes, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. will present “The Princess Bride” Friday night.  The showing is free to the public.  Visitors should bring their own blankets or lawn chairs for the event.  Refreshments will be available for purchase, and beer and wine are allowed.

Two more films will be shown as part of Movies in the Park.  “Back to the Future” will air August 16 and “Anchorman” will be on the big screen August 23.   Movie-themed activities begin at 7 p.m.; the movie showing begins at dusk.

'Stuff the Bus' challenge to help 3,000 students

'Stuff the Bus' challenge to help 3,000 students

The “Stuff the Bus” community challenge is back.

 Now through August 9, Hand2Hand Ministries and the Student Advancement Foundation will be collecting school supplies and personal items for children.  The donations will be distributed to about 3,000 middle school students in the Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Wyoming, Godfrey Lee, Jenison and Hudsonville school districts.

 “Soap, Socks and Supplies” is the theme for this fourth annual campaign. Donations can be dropped off Fifth Third Bank locations throughout metro Grand Rapids.  Financial donations are also being accepted.

 "Each year Fifth Third supplies the backpacks for the students, and we look forward to working together with the community to fill them," said Scott Stenstrom of Fifth Third Bank.

East Grand Rapids gears up for triathalon after GR Facebook honor

East Grand Rapids gears up for triathalon after GR Facebook honor

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—East Grand Rapids is getting ready to host the Reeds Lake Triathalon again this year.

This is their 30th year for the race, which will take over portions of M-21 on September 7, leading to lane closures around 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.  The Reeds Lake Triathalon is expected to attract 1,200 athletes—approximately the same amount who turned out for the Grand Rapids Triathalon on June 9.

This week, Facebook named Grand Rapids the top U.S. city for triathalons.   Grand Rapids was the only Michigan city to make Facebook’s list of fittest cities, which was compiled based on fitness-related status updates, gym check-ins, use of fitness apps and fitness-related life events listed by Facebook users earlier this year.

Free concerts and activities return for GRAM on the Green

Free concerts and activities return for GRAM on the Green

GRAM on the Green is back for another season.

The community is invited to experience free outdoor activities including live music, sketching, games, dancing and even a cash bar on Fridays at 6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. through August 23 at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

This fun summer event is sponsored by the Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation, the Downtown Alliance and GRAM. Museum admission is also discounted to $5 after 5 p.m. for non-members; members get in free.

Werq dance fitness and ballroom dancing takes place through August 16. On August 23, the music will move into the museum lobby due to the Polish Festival in Rosa Parks Circle and admission to GRAM will be free after 5pm. 

This year's lineup includes: 

NFL player helps Van Andel Institute fight cancer July 17-18

NFL player helps Van Andel Institute fight cancer July 17-18

Work out alongside NFL player Jared Veldheer as part of the Van Andel Institute’s Barre Fight Against Cancer.

The two-day workout begins at 6:30 p.m. July 17 at Powerstrength Training Systems, located at 1680 4 Mile Rd. NE  and ends at Pure Barre, located at 2107 E. Beltine Ave. NE.  For $20, participants  get NFL training with Veldheer  and a  Pure Barre class, as well as a Purple Community t-shirt.  Proceeds will go towards cancer research at VAI.

Space is limited.  To reserve a spot, visit https://community.vai.org/veldheerbarre.

Libraries offer free passes to state parks

Libraries offer free passes to state parks
 

Now’s your chance to enjoy the “MI Big Green Gym” by picking up free state park passes at your local library.

The Michigan Recreation and Parks Association is teaming up with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to offer free passes, allowing visitors to experience free recreation  programs many of the parks offer.

Free concerts return for GRAM on the Green July 12

Free concerts return for GRAM on the Green July 12

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Grand Rapids Art Museum’s free summer outdoor concert series returns Friday, July 12.

GRAM on the Green will take place every Friday night through August 23 in and around the GRAM.  Visitors can enjoy live music, dancing, fitness activities, sketching, games and more. 

The lineup includes:

  • July 12: The Moxie Strings with Fritz McGirr (High-Energy Celtic Fusion)
  • July 19: The Crane Wives (Indie Folk)
  • July 26: The John Gist Band (R&B/Soul Instrumental)
  • August 2: Orquesta Tradición (Caribbean Salsa, Merengue, Bolero, and Bachata)
  • August 9: An Dro (Celtic/World Beat)
  • August 16: Randy Marsh/Ron Getz Trio (Modern Jazz Guitar Improv)
  • August 23: Neil Jacobs (Gypsy & World 12-String Guitar)

All musical performances will take place from 6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with a short break at 7 p.m.