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Downtown hosts Festival of the Arts

June 2, 2017
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Festival of the Arts
The Festival of the Arts in downtown Grand Rapids is one of the longest-running festivals in the state. Photo via fb.com

A downtown arts festival begins today — with free outdoor entertainment and street food for sale.

The 48th-annual Festival of the Arts celebration runs today through 6 p.m. on Sunday in the area around Calder Plaza, at 300 Ottawa Ave. NW.

Five indoor and outdoor stages will host music, dance, theater, poetry and storytelling performances, as well as art activities, exhibits and film showings.

All performances, exhibits and activities are free.

Nonprofit vendors will also sell ethnic cuisine, desserts and family friendly street food at dozens of booths in a blocked-off area on Ottawa Avenue and surrounding streets.

This year, all of the children’s activities will be located at Rosa Park’s Circle.

Programs, food booth guides, maps, a list of activities and performances and information about parking are available at festivalgr.org.

Festival of the Arts

Founded in 1970 after the 1969 installation of Alexander Calder’s “La Grande Vitesse,” or “The Calder,” Festival of the Arts is an annual three-day arts festival held the first weekend in June in Grand Rapids.

In addition to food and performances, it features a Regional Arts Exhibition and opportunities for families to make art and purchase art from West Michigan artists.

Every purchase at the festival — from food to art, to T-shirts and posters — gives back to the West Michigan community.

Each year, about 20,000 community volunteers play host to more than a half-million people.

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