Events firm producing Downtown Live!
A local events firm is partnering with the mayor, chamber and downtown businesses to produce a free event with live mannequins, “selfie spots” and live music.
Square Peg Events Executive Director Cynthia Hagedorn said the inaugural half-day Downtown Live! celebration will kick off at 4 p.m. on Saturday and run throughout the evening.
She said she and her four-person team at Square Peg Events are producing Downtown Live!, because “it’s a great collaboration among merchants with the community,” and they want to help promote local businesses and create an “organic energy” downtown.
“For families, they can come in and explore the footprint of downtown,” Hagedorn said. “They can see locations they might not have been able to see in the past.”
Downtown Live! is being funded by Square Peg Events and volunteer labor, with help from title sponsor Z’s Bar & Restaurant in Grand Rapids.
Little Live selfie spots, 4-6 p.m.
Various downtown businesses and organizations will host pop-up selfie spots, where families can take selfies and children can pose for the camera as live mannequins with backdrops, silly props and splashes of color.
TV personality Maranda of WOTV 4 will be on hand during Little Live.
Participating locations include the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Shops @ MoDiv, JW Marriott Grand Rapids and others along or near Monroe Center. Posters showing participating locations will be placed throughout the area.
Break for shopping and dining, 6-7 p.m.
“We’re encouraging families (to) take a break, relax, maybe do some shopping, maybe have dinner at one of the many diverse and unique eateries that downtown Grand Rapids has to offer,” Hagedorn said.
Live Mannequins, 7-8:30 p.m.
More than a dozen downtown storefront window displays will be filled with community volunteers posing motionless as live mannequins in a variety of scenes and themes.
Judges for Live Mannequins include Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Rick Baker, Start Garden directors Jorge Gonzalez and Darel Ross II and WGVU Host and Producer Shelley Irwin.
The judges will select winners in categories such as Best of Show, Most Creative Display, Best Model Storefront and more. Hagedorn said this year’s prizes are limited to “bragging rights,” but in future events, Square Peg hopes to secure media packages to support prizes.
Irwin said she’s been a judge for Square Peg’s past Live Mannequin events in Holland and St. Joseph, and she’s looking forward to participating in Saturday’s event.
“The opportunity to be involved with this community is such an honor and to be involved in a Square Peg event is icing on the cake,” Irwin said. “I also enjoy being on the ground floor of a new event and a new idea that truly can be a winner from the get-go.
“I want to encourage people to come and feel the energy of community and to support what we have in our own backyard.”
Live music, 9 p.m.
Live musicians and bands will play classic, jazz, rock and pop music at various downtown venues: The B.O.B.; J. Gardella Tavern; Founders Brewing Co.; The Pyramid Scheme; Sanctuary Folk Art Gallery; Ferris Coffee, Trust Building; The Pop-up Shop; One Trick Pony; JW Marriott, Six.One.Six; and Homewood Suites.
Hagedorn said each venue will host its own, mostly regularly scheduled musicians, and in some cases, cover charges may apply.
Square Peg Events
Square Peg Events, founded in 2008, is an “art-enhanced events company” that hosts parties, progressive tastings, artful dining experiences and community-on-canvas events.