City-sponsored events return to Grand Rapids

To date, the city has approved around 50 events per month throughout the summer. Courtesy of the City of Grand Rapids

Vibrant city life promises a return to Grand Rapids in 2021 with the city commission’s decision on April 13 to approve dozens of special events between April and December.

The move comes as Grand Rapids sees more COVID-19 vaccinations and anticipates progress toward normalcy amid the pandemic.

To date, the city has approved around 50 events per month throughout the summer. Highly anticipated events returning include races and fun runs, Tuesday night swing dancing, Chalk It Up, Grand Rapids Asia Pacific Festival, Grand Rapids African American Art and Music Festival, LMCU Bridge Run, the bizarre bazaar of Eastown, the Armed Forces Thanksgiving Day, ArtPrize and many more.

“It is exciting to see the return of the events and activities that bring Grand Rapids to life,” said Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “With vaccinations increasing and safety awareness rising, bringing our community together through these events will be a much-needed step in rebuilding our local economy and city life.”

All authorized events will be permitted under current state executive and emergency directives and an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) that outlines the organizer’s plans to mitigate action. The EAP is under review by both the Special Events Bureau and the Grand Rapids Fire Department, under the direction of the Kent County’s Department of Health.

“Over the past year we’ve seen a lot of popular events that have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Evette Pittman, special events manager at the special events office. “With testing and vaccinations on the rise, we’re excited to see energy, culture and community return to the city with seasonal events, community activities and local tourism.”

The city commission also approved a special permit for events on the riverside on July 3. Riverbank Events will host the Family Fireworks Event on July 3rd at 10pm at Ah-Nab-Awen Park and Gillett Bridge.

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