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Top 5 things to do in Grand Rapids include Festival of the Arts, Local First Street Party

Top 5 things to do in Grand Rapids include Festival of the Arts, Local First Street Party

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The biggest names in country music and conservatism are in West Michigan as Dierks Bentley and Justin Moore take the B-93 Birthday Bash stage and Dennis Miller and Bill O’Reilly perform at DeVos Performance Hall this weekend. It’s a busy one. Here are five more options for your social calendar.

Festival of the Arts 2014

Three days of art, performance, activities, and food are scheduled as the 45th annual Festival of the Arts opens at noon on Friday, June 6, and runs through Sunday, June 8. Six music stages, dozens of food vendors and numerous art vendors are stretched across the city blocks along Ottawa Avenue from Michigan Street south to Monroe Center and west on Monroe Center to Rosa Parks Circle.

Kids' favorites, like the Paint-In, Glue-In and Mad Hatter, are back along with Swing-n-Art that relies on gravity and motion to create artwork. A full list of activities and more is available at www.festivalgr.org. Admission is free.

The Kendall College of Art and Design, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, and Grand Rapids Art Museum will all host special art and film exhibits. All three will offer free admission during the festival.

Local First Street Party

Local First, the nonprofit organization that fosters the development of an economy grounded in local ownership, is holding its annual one-day street party on Saturday, June 7. Ten diverse bands, musicians, and artists will play the all-ages event held in front of Bistro Bella Vita, 44 Grandville Ave. SW #100, from 3 p.m. to midnight.

Local food trucks, Founders beer, and family art and activities will all be available. Over 12,000 people attended the 2013 celebration. Admission to the event is free. More info at www.localfirst.com/events/street-party.

Mad Hatter Days in Holland

Another street party is taking place in Holland as New Holland Brewing's Mad Hatter Days returns to celebrate local music, food and craft beer (and spirits) at and around the brewery, 66 E. 8th Street, 3:30-11:30 p.m. Saturday, June 7.

Each year, New Holland Brewing brews, bottles and releases a family of seven IPA-inspired craft beers and spirits based on the beer that put the brewer on the map – Mad Hatter IPA. This year they will also celebrate their collaboration with local T-shirt company, Michigan Awesome with the re-branding of – Michigan Awesome Hatter, a pale ale featuring hops and barley grown in Cascade.

The street party takes place on College Avenue between 8th and 9th streets. That area will be closed to traffic. Admittance is free and includes live music from bands like STEPDAD and Soil & the Sun. Guests can also enjoy all-day acts from Daredevil Circus and more. For a full schedule of events and times check outwww.newhollandbrew.com.

The Market on First Fridays

Avenue for the Arts is merging its First Fridays and The Market events into one as The Market on First Fridays debuts on Friday, June 6, from 5 to 9 p.m. An outdoor market and a gallery and shop-hop are combined with sidewalk vendors, performance artists and entertainment along South Division between Cherry and Fulton.

The event, free and open to all ages, offers patrons the opportunity to check out the shops, galleries and restaurants in the growing South Division corridor. Local artists and businesses are showcased with art and handmade goods available for purchase. 
More information is at avenueforthearts.com'streetmarket. You can follow Avenue for the Arts on Twitter or Instagram (@avefortheartsGR) or check out theirFacebook page for more.

“Don’t Dress for Dinner” at Circle Theatre

“Don’t Dress for Dinner” - the sequel to the hilarious French farce “Boeing, Boeing,” debuts at 7:30 tonight at Circle Theatre, 1607 Robinson Road SE.

The philandering Bernard takes center stage once again with plans to rendezvous with another mistress. As those plans go awry, his best friend, Robert, wife Jacqueline, and a couple of women named “Suzy” are caught up in the marital mess where finding an innocent isn’t as easy as it seems.

Performances are June 5-21 on Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 616-456-6656 or online at www.circletheatre.org. The box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to curtain on days of weekend performances.

For original article, click here.

Photo courtesy Chris Clark, MLive.com.