GR|MAG’s Top Weekend Picks

Blandford Nature Center annual Sugarbush Festival.

It’s official, spring is here – at least on the calendar. It might not feel like spring outside quite yet, so we’ve got a handful of indoor activities for you to enjoy this weekend.

MOVEMEDIA Diversity II @ Grand Rapids Ballet
(Friday – Sunday)

Olivier Wevers visits Grand Rapids Ballet for MOVEMEDIA Diversity II.
Choreographer Olivier Wevers visits Grand Rapids Ballet for MOVEMEDIA Diversity II.

Grand Rapids Ballet celebrates differences this weekend with MOVEMEDIA Diversity II. “The world is a complicated canvas of varying views, realities and expectations,” the ballet said.

The next two installments of this contemporary dance series explores and celebrates these beautiful differences. Experience thought-provoking panel discussions and powerful community outreach book-ended by complementary world-premiere works by some of today’s most important and influential choreographers.

Performances take place at the Grand Rapids Ballet’s Peter Martin Wege Theatre. Check the website for tickets.

Kurt Elling & Friends Visit St. Cecilia Music Center
(Thursday)

Jazz vocalist Kurt Elling closes out the Jazz Series at St. Cecilia Music Center on Thursday night with a performance that includes special guests Marquis Hill (trumpet) and John Wojciechowski (saxophone).

Elling is among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. He won the DownBeat Critics Poll for fourteen consecutive years and was named “Male Singer of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association eight times in that same span. Every one of Elling’s 10 albums has been nominated for a Grammy.

His repertoire includes original compositions and modern interpretations of standards, all of which are springboards for inspired improvisation, scatting, spoken word and poetry.

Visit St. Cecilia Music Center for ticket information.

Maple Syrup Tasting @ Blandford Nature Center
(Saturday)

It's sugarbush season at Blandford Nature Center.
It’s sugarbush season at Blandford Nature Center.

Blandford Nature Center presents the 48th Annual Sugarbush Festival. Learn the process of maple sugaring through Sugarbush demonstrations: identify what characteristics make up a maple tree, experience hands-on tree tapping, explore historic pioneer and Native American sugaring techniques, and end it all with a taste test in Blandford’s Sugarhouse. Make it an all-day event with draft horses, maple cotton candy, games, wildlife encounters and lots more.

The Sugarbush Festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. No registration required. This program for all ages. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door ($5 for members, $8 for nonmembers).

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