GR|Mag’s Top Weekend Picks

Vander Mill's 8th Annual Vander Fest celebrates fall.
Vander Mill's 8th Annual Vander Fest celebrates fall.

We hope you weren’t planning to catch up on sleep this weekend. Grand Rapids  has so much to do it was hard to narrow our list of favorites. It’s the last weekend of ArtPrize Nine and there will be a big celebration on Friday following the announcement of this year’s winners. There are also other ArtPrize inspired activities taking place.

Fall officially started last week and there are plenty of ways to enjoy the season (and its beverages and foods) this weekend as well.

ArtPrize After Dark

ArtPrize has reached its final weekend. On Friday, the winners of the $500,00 in prize money will be named, followed by a celebratory party at 20 Monroe Live. After the ArtPrize Awards Ceremony concludes, the venue will immediately transform to make room for a raucous dance party.

Detroit-based band O N E F R E Q will kick off the evening with a soulful set, followed immediately by headlining artist, Masego MusicTickets are $9.99 per person.

Vander Fest

Hanging out along the lakeshore this weekend? Join Vander Mill at its Spring Lake location,14921Cleveland St., for its 8th annual Vander Fest. Vander Mill has partnered with several West Michigan businesses to celebrate the coming fall season with food offerings from local food trucks, (Dalty Raes, Standard Pizza and Righteous Cuisine), beers from local breweries (Big Lake Brewing, Brewery Vivant, Unruly Brewing Co., Greenbush Brewing and OddSide Ales), live music by local artists, and, of course, cider and donuts from Vander Mill Cidery.

Fun new additions to this year’s Vander Fest include a Laser Beam Lounge offering Vander Mill ciders, Crystal Court (a tented area tucked away in the woods and surrounded by fog for a spooky vibe and a dozen Vander Mill ciders on nitro), and Barrel Booth filled with Vander Mill ciders that have been barrel aged.

General admission tickets are $35 and include a souvenir glass and eight drink tokens. VIP tickets cost $85 and include the souvenir glass and eight drink tickets along with reserved seating at a roped off table and food provided by Vander Mill. A $10 designated driver ticket is also available. Attendees can purchase tickets until 11:30 p.m. the evening before the event.

Pulaski Days
(Friday – Sunday)

Embrace Polish culture this weekend at the annual Pulaski Days festival. Watch the parade filled with floats, polka dancers, clowns and marching bands as they celebrate Polish pride in Grand Rapids starting at 11 a.m on Saturday. Parade trophies will be awarded at Sixth Street Hall, 649 Sixth Street NW, after the parade.

Sunday includes a Pulaski Days staple, the Polka Mass at 11 a.m. under the John Ball Park Bandshell. You can enjoy the fun all day and enter to win $1,000 in the raffle.

For more information about the Pulaski Days festival as well as the parade route, click here.

SiTE:LAB Glow Ride

Despite sitting out ArtPrize Nine, SiTE:Lab didn’t want to miss out on all of the fun. SiTE:Lab teamed up with She Rides Her Own Way to host a fun-filled and luminescent bike ride through South Hill GR, Pleasant Park, Heritage Hill Historic District and downtown Grand Rapids.

Riders are encouraged to get creative and deck out their bike and attire in glow stickers and other accessories. Register here. The ride, which begins at 8:30 p.m.,  is free and open to the public. Get to SiTE:Lab, 415 Franklin St. SE, at 8 p.m. for a peek at its new home.

Sourgarten II

The Sovengard is back for more with its sour beer event. The Sourgarten festival celebrates international sour and wild ales. The event is held in The Sovergard’s  biergarten and is free to attend. A ticketing system will be in place for beer and food purchases.

The event starts at noon and goes until 10 p.m. For more information, visit The Sovengard on Facebook.

(through Sunday)

If you thought the ArtPrize buzz was over, think again. ArtPrize Nine has been reinvented into a purring and playful affair. Happy Cat Cafe and Carol’s Ferals present their first annual CatPrize. Held at Happy Cat Café, CatPrize features a variety of cat inspired artwork by artists from the Grand Rapids area. All art will be free and open to the public and visible without having to enter the cat lounge, if purrferred. Make sure to say you’re visiting for CatPrize and get 10 percent off your visit.

This event runs through Oct. 13, so if you can’t make it this weekend, you still have time.  For more information or to make a reservation, visit Happy Cat Cafe.

Harvest Hullabaloo

Get into the autumn spirit at the Downtown Market’s Harvest Hullabaloo. This event features cider samplings from Ridge Cider Co., Crane Orchards, Farmhaus Cider and Uncle John’s Hard Cider. There will also be square-dancing demos, fall-themed specials, activities, games for the kids, and more.

Harvest Hullaboo is free and open to all ages. It runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information visit the Downtown Market.

Michigan v. Michigan State

Head to your favorite sports bar and show off your team spirit. Football rivals University of Michigan and Michigan State University play on Saturday at the Big House in Ann Arbor. Kick off takes place at 7:30 p.m. and the game will be aired around town. See whether the Spartans or the Wolverines come out on top. Go Green! Go Blue!

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