This weekend features a program just for local history buffs. And much more!
Make way for the history detectives
West Michigan history comes alive Saturday at a daylong program at Grand Rapids Public Library.
Six different presentations exploring local history will be part of the History Detectives from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St. NE.
This free event is presented by area historians and members of historical and cultural organizations, and topics are varied and reflect the unique heritage of West Michigan.
Subjects include the stagecoach route between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo called the “Old Plank Road,” stories of early African Americans in West Michigan, the Black Hills neighborhood, a celebration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment granting universal suffrage, how the Pokagon Band avoided the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the furniture strike of 1911.
Visitors are welcome to stay for all or part of the day.
A wedding affair with flair
This one-of-a-kind bridal show is designed to showcase the best West Michigan has to offer in terms of professionalism, creativity and style.
Hosted by Grand Rapids Bride at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, 272 Pearl St. NW, 2020 Grand Rapids Wedding Affair promises live jazz, food samples and signature cocktails from 5-9 p.m., Friday.
Enjoy a grand evening in one of the area’s most stunning settings as representatives from caterers, venues, bridal shops, resorts, eateries and more explain their services and wares.
Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
(Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
Buy new or renew?
If it’s time to make a change, consider stopping downtown this weekend.
Whether you’re thinking of remodeling your current home or starting fresh with a brand new home, the exhibitors at the Grand Rapids Remodeling and New Homes Show have you covered.
Hundreds of experts will be at DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, to answer questions about all facets of buying or remodeling a home.
One feature is the Designer Showcase, a collection of completely finished rooms by the area’s interior designers and furniture retailers using the latest colors, styles, products, and trends.
Also on tap are seminars by local and national experts on the Build-It Stage that take you from planning a project through financing and contracting, DIY considerations, and the latest products and innovations. This also is where you’ll find the HBA’s Pro Series of seminars and the Pro Panel — a group of professionals ready to answer all your questions about projects large and small.
Tickets are $10 online or $12 at the door. All-show tickets are available for $18 online.
Extend the weekend for MLK
With many schools and businesses closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, there’s an opportunity to squeeze a little more history into your time off.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as an observed federal holiday. Grand Rapids Community College has been at the forefront of commemorating the legacy of Dr. King since 1986. In subsequent years, GRCC partnered with Grand Valley State University and Davenport University to form the Inter-Campus Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. The two-day event takes place on three campuses and focuses on contemporary civil rights issues, reflects on Dr. King’s expansive writings and evolving ideology about justice, and encourages people into action through public service.
Dr. Yusef Salaam will be this year’s keynote speaker and is scheduled to present his story at 6 p.m., Monday, at Fountain Street Church. Doors open at 5 p.m.
In 1989, when Salaam was 15 years old, he was accused and convicted of attacking and raping a woman who was jogging in New York City’s Central Park. Salaam was one of five teenagers convicted of the crime; they collectively became known as the Central Park Five, and their lives were upended and changed forever. Their convictions were vacated in 2002 when DNA evidence pointed authorities in another direction.