Our top Weekend Picks (Feb. 21-23)

The Grand Rapids Boat Show features powerboats, pontoons, ski boats, deck boats, runabouts, canoes, kayaks and other family-fun boats, plus brokers, marinas and boating services. Courtesy Grand Rapids Boat Show

Boats galore

(Friday, Saturday, Sunday)

The 75th anniversary of the Grand Rapids Boat Show began Wednesday, but you can still see hundreds of boats spread out across 5 acres this weekend at DeVos Place.

Powerboats, pontoons, ski boats, deck boats, runabouts, canoes, kayaks and other family-fun boats, plus brokers, marinas and boating services. noon-9 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun.

Tickets are $12 adults and $5 ages 6-14.

Community improvement


Break it Down | Make it Better is a series of events aimed at producing educational programming, discussions and professional development opportunities for creatives in West Michigan. These programs are presented through an ongoing partnership with the Avenue for the Arts, ArtPrize and Little Space Studio.

The event is a half-day skill-building conference taking place from 12:30-5:30 p.m. at Little Space Studio. The afternoon will kick off with a panel discussion about the state of the creative community in Grand Rapids. Following the panel will be two breakout sessions aimed at helping attendees gain needed skills and knowledge.

The event will conclude with a networking happy hour complete with hors d’oeuvres and music by DJ Joe Moon of Vinyl Fetish.

Ice-cold beer


The 15th annual Winter Beer Festival celebrates Michigan’s craft beer industry with more than 130 participating breweries and nearly 850 beers.

Each ticket ($55 plus $5 online service fee) purchased gives the attendee 15 tasting tokens. Three-ounce samples can be purchased for one token with some specialty beers requiring two or more tokens for a 3-ounce sample. Additional tokens can be purchased for 50 cents each.

The event is held at Fifth Third Ballpark, home of the West Michigan Whitecaps, and is an outdoor event, so dress appropriately. Slumlord Radio will be performing from 1:30-3 p.m., followed by the ceremonial tapping of the festival keg and singing of the Michigan Beer Fight Song, then rounding out the day with Stone Soup and the Broken Teeth from 4-5:30 p.m.

Party for a cause


Entering its 10th year, the Mardi Gras Kidney Ball is the premier masquerade ball in West Michigan benefitting the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan. This event, at Thousand Oaks Country Club, features a live and silent auction, raffles, cocktails, dinner, live entertainment and a fun Mardi Gras-themed atmosphere.

The program features the Mercy Health “gift of life” award recipient, honoring someone who has made an impact in the world of kidney disease, including doctors, patients and donors. This year, Dr. Dan Borreson is the Gift of Life Award recipient.

Additionally, the NKFM is honoring David and Linda Mehney with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The money raised from the event helps support the many educational and prevention programs the NKFM offers throughout West Michigan.

Bonus picks

Arvon Brewing taproom opening

Winter Illumination Walk

Breweries vs. Frostbite

Mardi Gras Bar Crawl

Family painting night

National Margarita Day at Lindo Mexico

That Arena Rock Show

Day of Giving bag decorating

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