Skate with the Griffins during Great Skate Winterfest

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Great Skate Winterfest returned to downtown Grand Rapids this weekend.

The eighth annual Winterfest kicked off at noon on Saturday at Rosa Parks Circle.

There were activities throughout the day including ice skating, sled dogs, ice sculptors, sports demonstrations, horse-drawn carriage rides and a heated family activity tent.

Winterfest ends with the 14th annual Great Skate, a 24-hour skating marathon with Griffins’ players that runs from 10 p.m. Saturday until 10 p.m. Sunday. Those who attend will be able to skate with Griffins players and mascots. The goal of the event is to raise money for underprivileged youth in the area who would otherwise not be able to afford to play hockey.>>Photos: Great Skate Winterfest 2016

In addition to the Great Skate, there was a demonstration by the Ice Gurus at 3 p.m. Sunday and kids’ activities from the Grand Rapids Art Museum from 1-4 p.m.

Admission to the Great Skate Winterfest is free, but attendees were encouraged to give a donation to the Griffins Youth Foundation. Nominal fees apply to skating: $2 for adults, $1 for kids.

——–Online: Great Skate Winterfest Schedule of Events

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