Look at the picture above. Hasn’t downtown Grand Rapids changed! The camera is facing northeast. You can see the new Calder Plaza and beyond…a parking lot and Immanuel Lutheran Church. I arrived in Grand Rapids in 1974 and first emceed a Festival Stage in 1975. If my memory is correct, there were 3 stages…the Calder Stage (about half the size of the present Calder State and the only one with electricity), the Outer Fringe (where a parade of folk artists played “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”) and the Children’s Stage – where I emceed Saturday AM.
This year, I’ll emcee the Kendall Stage Friday PM and the Calder Stage much of the day on Saturday. We’ll be doing all of our newscasts over the weekend (AM, 6, 10 and 11) from our Media Arts Center, so swing by and watch us if you like.
Here’s some statistics on Festival Weather over the years:
Years of Record: 48 (through 2017)
Days of Record: 144
Hours of Record: 1442
Festivals with no rain: 11 (1970, 1976, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2011, 2013)
Festivals with only sprinkles (no measurable rain) 6
(1975, 1984, 1985, 1998, 2001, 2009)
Warmest Festival: 1971 (highs of 88°/89°/89°)
Coolest Festivals: 1998 (if counting both high and low temps.)
2001 (if counting just high temps. – all three days had high temps. of 58°.)
Coolest Festival Day: 6/1/2012 – high of 54 – 0.81” rain and a stiff north wind.
Festival with the most hours of rain: 1974
Average high temperature on Festival days: 76.44°
Average low temperature on Festival days: 53.44°
Mean temperature on Festival days: 64.94°
Average (mean – average of high and low temps) G.R. temperature for the first week of June: 65°
Average percent of possible sunshine for Festival days: 60.76%
Biggest Storm – June 7, 1980 – thunderstorm hit around 10 am with 50-60 mph winds – blew down tents – nearly an inch of rain in an hour.
Here’s a forecast for the weekend. Chance of a shower on Friday…dry Saturday and a good chance of showers on Sunday.