Look at the picture above.  Hasn’t downtown Grand Rapids changed since 1970!  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 back then…the Calder Stage (about half the size of the present Calder Stage 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. It was cool that morning. I had on a jacket. I had fun interacting with the kids. It’s been 47 years since that day.

An undated courtesy aerial photo of Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids during the Festival of the Arts. (Courtesy Festival of the Arts)

Festival of the Arts starts with the tornado siren (first Friday test) at noon and goes until 10 pm…then all day Saturday and Sunday. This year, I’ll emcee the Calder Stage Friday PM – say “hi” if you see me. I have to work Saturday and Sunday.

Festival Forecast

Friday will be a perfect day weatherwise…mostly sunny with a west wind at 10-15 mph. Like Goldilock’s porridge – not too hot and not too cold. Grab some sun block and stay hydrated. Saturday we have a chance of a (mainly light) shower.

Check out the Festival website (includes a schedule).