50th annual Pageant of the Arts brings artwork, meals and enjoyable to Grand Rapids – MLive.com


GRAND RAPIDS, MI — With “The Calder” because the backdrop, the 50th annual Pageant of the Arts is underway in downtown Grand Rapids.

The pageant kicked off Friday and the actions elevated Saturday. The annual occasion is ready to run by means of Sunday.

The free, three-day occasion brings hundreds of holiday makers to Grand Rapids the primary weekend of June yearly. It’s one of many longest-running festivals within the state and promotes native artists, music and performers.

Pageant attendee Elizabeth Kurdziel mentioned she loves all of the hands-on actions the pageant affords for teenagers such because the paint-in and glue-in areas.

“It’s not simply stuff to purchase and that’s what I recognize probably the most,” mentioned Kurdziel.

Many new issues have been launched to the pageant in 2019 together with dance flooring, the meals truck line up in entrance of Rosa Parks Circle, a pageant beer in honor of its 50th anniversary and even a partnership with the Grand Rapids Ballet.

The ballet will debut the world premiere of Inventive Director Sofranko’s “Mozart Symphony” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on the Calder Stage at Calder Plaza.

With 367 items of artwork work on show within the Fed Galleries on the Kendall Faculty of Artwork and Design, this yr options the most important assortment ever provided through the pageant. Lots of the items within the show are up for buy.

The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church can also be celebrating its 50th anniversary with the pageant.

The church has been serving souvlaki to festival-goers for the reason that festivals started in 1969. One of many co-chairs of the church’s meals sales space, Stathi Afendoulis, calls it an “honor.”

Stathi Afendoulis, co-chairman of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church's food booth, prepares pita bread for slouvakis at the 50th annual Festival of the Arts.

Stathi Afendoulis, co-chairman of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church’s meals sales space, prepares pita bread for slouvakis on the 50th annual Pageant of the Arts.

“My mother and father have been the founders of our meals sales space,” Sofranko mentioned. “We need to preserve the custom going. We’ve bought a fame to uphold.”

A meals sales space dropped out final minute and pageant officers weren’t in a position to change the show boards with the map of the pageant in time, so some cubicles could not match their corresponding quantity on the map.


The Pageant of the Arts began in 1969 on what’s now often called Calder Plaza with only a few artwork shows, two phases and some cubicles. It was impressed by Alexander Calder’s sculpture “La Grande Vitesse,” or “The Calder,” put in in entrance of Metropolis Corridor in downtown Grand Rapids.

For a full listing of occasions and particulars, go to the Pageant web site at https://festivalgr.org/.

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