Experience Serious Laughs in Grand Rapids this Month

Have you been looking for an excuse to explore the west side of Michigan? Consider LaughFest in Grand Rapids! LaughFest is an annual comedy-filled event you won’t want to miss.  

The sixth annual LaughFest boasts hundreds of comedic acts including solo performers, groups, and community showcase participants March 10-20 in and around Grand Rapids. With big name acts including Seth Myers, Kathy Griffin and Emmy Award winner and Grammy Award nominee David Cross there is someone to fit everyone’s sense of humor.

Photo Courtesy of Experience Grand Rapids

“It’s one of the many things that makes West Michigan a unique place,” Joanne Roehm, festival director for Gilda’s LaughFest, said. “LaughFest is a great opportunity to get out of the house, laugh a lot, and beat the winter blues – all for a good cause. Raising funds for free cancer and grief programming offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.”

Over the past five years, the ten-day festival has raised over $1,000,000 in proceeds for Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids which provides free emotional healthcare to children, adults, families, and friends on any kind of cancer journey or those grieving the death of someone in their life due to any cause.

This year, LaughFest partnered with over 50 locations throughout Grand Rapids for #selfieswithsmiles. This fun, social media campaign is a fun and easy way to get involved with LaughFest and win some great prizes to commemorate your stay!

Photo Courtesy of Experience Grand Rapids

To enter, while out and about in Grand Rapids, look for a LaughFest #selfieswithsmiles poster at most of the LaughFest key venues and snap your selfie! Then simply tag #selfieswithsmiles and #experiencegrandrapids on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and you’re entered to win LaughFest tickets and swag, Beer City USA merchandise, and restaurant gift certificates. Find and take selfies with as many #selfieswithsmiles posters as you can for more chances to win in the weekly drawing. Winners are announced via social media so be sure to follow and “like” LaughFest and Experience Grand Rapids on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

When asked if any of the LaughFest comedians might be at the #selfiewithsmiles locations, Roehm answered coyly, “You never know what will happen during LaughFest!”

So get your tickets and head on over to Grand Rapids for LaughFest 2016. It promises to be seriously funny.

Have you ever attended LaughFest? Share your experience with us below!

Name These 7 Pure Michigan Things: Blue Monday Edition

Happy Blue Monday! What is Blue Monday, you ask? Blue Monday is a name given to a day in January (typically the third Monday of the month) reported to be the most depressing day of the year. 

So as we look to kick the winter ‘blues’ with travel packages, deals and other incredible adventures during a Pure Michigan Snow Day, try your luck at guessing seven locations, phrases or landmarks that are ‘blue’ in Michigan.

1. This bridge is a major international crossing over the St. Clair River at the southern end of Lake Huron. Located between Port Huron and Point Edward, Ontario connecting both Interstate 94 and Interstate 69 with Highway 402 it is one of the fastest links between the Midwest and Ontario as well as the Northeast United States.

Photo Courtesy of Facebook Fan Tom Hughes

2. For more than 35 years, this fine arts camp has been providing instruction through three distinctive programs, the Summer Camp Program, International Exchange Program and Blue Lake Public Radio. Nestled in Michigan’s western lower peninsula, 15 miles from downtown Muskegon, it welcomes young musicians, artists, dancers and actors to experience a time of fun and learning.

3. If you travel to an iconic Great Lakes state university located in Ann Arbor, you’ll hear this phrase emphatically chanted around on campus and at sporting events.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

4.This particular shade of blue is worn by Pure Michigan’s NFL team, the Detroit Lions. Since coming to Detroit in 1934, the Lions have worn this color, in addition to silver, except for 1948 when then head coach Bo McMillin changed it to maroon. (influenced by his years as coach at Indiana). Since calling Detroit home in 1934, the Lions have won four league championships.

5. Delicious fruits that you can pick at Michigan U-Pick farms, when in season. During August, Montrose has an entire festival dedicated to the delectable fruit, where delicious _________ pancakes and pies can be enjoyed.

Photo Courtesy of Zack Achatz

6.This annual Upper Peninsula pond hockey championship, taking place Feb. 11-14, is one of the few tournaments where their ‘pond’ is actually one of the Great Lakes! The pond hockey tournament is played on the frozen ice of Moran Bay, Lake Huron. Thirty 75′ x 150′ rinks are created and over 250 games are played during a fun-filled weekend every year. Plan your stay in St. Ignace when looking to attend the tournament!

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7. Though not always physically blue, these Pure Michigan panfish make for great eating and can be caught on the shores of Michigan’s many inland lakes. If Ice Fishing is your hobby, try to catch one or many of these fish during the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Free Fishing weekend Feb. 13 and 14.

What did we miss? Share with us by commenting below!

*Answers: 1. Blue Water Bridge. 2. Go Blue. 3. Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. 4. Michigan Blueberries. 5. Honolulu Blue. 6. Labatt Blue Ice Hockey Championship. 7. Bluegill.

Go Back in Time with the Michigan Historical Museum

If you’re one of the many Michigan hunters or outdoor enthusiasts hitting the  woods this season – likely decked out in scent-control clothing and equipped with a smart phone, GPS unit and other gadgets – can you imagine a time when outdoor gear meant simple survival necessities like a reliable compass, a well-designed knife or a waterproof matchbox? 

The Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing takes a trip back to that time with a new exhibit about the Upper Peninsula’s greatest inventor you’ve probably never heard of – Webster Marble – and the outdoor products he perfected and manufactured right here in Pure Michigan.

The “Inventing the Outdoors” series takes us back to the start of the last century, when people started to see the outdoors as a place to relax and enjoy themselves. At the same time, Webster Marble started a company in Gladstone, Michigan, that would eventually outfit hunters, anglers, campers and hikers around the world.

Photo Courtesy of Michigan DNR

Take an up-close look at artifacts including safety folding axes, many models of unique hunting knives, automatic fish gaffs, and the famous Game Getter gun in this exhibit that explores Marble’s genius for innovation. Marble owned more than 60 patents, and his designs set the standard for the 20th century in outdoor products such as knives, compasses, match boxes, axes and gun sights. His Michigan-made products became known worldwide and were even used on Teddy Roosevelt’s hunting trips, Robert Peary’s expeditions and Charles Lindbergh’s flights.

Photo Courtesy of Michigan DNR

Inventing the Outdoors” also gives you a chance to examine your own outdoor experiences and lets children experience life in the Michigan woods 100 years ago. You can get creative by building a lean-to, singing songs or telling stories around a fire pit, giving shape to your ideas at a “makers” innovation table, and sharing your outdoor experiences through drawing or writing.

Photo Courtesy of Michigan DNR

Catalog

The second Saturday of every month, the Michigan Historical Museum will feature family activities related to innovation. For more information on the popular “Second Saturdays” program, go to www.michigan.gov/museum.

And be sure to visit the Michigan Historical Museum on Facebook for behind-the-scenes exhibit and artifact photos, and personal stories of outdoor life.

Have you ever visited the Michigan Historical Museum? Share your experience with us below!