Job well done, guys!  2013 was a very, very good year for the nation’s only ten day community-wide festival of laughter, Gilda’s LaughFest.  That is because they had more than 53,000 admissions during the third annual event.
Preliminary numbers indicate 53,566 attended LaughFest’s 261 events (69 ticketed and 192 free) at 65 stages in Grand Rapids, Lowell and Holland. A total of 33,509 tickets were sold to the various events and visitors came from 538 U.S. zip codes, which include 33 states, plus Canada.

In addition to the attendance figures, LaughFest officials are estimating the third year of the festival will have net proceeds of $210,000, which includes $74,790 raised specifically for the children’s grief support programs at Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids through LaughFest’s “High Five” donation campaign. The $74,790 was matched by the Wege Foundation generating a combined total of nearly $285,000, which will be used to support free emotional healthcare programs for children and adults living with cancer, grief and loss provided through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.

Steve Heisler, a national comedy writer who writes for Variety, GQ, and Fast Company, and who was in town for this years LaughFest, said “this was only LaughFest’s third year, and they’re poised to become the best comedy festival for fans in the country. They’ve cracked the code: book great comics and get out of their way.”
This year was great.  There were 160 headliners and artists who performed at LaughFest. Couple that with 306 sponsors and partners, and 1,374 volunteers, and you had one, huge, successful event!

Want to keep up on Gilda's LaughFest?  Visit LaughFestGR.org or call 616-735-HAHA (4242) to learn more.