For the first time since its 50-year inception, Festival of the Arts was forced to cancel last year but thankfully the event that brings the whole community together will be back next weekend.

Festival of the Arts is a FREE three-day event where people can enjoy food, music, family activities, and see all different types of art throughout downtown. This year's event is actually divided into two parts one scheduled for Friday, June 4 through Sunday, June 6th and the other part will take place this September.

So what will you see at the event next weekend? It's called "Plein Air" which means "outdoors" in French, and there will be Michigan artists doing live paintings of urban landscapes. Musicians will be stationed in the different social zones around Downtown. Unfortunately, there won't be the various amount of food booths that you're used to seeing. Instead, event organizers are encouraging everyone to eat at (or grab food from) a local restaurant or just get a drink and walk up-and-down one of the social zones/refreshment areas. Every night during the event, a light show will take place at Calder Plaza. The annual Arts Exhibition will take place virtually this year.

Septembers event is referred to as "Performance+" and this will be in conjunction with the first weekend of ArtPrize. It will take place at Calder Plaza and will feature live music on Friday and Saturday night plus a Jazz Brunch on Sunday hosted by GR JazzFest. In addition, over 50 fine art and craft boots will be set up.

Even though things aren't going to be exactly the same it's exciting to see one of the city's biggest and longes-running events back. Plus, a little change isn't so bad.

For a more detailed look at what to expect at Festival of the Arts visit their website.

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Fun fact: Before Festival of the Arts, Grand Rapids hosted "Carnival of Fun" in the late 1800's.

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