Annual Music Festival at the Gerald R. Ford Airport Brings Santa Along

santaThe Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) is getting into the holiday spirit with a music festival, Irish dancers, and a visit from Santa Claus.

Santa will be passing out candy and listening to all the children’s Christmas wishes in the Airport’s Grand Hall from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, December 11. Photos with Santa are free, but the airport is requesting that guest bring in at least two non-perishable food items–or make a monetary donation–to Mel Trotter Ministries. Help spread the Christmas spirit throughout the area!

“The holiday season is an important time for the Mel Trotter Ministries Food Pantry,” said Abbey Sladick, Director of Community Relations at Mel Trotter Ministries. “The food donated will help sustain us throughout the year, and we are blessed to be able to partner with the airport to ensure many families in Grand Rapids will not go hungry.”

In addition to Santa’s appearance, and those helped through Mel Trotter, GFIA’s traditional Holiday Music Festival is running the week of December 7-11th. The 21st Annual Holiday Music Festival brings in elementary, middle, and high school choirs from around West Michigan to sing a variety of Christmas carols. Daily performances run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A total of 11 local choirs representing public, charter and private schools are set to sing 20 minute song sets throughout the day, putting passengers and guests at airport in the holiday spirit.

Mel Trotter“Our airport is extremely busy around the holidays, but it is important for us to reflect upon what this season is all about,” said GFIA Executive Director Brian Ryks.  “We are hoping we can put some smiles on children’s faces as they sit on Santa’s lap and listen to carols, and at the same time we are asking West Michigan to give back to the community by donating non-perishable food items to those in need.”

In addition to the music festival & Santa’s visit, piano players and Irish dancers will also be making an appearance at the airport during the holiday season. The Ardan Academy of Irish Dance will be performing on Sunday, December 20th at the airport from 2-4 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public.