by Michael Zalewski
As Gilda Radner would say, “It’s always something!” In this case, that “something” is the weather. As a result, the LaughFest Community Kickoff presented by Feyen Zylstra will be relocated from Rosa Parks Circle to the Fountain Street Church (24 Fountain St. NE).
Fountain Street Church is not a stranger to LaughFest, as it will also be hosting a number of events throughout the 10-day festival, including Lavell Crawford on March 11, Jim Jefferies on March 12 and Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood on March 15.
“We are more than happy to host the Community Kickoff event,” said Senior Minister Fred Wooden. “We have plenty of space, and hope everyone will still plan to come out and help LaughFest break a world record, despite the weather.”
The nation’s first ever community-wide festival of laughter will still carry on as planned, with intentions to set a Guinness World Record for the most people wearing paper crowns. Baudville Inc. will provide all participants with a paper crown as well as an exclusive LaughFest button to the first 1,500 people. An official, limited edition LaughFest World Record t-shirt will be available for purchase.
The world record attempt will be followed with opening night events at downtown restaurants, Clean Comedy Showcases, and a free comedy preview show, at the Pyramid Scheme (68 Commerce Ave.) at 10 p.m. This show will include a sneak peak of local, regional and national comedians who will be featured during the 10-day festival. A suggested $5 donation to Gilda’s Club will be collected at the door. Fast passes are available for these shows at LaughFest Central (located in the GRAM, 101 Monroe Center St. NW), which will guarantee the holder a seat at the show as long as they are seated 15 minutes prior to start time.
When: March 5 – LaughFest Kickoff
· 5:30 p.m. – opening to the church, pre activities start
· 6:00 p.m. – witnesses, time keepers and presenters arrive
· 6:30 p.m. – program starts
· 6:45 p.m. – official attempt to break the existing record
Where: Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Gilda’s LaughFest was created by a team at Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids in 2011. Since inception, LaughFest has averaged 55,000 attendees per year. Proceeds from the festival will go to support the free cancer, grief and emotional health programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. Visit www.laughfestgr.org, or call 616-735-HAHA (4242) to learn more about Gilda’s LaughFest.