Gilda’s ‘LaughFest’ Preparing for 2016 Festival

LAUGHFEST_final_2Gilda’s LaughFest, the nation’s first-ever community-wide festival of laughter, announced that they are now accepting sign ups for its Community Showcases, 5k FUNderwear Run, and LaughFest Friends memberships.

Individuals of all ages, and groups of all sizes, are encouraged to apply for the Community Showcases. During LaughFest 2015, officials hosted more than 100 community showcases and other free events at various locations in downtown Grand Rapids, Lowell, and Holland. The categories for these showcases included stand-up comedy, music, short-film, sketch/improv, dance, and kids’ jokes. Applicants chosen for the 2016 festival will be notified in January.

Runners, joggers and walkers interested in participating in the third annual 5k FUNderwear Run can sign up for the FUNderwear Run now! This walk/run will be held on Sunday, March 13 in downtown Grand Rapids and racers are encouraged to wear their finest (and funniest!) underwear over their running clothes to create a hilarious and one-of-a-kind moment in support of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. Registration is $30 prior to February 19, and $35  until the run on March 13. Registered participants will receive an official race t-shirt and finisher medal.

LaughFest FUNderwear runIn addition to these events, LaughFest organizers also announced that LaughFest Friends memberships are now available. LaughFest Friends memberships give fans of LaughFest opportunities to connect with the festival year round, and are available for purchase online, at Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids (1806 Bridge St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504) or at LaughFest Central when it opens mid-February.

There are three levels of memberships available, starting at $25. Level one includes an exclusive tee shirt designed by The Mitten State, High Five button and donation, exclusive content and experiences, and early access to Fast Passes for free events. Fast Passes guarantee holders a seat for free showings as long as they are seated 15 minutes prior to the event start time.

The second level costs $50 and includes everything in the $25 level, plus a Mitten State Smile Decal, a 20 percent discount for merchandise at LaughFest Central and online, and a $5 off coupon for LaughFest Central for anyone who signs up before Thanksgiving.

The third membership level is $100 and includes all the items at the $25 and $50 levels, plus pre-sale opportunities to purchase ticket packages in December 2015 and individual tickets in January 2016 before the general public, and two VIP passes to Headliner’s Club at the BOB during the festival.

Designed to celebrate laughter for the health of it, LaughFest features free and ticketed events including stand-up, improv, film, authors, community showcases and a variety of seriously funny stuff. Past LaughFest headliners include Jay Leno, Lily Tomlin, Chris Tucker, Bill Cosby, Mike Birbiglia, Margaret Cho, Betty White, Whoopi Goldberg, Mike Epps, Rodney Carrington, Martin Short, Kevin Nealon, Wayne Brady, Jim Breuer, Joel McHale, Lewis Black, Brian Regan and Anjelah Johnson. An announcement regarding the 2016 festival headliners is expected later this year.

The sixth year of the festival is scheduled for March 10 through March 20, 2016.