LaughFest, the annual 10-day comedy festival, is bringing back some popular community showcases and events. But that’s not all. They’re adding some new experiences, too. All told, there will be more than 200 free and ticketed shows featuring over 100 artists at more than 40 venues in Grand Rapids and Lowell. Headliners include Seth Meyers, Kathy Griffin, Ron Funches, Anjelah Johnson, Roy Wood, Jr., Chris D’Elia, Bert Kreischer and Heather McDonald.
There’s an awful lot to do, but do take the time to explore these fun opportunities:
“What Makes You Laugh?“ The Youth Art and Writing Competition entry deadline has been extended to February 26. Students K-12 are invited to write a short story or poem about what makes them laugh. All entries will be displayed in Grand Rapids during LaughFest. The top three winners in each grade division will be awarded prizes. No entry fee.
“What Makes You Smile Exhibit“ is a LaughFest campaign illuminating what makes GRPS students smile. Check out the smiles at the Gerald R. Ford Airport all 10 days of the festival.
The LaughFest Celebrity Lip Sync showcases local medial personalities vying for the title of best celebrity lip sync in this singing competition. It’s a free, Fast Pass ticket event on March 13 at 1 pm at The B.O.B. on the third floor.
She’s baaaack! Two-time Emmy award-winning producer, writer and storyteller, Teresa L. Thome, is back with her three-hour “Unleash Your Creativity“ writing workshop on March 14 at Campau Square Plaza, 99 Monroe Ave. NW, above Panera Bread. Take this opportunity to learn fun, creative writing and improvisational exercises to inspire your best creative self. Registration is $25.
Named 2013’s Funniest Person in Grand Rapids, Nardos Osterhart brings her one-woman show, Halfrican sharing her life story about moving from Africa to America when she was five years old and how she juggles the two different worlds. March 16 at 8 pm at the Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St. SE. Tickets are $10.
Where’s festival headquarters?
Gilda’s LaughFest Central will open its doors on February 22 inside the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM), located at 101 Monroe Center. Here you’ll find festival headquarters for all LaughFest information, as well as a site to purchase merchandise and pick up “Fast Passes.”
What the heck is a Fast Pass? Well, it guarantees you a seat for most free LaughFest shows as long as you’re seated 15 minutes prior to the event start time. After that, walk-up seating begins and Fast Passes expire, leaving you to scramble for a seat, assuming there is one to be found. A bit of an incentive here.
All LaughFest members will have a chance to get the passes before the public can get their hands on them.