Ethnic Heritage Festival
Join the Grand Rapids Public Museum on Saturday, January 26 for the Ethnic Heritage Festival. The city of Grand Rapids and the surrounding region have a long standing history of diversity and various cultural traditions dating back from early explorers and fur traders, to modern day cultural rituals from new residents of the region. The Festival is a day-long celebration of music, dance, crafts and food representing the various ethnic groups that call West Michigan home. The Museum will offer FREE admission this day.
The Grand Rapids Public Museum's Ethnic Heritage Festival is generously sponsored by the DTE Energy Foundation. Through this sponsorship, the Grand Rapids Public Museum is able to offer free admission on January 26, 2013. The DTE Energy Foundation is at the core of DTE Energy's commitment to the communities and customers it is privileged to serve. The DTE Energy Foundation is dedicated to strengthening the fabric of their communities and connecting to their customers. For additional information, visit http://www.dteenergy.com/dteEnergyCompany/community/foundation/aboutFoundation.html
The event will begin at 9 a.m. and features a variety of organizations, performances, beer tastings and presentations. The Museum Café will feature ethnic food selections. There will be a special International Beer Tasting from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Overlook Room on the Museum's third floor. The additional charge for the tasting is $6.00; open to those 21 and over only; tickets will be available at the door.
Organizations participating in this year's festival include: Ancient Order of Hibernians, Ardan Academy of Irish Dance, Congress of North American Bosniaks, Edelweiss Club of Grand Rapids, Gaelic League/Irish Club of West Michigan, Grand Rapids Public Library, Grand Rapids Historical Society, Grand Valley American Indian Lodge, Latvian Association of Grand Rapids, Multicultural Language School, Our Lady of Lavang Parish, Polish Heritage Society, Swedish American Heritage Society of West Michigan, Western Michigan Genealogical Society, and the West Michigan Filipino-American Association.
Colorful performances will take place throughout the day in the Meijer Theater and Galleria, and will include: Origami demo with Hito Akehi, 10 a.m. to 12 noon; Baltijos Krantes Lithuanian School Dancers, 11 a.m.; Ardan Academy of Irish Dancers, 1 p.m.; Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Dance Group, time TBD; West Michigan Filipino-American Association, 2:30 p.m.; Imani Singers (gospel), 3 p.m.; WaZoBia (interactive African drumming with audience participation), 4 p.m.
Free admission will also be provided to the Planetarium Show "Everybody's Sky: Star Stories from Around the World" during the festival.
Visitors will be able to view the Museum's two exhibitions with a primary focus on diversity and culture: "Newcomers: The People of This Place" which highlights the ethnic groups that have settled the Grand Rapids area, and "Anishinabek: The People of this Place" which focuses on the Native American culture in the region.
Please visit www.grmuseum.org for additional information on the Grand Rapids Public Museum's exhibitions and programs.