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Community Updates: Friday, June 9

Homecoming of the Three Fires, Grand Rapids Asian Pacific Festival taking place in Grand Rapids this weekend; John Ball Zoo to host day-long celebration next week in honor of World Ocean Day; and more
The Blue Bridge, the Grand River, and the buildings of downtown Grand Rapids lit up at night

The Blue Bridge, the Grand River, and the buildings of downtown Grand Rapids lit up at night /Antonia Enos Burrows

Homecoming of the Three Fires, Grand Rapids Asian Pacific Festival Taking Place in Grand Rapids This Weekend 

Last Friday, the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians (in association with the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of the Pottawatomi Indians/Gun Lake Tribe, the City of Grand Rapids Office of Special Events, and the Grand Rapids Office of Equity and Engagement) announced that the Homecoming of the Three Fires will be returning to Riverside Park this weekend.

This will be the 41st annual Homecoming of the Three Fires. 

The event will take place over the course of two days: Saturday, June 10 (starting at 1:00pm) and Sunday, June 11 (starting at 12:00pm). People of all backgrounds are free to attend this gathering and there is no cost for admission. According to last Friday's press release, there will be a variety of things there for guests to enjoy and celebrate; including art, music, food, and dancing.

After being unable to hold this event three years in a row because of COVID-19, there is lots of joy surrounding its return. Ron Yob, the Chairman of the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians, made the following statement in last Friday's press release:

"We always look forward to this annual event where our tribes can gather and celebrate our traditions together. The Homecoming also offers the community a chance to learn about our traditions and culture through dancing, music and Native American food and art vendors."

In addition to the Homecoming of the Three Fires gathering, the Grand Rapids Asian Pacific Festival is also taking place downtown this weekend.

The Grand Rapids Asian Pacific Festival will be located at Calder Plaza. It will run from 11:00am to 11:00pm on Friday, June 9 and Saturday, June 10 and from 12:00pm to 5:00pm on Sunday, June 11. There will be a diverse array of food, activities, and merchandise on offer at this event, as well as numerous performances from artists such as SuddenRush, Vichai Cheng & Lit Factory, Shashee, and more.

There is no cost for admission to this event. 

For more information about the Grand Rapids Asian Pacific Festival, visit the Grand Rapids Asian Pacific Foundation's website.  


John Ball Zoo to Host Day-Long Celebration Next Week in Honor of World Ocean Day

On Thursday, June 15, John Ball Zoo (JBZ) will be holding a day-long celebration in honor of World Ocean Day. Beginning at 9:00am, there will be a variety of educational activities, performances, and other conversations for visitors to take part in. 

Music lovers can attend the steel drum session with Greg Secor that will be taking place between 9:00am to 11:00am on June 15. Parents can bring their children to meet some of their favorite Disney characters (including Ariel and Ursula from The Little Mermaid, Moana from Moana, and Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Carribean) between 10:00am and 3:00pm. Those who are curious about what John Ball Zoo is doing to help conserve ocean life can attend the "Conservation Conversation: Turtle Conservation at the John Ball Zoo" event that will begin at 1:30pm. There will also be other opportunities for guests to learn about and celebrate the world's oceans and its inhabitants. 

The event schedule can be found on JBZ's website and can also be viewed below:

Steel Drum (w/ Greg Secor) 9:00am - 11:00am
Disney Meet & Greet 10:00am - 3:00pm
Pacific Island Dancers 12:00pm, 1:00pm
Conservation Conversation: Turtle Conservation at the John Ball Zoo 1:30pm
Story Time (w/ Circle Theatre) 2:00pm - 2:45pm


Also in the News:


  • On Tuesday, the City of Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. (DGRI) and the Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) announced that the Blue Bridge will be closing overnight on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Pedestrians will be unable to access the Bridge between the hours of 12:00am and 6:00am for the forseeable future. This closure comes in response to a late-night party and shooting that occurred on the Blue Bridge last weekend.  


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