The Rapidian

OctoberWest celebrates Westside Sat., Oct. 10

Underwriting support from:

/OctoberWest location: 4th & Stocking

The 3rd annual OctoberWest – the festival highlighting Grand Rapids’ Westside – is planned for Saturday, Oct. 10, and this year’s event is shaping up with a slate of fun fall activities even bigger than in previous years.

OctoberWest is in the style of an Octoberfest celebration and will, as such, include food, beer and music centered in the Westside neighborhood at the intersection of Stocking Avenue and Fourth Street.

Festival coordinator Nola Steketee said OctoberWest will feature a selection of harvest beers, including those from local breweries, and food from Westside restaurants located in the neighborhood, on Stocking and Bridge streets.

A few opportunities are still available for additional restaurants that may want to participate in this year’s street fair, Steketee added.

New to this year’s OctoberWest street festival is a chili cook-off competition between teams from Grand Rapids’ police department, fire department and residents. Any residents who would like to form the 5-person cook-off team competing against the GRPD and GRFD teams can contact Steketee at West Grand Neighborhood Organization, at 451-0150. Cooks from the three teams will prepare their chili off site, and then bring their entries to the festival where a panel of local celebrity judges will sample the entries. The chili cook-off will take place 9-11 a.m. in the parking lot of Salvatore’s restaurant, at the corner of Stocking Street and Alpine Avenue. The competition, dubbed “Guns and Hoses,” is also a canned food drive, with donated items going to God’s Kitchen.

Also part of OctoberWest, as in previous years, will be craft vendors, as well as a farmers market set up in the Stocking and Fourth streets area. Steketee noted that there is still opportunity for additional craft vendors to take part. The festival, which begins at 9 a.m. and continues until 10 p.m., is sponsored by WGNO and Stockbridge Business Association, according to Steketee, who is executive director of WGNO.

OctoberWest is a benefit for two Westside organizations – the nonprofit Steepletown, and Adeline’s Promise senior safety program of West Grand Neighborhood Organization.

Anyone interested in taking part in the festival as a vendor or chili cook-off participant can contact Steketee at WGNO, 451-0150.


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