Hey everyone – come laugh with us!
Nine years ago, 616 Sales and Marketing Director, David Abbott, arrived back from his hometown of Grand Rapids Michigan from Toronto. In September of 2009, the first ArtPrize happened and the community loved the change of coming together to be in conversation over art. David met with the leadership of Gilda’s Club over a dinner to talk about their celebration of ten years in the community. He offered the concept of a ten-day festival that celebrated “Laughter for the Health of It” – just like the club’s namesake Gilda Radner – laughter is Seriously Funny!
The first LaughFest happened in 2010 and this community has laughed with some of the best in the business, like Whoppi Goldberg, Jay Leno, Kathy Griffin, Sinbad, Amy Schumer, Wayne Brady, Betty White, Jim Gaffigan, George Lopez, Kevin Hart, and many others. Along with great stand-up comics, the festival features great family events, local comedians, fun art exhibits, and really any chance to laugh.
At 616 Lofts we value community and the power of laughter. Honestly, there is just not enough laughter in our world. We hope you’ll consider being a part of the festival, March 9th-19th and enjoy the fun.
Here are some of our favorite picks of LaughFest for this year.
Thursday, March 9th | Community Kickoff Rosa Parks Circle
• The start of all the fun begins with a kickoff at Rosa Parks Circle. Lots of laughs, cheers and even a few rubber chickens!
Friday, March 10th | Pop Scholars – Improv Wealthy Street Theatre
• The boys are hilarious and keep everyone rolling with quick wit and physical comedy.
Saturday, March 11th | Joel McHale DeVos Performance Hall
• Talk Soup took on a whole new pace with Joel McHale at the helm. His version of RRR comedy makes for delicious discomfort!
Sunday, March 12th | Funderwear Run GRCC Ford Fieldhouse
• Everyone should run in their underwear at least once without the risk of being arrested!
Monday, March 13th | Rest up from the weekend
Tuesday, March 14th | Blazing Saddles UICA Theatre
• One of the best Mel Brooks films! Better in a theater seat with friends than your couch on Netflix.
Wednesday, March 15th | Pecha Kucha GR Wealthy Street Theatre
• Check out this unique form of storytelling from great community personalities like Tommy Allen, Stu McAllister, Theresa Thome and lots more. You’ll laugh and maybe even shed a tear or two as the conversation happens.
Thursday, March 16th | Laughter Yoga Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids
• A totally different way to stretch and be mindful. Yoga pants prove funnier at Laughter Yoga.
Friday, March 17th | Rory Scovel The Pyramid Scheme
• Drugs, politics or life – nothing is off limits for Rory. Thrilled to have Rory to the city and in one of the best venues for intimate comedy!
Saturday, March 18th | National Showcase The BOB – 3rd Floor
• Every year, LaughFest brings the freshest new talent to showcase at the festival. Choose from two different showcases or catch all eight performers in one night!
Sunday, March 19th | LaughFest Central Grand Rapids Art Museum
• Stop by the GRAM to pick up a memory of the festival with a t-shirt, autographed smile, coffee mug, a pair of socks or many other fun items.