We've been enjoying our first week of summer break.
And it really feels like summer now that we've gone to Festival. Officially named "The Festival of the Arts", but known to locals as just "Festival", it's the largest all-volunteer arts festival in the US. This year is it's 40th anniversary.
Festival takes over the streets of downtown Grand Rapids for 3 days the first weekend in June. There's 5 stages for musical and dance entertainment of all kinds, 25+ food booths operated by non-profit organizations, creative activity areas for children and adults (like Paint-In, Glue-In, Chalk the Walk, and others), 2 huge tents for Arts & Crafts sales, a Film competition, and an Art Exhibition.
Before we had kids, we used to go down there with friends for hours at a time, often 2 days in a row. With young children, we haven't made it for longer than probably 2 hours in several years. Yesterday we actually enjoyed 4 hours before the kids started saying they wanted to go home!
Here's a peek at some of the fun we enjoyed:
(Calder Plaza - main stage, and blue & white striped Art Sales Tents)
(Isaac's friend tap-dancing on Calder Stage)
(Noah's friend playing violin in a really cool, non-classical orchestra)
(out on the street, looking toward the back of Calder Plaza)
(looking down the street at just a few of the food booths)
(one example of the various types of yummy food available at the food booths)
(Noah, proud of his goofy masterpiece at the Chalk the Walk area)
(Isaac chalking Kirby)
(Rashed's 11 by 11 Magic Square -where all the rows and columns add up to the same sum. There's a pattern for it; he didn't have to figure it all out row by row! He was a math major, and is obsessed with magic squares!)
(I attempted to draw a cute little bird, but it was far from cute and didn't look like a bird, so then I just made up some sort of design. It ended up looking like a quilt square!)
(a crown that Aaron made at one of the craft stations)
(one more view of families enjoying Festival)