Category Archives: Events

Calvin University Short Film Showcase

Calvin University will be hosting the bi-annual showcase of films produced by the university media department on Monday, December 9. The event is open and free to the public in the Covenant Fine Arts Center with refreshments to follow.

This year’s themed attire for the event is “the Oscars,” so attendees are encouraged to dress their absolute best.

The showcase will present various projects of all genres produced over the last few months, including: The Monster Under the Bed, The New Blood, and The Hooded Man Downstairs.

The Monster Under the Bed tells the story of a young girl whose mother is away, and her father tells her it’s due to a monster. The film is directed by Zachery Renauldo and inspired by the story of Dana Drosdick.

The New Blood is the story of a young woman bringing her boyfriend home to meet her father, but with a different twist to it. The film is directed and written by David Swartzentruber.

The Hooded Man Downstairs is based on a true story written by Shi’Anna Whitman and directed by Alexis Bonner. It is the story of a young woman who stands up to her abusive step-father while coping with an immense loss.

The show will be held in the Covenant Fine Arts Center and will begin at 7 pm. Reservations are not required, though attendees are encouraged to arrive early as seats are limited and expected to fill quickly.

This Week in Michigan:

With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, here are a few quick reminders of fun to be had around the state this week!

Sports

Monday – Virginia Tech at Michigan State Men’s Basketball (5pm)
Wednesday – Michigan at Eastern Michigan Women’s Basketball (2pm)
Thursday – Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (12:30pm)
Friday & Saturday – MHSAA Football State Finals at Ford Field
Saturday – Olivet College at Davenport Women’s Basketball (1pm)
Saturday – Ohio State at Michigan Football (12pm)

Family Events

All Week – Molecularium at UofM Dome Theater in Ann Arbor
All Week – Wonderland of Lights at the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing
All Week – Santa Gets a Pink Slip at Cornwell’s Turkeyville House in Marshall
Wednesday – Disney Junior Holiday Party in Detroit (6pm)
Friday & Saturday – The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays at Fox Theatre in Detroit

Entertainment

Tuesday – Ski Mask the Slump God LIVE at 20 Monroe Live in Grand Rapids (8pm)
Wednesday – Edgar Winter Band LIVE at The Crofoot in Pontiac (7pm)
Wednesday – Desert Hearts LIVE at Magic Stick 18+ in Detroit (9:30pm)
Friday – Battery: A Tribute to Metallica LIVE at the Fillmore in Detroit (7pm)
Sunday – Trans-Siberian Orchestra LIVE at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids (7:30pm)

The 100th Birthday of the Grand Rapids Santa Parade

There will be several reasons to celebrate during the Art Van Christmas parade this weekend, other than Santa’s early visit to Grand Rapids. This parade serves as a kickoff to the holiday season, and it happens to be the parade’s 100th birthday.

The parade started in 1919 as the Wurzburg’s Santa Clause Parade on Campau Square. Its main goal was to bring people in and excite them for holiday shopping. The parade was soon taken over by the Grand Rapids Jaycees.

It wasn’t until 2010 when Art Van Furniture joined the board for the parade, bringing a partnership with WoodTV8 to broadcast the event on live television.

The parade is currently the second largest in the state and competes with Detroit’s Thanksgiving parade. The event attracts about 30,000 individuals each year, and even more who watch the parade on live television.

Along with Santa’s early visit, promotions coordinator Wayne Bersano said that Miss Michigan 2019 Mallory Rivard will be making a special appearance.

The event is free for families and individual goers, and there will be time for a meet and greet with St. Nick after the parade. More information about the event can be found at https://www.santaparadegr.com/.

Santa Claus’ Early Visit to Grand Rapids

There is simply no better way to kick off the 2019 holiday season than the annual Grand Rapids Santa Parade. This year’s parade will mark the 100th year in a row that Santa Claus has come to town the Saturday before Thanksgiving and greeted the glittering eyes & bright smiles of children from Grand Rapids and beyond.

The “real” Santa Claus, known to those with the requisite North Pole clearances as Kraig Haybarker, is from Lowell, Michigan and resides there with his wife. His journey started in 2002 when two young kids met him at church and called him Santa because he literally resembled the jolly gift and joy giver.

He was then presented with the opportunity from the director of the Chamber of Commerce from Lowell to be their Santa during the holidays. Since then, he has completed studies at CWH Santa School and continues to spread joy wherever he goes.

When asked what the most rewarding part of his job was, Haybarker said the best part was obviously the kids and celebrating their innocence. All negative thoughts and troubles disappear in the moment when Haybarker meets children and their families, he said.

“Every visit I make is rewarding in its own way,” Haybarker stated. In his time as Santa, he has worked with hospice programs for young children and shared that he has attended funerals of kids he’s met while dressed in full Santa gear.

“It was the best way to honor them,” Haybarker said.

All parade attendees will have the opportunity to meet Haybarker as Santa on November 23 for the Grand Rapids 100th Anniversary Santa Parade. The parade is expected to start at 9 am. More details regarding the parade and tips for viewers and participants can be found at https://grkids.com/grand-rapids-santa-parade/.

“Trent Speaks” Coming to GR

Trent Podskalan is a motivational speaker from Grand Rapids and the founder of the podcast “Trent Speaks”.  He has had a passion for people and hearing their stories since senior year of high school when he became involved in a program called Peer Assisted Listeners (PALS). Since creating his podcast in February of 2018, Podskalan has had people on there to share their stories. It’s become an outlet for everyone to speak, including Podskalan himself.

“Vulnerability is the strength of our weakness.” Trent Podskalan

Podskalan said that while the most difficult part about his career has been starting, the far more rewarding part is the impact he has left and the people he has met along the way. When asked about where he anticipates this journey taking him, he said his goal is to “continue going to high schools and colleges and sharing (his) message with others…to show people it’s okay to not be okay and to be open about the struggles they may be experiencing”.

More information about Podskalan and his podcast and upcoming projects can be found at www.trentspeaks.com/trent-speaks.

Tebow Talk at Calvin University

During his hour visit at Calvin University, ESPN commentator and New York Times bestselling author Tim Tebow spoke little about his time as a professional athlete and more about his path and upbringing. He talked about the difficulties in making decisions and choosing God’s will and way, how he questioned his choices once he made them.

“Adversity may take your momentum, but it can never take you passion.” – Tim Tebow

Tebow spoke about what success meant to him, and how important it is to be significant rather than successful. This mindset was the result of his founding of the Tim Tebow Foundation, which strives to provide opportunities for those less fortunate and those with special needs. After his trip to the Philippines with his church, and meeting the boy with his feet on backwards, Tebow was inspired to do more and be more than compete in professional sports and a celebrity icon.

Speaking to an audience of mostly college students and visiting high school students, Tebow spoke about adversity, how people shouldn’t be discouraged by difficulties but rather let them be an encouragement. One’s purpose isn’t tied to anything on earth, Tebow reminded the crowd. “Adversity may take your momentum, but it can never take your passion,” Tebow told Calvin’s audience.

Grand Rapids’ Upcoming Visitor: Tim Tebow

Photo: BRYAN SODERLIND

NFL quarterback and devoted Christian Tim Tebow will be making a visit to Calvin University’s campus on Thursday, October 24. Tebow will serve as the keynote speaker for the Second Global Congress on Sport and Christianity conference, which is being co-sponsored by Calvin University and Hope College. 

While maintaining his spotlight in professional athletics, Tebow also started the Tim Tebow Foundation, with its main purpose to serve children in need in the United States and abroad. He is also an author of three bestselling books and currently pursuing a career in professional baseball; spending the last four seasons within the New York Mets minor league system.

For more information on Tebow’s upcoming talk at Calvin, visit the event’s Facebook page. For information on tickets to attend his talk, visit www.calvin.universitytickets.com

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