Downtown museum producing Ethnic Heritage Festival


The Grand Rapids Public Museum showcases global cultures at its Ethnic Heritage Festival. Photo via

A downtown museum is producing a day-long festival this weekend to celebrate the ethnicities that make up the region.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum will host the 2017 Ethnic Heritage Festival on Saturday.

The event, which begins at 10 a.m., will be a day-long celebration of the music, dance, crafts and food by people from a range of ethnic backgrounds in West Michigan.

All activities — from performances to beer tastings and ethnic food selections to presentations — are included with the price of general admission to the museum.


The museum timed the festival to coincide with the opening of a new temporary exhibit, “Journey Through the Pacific,” showcasing cultures of the Pacific region.

Visitors will also be able to view two of the museum’s exhibitions focusing on diversity and culture: “Newcomers: The People of this Place,” which highlights the ethnic groups that have settled in the Grand Rapids area, and “Anishinabek: The People of this Place,” which focuses on the region’s Native American culture.

Festival lineup

Performances will take place all day in the museum’s Meijer Theater and Galleria, starting at 10 a.m.

The entertainment lineup includes Pacific Island Dancers, Ballet Folklorico Sol Azteca, Le Clay, Le Zu, West Michigan Tamil Sangam, Chinese Dance for Health, Imani Singers of Grand Rapids, CAWN Dance Troup and Belly Dance Grand Rapids.

Participating organizations

Organizations participating in this year’s festival include Friends of Fisher Mansion, Amber Treasures, India Link, Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Grand Rapids Sister Cities, Grand Rapids Scottish Society, Polish Heritage Society, Swedish American Heritage Society, Anishinabec – Grand Valley Lodge, End of the Trail Jewelry, Voice in the Wood, Native American, Native Blend and Edelweiss Club of Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

Grand Rapids Public Museum, at 272 Pearl St. NW, is a publicly owned institution that is home to more than 250,000 artifacts.

The museum houses the only planetarium in the region and is responsible for protecting the Norton Indian Mounds, a national historic landmark. 

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