LaughFest picks up $15K for free shows


Courtesy LaughFest

LaughFest works hard to ensure that everyone is laughing during its 10-day annual comedy festival.

Along with its paid performances, LaughFest also offers a slew of free comedy shows throughout the festival.

That effort will get a boost after the Downtown Development Authority board approved a request to fund LaughFest with $15,000 to support its no-cost public programming.

Last year, 192 of the 261 events were free, and this year, approximately 160 LaughFest shows will be offered free.

“We are happy the DDA has recognized the economic impact LaughFest has created for downtown during the month of March,” said Wendy Wigger, president of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids and Gilda’s LaughFest. “The investment by the DDA to help fund our 160 free events ensures the festival is accessible for everyone to enjoy.”

Wigger said the free shows have been incredibly popular, with about 60 percent of them selling out in the past.

LaughFest will take place March 6-16.

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