Rob Bliss is back with another Grand Rapids Urban Experiment. On October 30, Rosa Parks Circle will become its own version of Night of the Living Dead as thousands of costumed zombies are expected to descend on the venue in an attempt to break the world record for the largest zombie walk. Once congregated on Monroe Center at 9 p.m., the zombies will begin traveling down Monroe Avenue, with The B.O.B. as their final destination.
Participation in the free event is simple: dress like a zombie and arrive at Rosa Parks Circle at 9 p.m. According to Bliss, costumes can be as basic as a white t-shirt sprayed with ketchup. The former world Zombie Walk record of 1,098 participants was set last year at the Monroeville Mall outside of Pittsburgh, as part of their two-day ZombieFest. That same group had 1,375 turn out for this year's October 26 event, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
An incredible week of events features dozens of Halloween parties around Grand Rapids, including bashes at The B.O.B., Founders, Monte's and Billy's. Plus, Rob Bliss attempts the world's largest Zombie Walk, Pete Sampras and Jim Courier face off at Van Andel Arena for charity, Riverhouse Condos celebrates its grand opening, the Griffins play at home twice and The DeltaPlex hosts WGRD's Halloween Freak Show.
A busy Tuesday features country music phenom Taylor Swift, the opening of Sweeney Todd and Dave Matthews collaborator Tim Reynolds at The Intersection. Later in the week, the Griffins kick off their home season at Van Andel Arena, Jamie Kennedy visits Dr. Grins and the Thriller! Chiller! Film Festival returns to the Wealthy Theatre.
Bar Divani will celebrate its grand re-opening with a special party Thursday evening, October 16, beginning at 5 p.m. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres will await visitors as they check out the new decor, furniture, private lounge and new Bar Divani logo, all of which coincide with the theme "Awaken the Senses".
The new concept represents owners Dennis Moosbrugger and Rimple Nayyar's vision of 'Libation Education', an emphasis on teaching restaurant patrons about wine, beer and liquors. In keeping with this theme, Executive Chef Craig Oland will present unique food tastings from the local, handcrafted menu and Bar Divani will supplement the current Wednesday Wine Socials with occasional Scotch and Vodka tastings. “Bar Divani’s desire is to inspire a tasting adventure via the extensive array of wine, beer, spirits and small plates we offer. We are fortunate to have a well-trained and seasoned staff to create a memorable experience of tasting experimentation," said Moosbrugger.
Bar Divani is open Monday-Wednesday from 4 p.m. until midnight and Thursday-Saturday from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m.
The Pistons' pre-season game at Van Andel Arena will kick off this week's big events, which also include GR Ballet's Aladdin, the Civic Theatre's performance of Bunnicula and Zoo Goes Boo at John Ball Park. S Nightclub in Holland will open on Friday night, and on Sunday, the Grand Rapids Marathon will return to Millenium Park and downtown GR.
Sample and taste more than 300 wines Friday evening, when Food, Wine & All That Jazz arrives at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The fundraiser for the local PBS affiliate, WGVU, showcases dozens of vendors and their products either currently, or soon to be, stocked on the shelves at D&W Fresh Market grocery stores. Attendees can choose from pasta, sushi, cheeses and meats, as well as number of different types of beers.
Local jazz groups The Sheila Landis Trio and The Jim Cooper Trio will perform throughout the evening. Tickets are $45 in advance or $55 at the door and include unlimited samples.
Friday evening will feature big concerts around Grand Rapids with Kenny Loggins performing alongside the Grand Rapids Sympony, Emerson Drive visiting The Intersection and Relient K at The Orbit Room. Earlier in the week, Founders will host a John Lennon Birthday fundraiser and the Annual Burton/W3 Party returns to Monte's.
The Polish celebration of food and heritage at halls across Grand Rapids' West Side is back this weekend, October 3-5. Fourteen venues including Sixth Street Hall, Kosciuszko Hall and the Lexicon Club will have kielbasa, kapusta, pierogi and other authentic food, along with live polka music, DJs, dancing, beer and souvenir buttons.
Most halls will open Friday around 11 a.m. or noon and do have a cover charge. The Pulaski Day Parade takes place at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning.