Comedic Relief: Let Loose at GR’s LaughFest

It’s about to get seriously goofy up in Grand Rapids.

The 10-day LaughFest returns to celebrate “laughter for the health of it” with events scheduled throughout West Michigan starting Thursday, March 9. Started in 2011, LaughFest has annually attracted about 50,000 attendees to the area.

No matter what makes you laugh, you’re likely to find it at LaughFest. With all proceeds benefiting programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, taking in some stand-up from the likes of Howie Mandel, Sinbad or Pete Homes and friends or participating in a FUNderwear run or Super Saturday Kids Zone means you get to laugh for a good cause. A full line-up of events is located here.

If your budget is tight, there are still plenty of ways to participate in the fun. Here are a few of our (free) favorites:

  • Community Kickoff: Be part of the action on Thursday, March 9 at Rosa Parks Circle. Bring the family down and join fellow attendees in an attempt to record West Michigan’s biggest mannequin challenge. Food trucks will be onsite and souvenirs will be available at LaughFest Central, which is located in the Grand Rapids Art Museum. What’s a mannequin challenge? Check out this example from Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
  • LaughteRx Events: An important aspect of LaughFest is raising awareness about the importance of laughter and emotional health. Finding the humor in life has real health benefits. LaughFest’s LaughteRx series features seven Laughter Yoga drop-in sessions and six free presentations/panel discussions focused on that connection. Get your giggle on at a yoga session or learn something new at one of the series’ talks, some of which feature local doctors and cancer experts.
  • Seriously Funny Family Adventure Challenge: This event is seriously funny and seriously fun. If you enjoy laughing with and at your family or friends, you need to get a team together and do this. Basically, teams of two to four will compete against each other, racing through downtown Grand Rapids from one hilarious challenge to the next. A mobile phone app will be used this year to reveal clues and scoring, so at least one member of your team will need to have access to a mobile phone throughout the event. Volunteers will be onsite the day of the event to help you install the app and answer any questions.

This event is presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Watch this video from last year’s event:

What are your favorite LaughFest events? Share with us in the comments.

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