Grand Rapids gears up for '616 Day'
The name 616, references the area code of the Greater Grand Rapids region, and the day is a celebration of all things local through a lens of equity, diversity and inclusion.
Grand Rapids’ annual 616 Day celebration kicks off on Friday June 16. The free event, which highlights the Greater Grand Rapids community, has been a city-wide tradition since Mayor Rosalynn Bliss officially recognized the celebration in 2019.
This year’s festivities will be held at Rosa Parks Circle in the city’s downtown from 12:00pm – 8:00pm.
The name 616, references the area code of the Greater Grand Rapids region, and the day is a celebration of all things local through a lens of equity, diversity and inclusion. Creative Curator of the event, Victor Williams, told WGVU it’s an opportunity to honor resources and community within the city, while also acknowledging barriers.
“616 Day is about celebrating every great about Grand Rapids about our city. At the same time recognizing that our city has hurdles to overcome. We have issues in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion, our treatment of service in marginalize communities, and we always want to use 616 Day as an opportunity to uplift,” he said.
Grand Rapids City Manager, Mark Washington, will offer an address during the festivities, discussing the city’s plans to break down equity barriers.
The outdoor event will also feature games, live music, food and art, including performances from Karisa Wilson, Syreeta’s Black Rose, The MEL V Collective and The Hai Cuu Experience. Visitors can join in on a downtown scavenger hunt, 616 trivia and a sidewalk chalk art competition. Cash prizes, gift cards and concert tickets will be given away randomly throughout the day.