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Experience Grand Rapids launches personalized travel planning website

Experience Grand Rapids launches personalized travel planning website

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.---Experience Grand Rapids, the official destination marketing organization for Kent County, recently announced the launch of its new personalized travel planning website, www.GRCityTwist.com.

The new interactive website targets 18 different interests, from “art lovers” to “thrill seekers”, allowing the visitor to customize their trip.  For example, craft beer enthusiasts can find breweries to explore, activities and nightlife related to craft beer, and accommodations for the weekend.

EXGR launched the new, mobile-friendly website on Dec. 17 at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park with the hospitality community, business and political leaders, and its Certified Tourism Ambassadors.

GRPS Theme School application deadline Dec. 16

GRPS Theme School application deadline Dec. 16
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  The window to apply for a theme school/Center of Innovation in Grand Rapids Public Schools is about to close.Applications for first round consideration are due Dec. 16.  To apply, log onto the district’s website here or visit your child’s school or the Student Services building, located at 1331 Franklin St. SE.For more information, click here or contact Student Services at (616) 819-2150.

Living Nativity returns for its 18th year

 Living Nativity returns for its 18th year

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- This live re-enactment of the Christmas story  takes place on three consecutive nights, starting Friday, Dec. 13 at Brookside Christian Reformed Church.

Performances complete with live animals are scheduled for 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. each evening. Warm up in the Activity Center with a cup of hot chocolate, sample cookies, visit with the Neighbors in Nazareth and take part in activities and crafts.

Brookside Christian Reformed Church is located at 3600 Kalamazoo Avenue SE in Grand Rapids. The event is open to the entire community and admission is free.

For more information, call (616) 452-3191 or visit www.brooksidecrc.org.

Grand Rapids gourmet store moving to Douglas

Grand Rapids gourmet store moving to Douglas

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A  gourmet food business that’s been in the Russo family for six generations is moving from My Town Grand Rapids South to the Saugatuck-Douglas area.

The owners of Carrettino Italian Market & Wine anticipate opening their new headquarters in late spring of 2014. 

"My family and I have decided to relocate our business to the Saugatuck-Douglas area because it draws the type of clientele that will support the products and services that our family has passionately developed for generations;" said John Russo. "We have always loved the area and soon we will be able to call it our home."   

Excel Charter Academy welcomes pint size pilgrims ahead of Thanksgiving

Excel Charter Academy welcomes pint size pilgrims ahead of Thanksgiving

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  A posse of pilgrims strolled through the hallways of Excel Charter Academy Monday, as the school paid homage to Thanksgiving.

Students in Mrs. Edema’s class dressed up as pilgrims, donning the traditional hat and bonnet as they learned about the history of the holiday.  On Tuesday, the class will dress as Native Americans. 

Excel Charter Academy is located at 4201 Breton Ave. SE in My Town Grand Rapids South.

Gymco gives kids a leg up on building healthy bodies, strong minds

Gymco gives kids a leg up on building healthy bodies, strong minds

By Chealsea Slocum
Photography by Adam Bird 

Tie-tying ceremony ushers in new support for Grand Rapids youth

Tie-tying ceremony ushers in new support for Grand Rapids youth

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The founding dean of Davenport University’s College of Urban Education will introduce his innovative tie-tying ceremony to a group of Grand Rapids boys,  as a first step of encouragement to attend college.

Dr. Andre Perry began his tie-tying ceremony in New Orleans in 2010 as a way to celebrate his 40th birthday.  He plans to make the ritual an annual event in his new home of Grand Rapids.  During the ceremony on November 18, adult mentors will teach twenty boys how to tie distinguishing knots.  The ceremony is meant to introduce young urban youth to social networks that will increase their likelihood of attending and completing college.

The ceremony will begin at 3:30 p.m. at Head-N-Sole Barbershop, located at 1449 Kalamazoo Ave. SE.

Perry’s unique tie ceremony is featured in the award-winning documentary, “Close Ties: Tying on a New Tradition.”