The Street Party of the Summer


by Bri Kilroy

Michigan’s signature stroll toward summer includes a month of shuffling between sweater weather and sandals before embracing the well-deserved warmth of the season and officiating its arrival with big events. Not only does June’s opening weekend feature Festival of the Arts, but also happening at the center of that three-day culture spread is the annual Local First Street Party on Grandville Avenue.

In its 13th year, the Local First Street Party is well rehearsed in throwing a bash that everyone in the community is thrilled to attend by targeting three specific staples in the Grand Rapids personality that we can’t help but get excited about: local food, music and beer.

“It showcases a wide variety of what we [in West Michigan] have,” Local First’s marketing manager and veteran Street Party attendee, Mieke Stoub, said. The featured food trucks, bands and entertainment represent the local treasures that flourish in our city as it keeps stride with our ever-changing tastes and interests.

The event’s strong focus on community building invites all to come in and discover something new in the form of an unforgettable dish from the seven food vendors on site, a song that you fall in love with during a performance by the local bands in the entertainment lineup, or a friend you make while creating a masterpiece at the Recycled Art station. Dancing, game playing and toasting your peers with a refreshing Founders brew keep you moving from afternoon to evening and, when you need to hydrate, fill your water bottle at the free water stations provided by Gordon Water.

If you feel like you may need a warm up before you let loose, arrive at 2:30 p.m. for a pre-party yoga session led by Ashley and Mali from AM Yoga. The party kicks off at 3 p.m. with a student performance by Triumph Music Academy and the music flows until midnight with 61Syx Teknique Street dancers and Audacious Hoops filling the pauses between sets with interactive entertainment.

Get outside and welcome the weather that lets us closet our puff coats for now. When you hear the sound of celebration, follow your ears to Grandville Avenue to find the party that’s waiting for you. Rev your anticipation for the street party of the summer by visiting where you can find the list of food vendors, the entertainment lineup and more.

  • What: Local First Street Party
  • Where: 44 Grandville Ave. SW (outside Bistro Bella Vita)
  • When: June 4, 3 p.m.-midnight
  • Cost: Free (food and beverage tickets available for purchase)

Visit the VIP tent to find me (Bri), who is serving up refreshing brews at this year’s Street Party, and get a free high-five!


Bri Kilroy is a Grand Valley and AmeriCorps alumna who learned to type through vigorous Mavis Beacon trainings. She also passes as an artist, illustrator and author of this bio.




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