With a population of nearly 200,000, the city of Grand Rapids is the largest in western Michigan and the second-largest in the state (only Detroit has more residents). As such, it's also one of the state's largest GLBT hubs, and it's also the closest large city to arguably the most prominent gay resort enclave in the Midwest, the twin towns of Saugatuck and Douglas, which overlook a beautiful stretch of sand on Lake Michigan.
In Mid-June, the city of Grand Rapids plays host to the increasingly well-attended Greater Grand Rapids Gay Pride Festival, which draws GLBT folks locally as well as from nearby communities like Holland, Muskegon, and of course Saugatuck. Note that prior to last year, the event was called Western Michigan Pride. The date this year is is mid-June (likely June 16-18, but organizers haven't yet finalized these dates). Now in its 29th year, the festival is held at downtown's Calder Plaza.
Details related to Pride in Grand Rapids this year are not yet confirmed and will be posted here as information is made available. In the meantime, here's a look back at last year's event.
Added last year was the Grand Rapids Pride Concert on The Calder, which took place on Saturday and Sunday of the big weekend. R&B singer-songwriter Deborah Cox headlined the event. Alex Newell of Glee was the emcee and rising star Steve Grand also performed.
It's expected the other big-name performers will appear at the Pride concert this year - stay tuned for more details.
Grand Rapids Gay Resources
Check local gay papers, such as Metra Magazine and Between The Lines/Pride Source for details. Also take a look at the useful travel site produced by the city's official tourism organization, the Grand Rapids Convention & Visitors Bureau, which also has a section specifically on LGBT travel. If you're headed to the Saugatuck/Douglas region, check out the wonderfully helpful Saugatuck and Douglas Gay Travel Site, and for more travel info, visit the Saugatuck/Douglas Visitors Bureau site.