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Guide to the opening weekend of World of Winter

There is a lot to do and see in downtown Grand Rapids on the opening weekend for World of Winter.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The World of Winter kicks off Friday with dozens of outdoor art installations and two full months of events.

The festival officially kicks off at 6 p.m. with the opening event, "Glow it Up."

Friday, Jan. 6 - Glow It Up

Glow it Up runs from 6 to 9 p.m. and includes a luminary walk, food, music and more.

Visitors can enjoy a walk from the southside of the Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) to Ah-Nab-Awen Park that includes several interesting things to see and do.

Credit: Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.
The Singing Tree located outside of the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Starting at GRPM, check out The Singing Tree, an interactive lighting experience that lights up based on sounds you make.

Credit: Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.
A Rainbow of Isotopes is located at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

From there, you will pass by the Rainbow of Isotopes installation, which is a neon sculpture that depicts the moment of impact between particles in an accelerator.

Credit: Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.
The immersive projection, Tropical Tundra, can be found inside the tunnel underneath the Gillett Bridge.

Continuing on the walk, the next stop is the Tropical Tundra Projection under the Gillett Bridge. The installation projects immersive tropical jungle imagery in the tunnel under the bridge.

Credit: Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.
Starry Night can be found on the stage at Ah-Nab-Awen-Park.

The walk ends at the stage area of Ah-Nab-Awen Park where you will be greeted by a giant illuminated homage to Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night. The installation features 1,400 acrylic tubes lit by LED lights depicting brush strokes on the famous painting.

Also at Ah-Nab-Awen Park, enjoy live music with DJ AB, four firepits with seating, three food trucks, free light up bracelets and four balloon baskets.

You can get up close and personal with the four balloon baskets and watch them shoot flames into the sky. Walk up to, hop in the baskets and get a demonstration of the flame from the balloon pilots.

Credit: Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.
Members of the Grand Rapids Entertainment Group perform at a previous World of Winter Festival.

Saturday, Jan. 7 - Circus Wonderland

On Saturday, you are invited to watch Circus Wonderland at Calder Plaza from 5 to 7 p.m.

The completely free event features stilt walkers, fire breathers, LED performers and aerialists from the Grand Rapids Entertainment Group.

Credit: Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.
A preview of the "House of Cards" art installation set to be displayed in Grand Rapids during the 2023 World of Winter Festival.

The performance will take place in front of the House of Cards, a massive sculpture that is created from 128 light boxes in the form of playing cards. The cards are stacked to create a house of cards.

An art installation walking tour is also open to the public on Saturday from 5 to 6:15 p.m. The walk starts at Rosa Parks circle and will take you around downtown to see most of the outdoor art installations.

Learn more about the many events and art installations at the World of Winter here. Find a complete list of events at WorldOfWinterGR.com.

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