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People excited for the return of large events as Festival of the Arts begins

"I think all of us are craving the opportunity to get back out and see one another," says Mayor Rosalynn Bliss.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — After a year of being cooped up inside, many are looking forward to getting together once again. Festival of the Arts is the perfect opportunity.

"We all have stories and memories from Festival," says Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. "Usually this is the start to our summer."

Festival began the weekend with a few different events. Studio Park hosted a virtual performance from local musicians and dancers. Mayor Bliss enjoyed the show, and is thrilled to see a large event make its way back downtown after a year without them.

"I think all of us are craving the opportunity to get back out and see one another," says Bliss. "Say hi, give hugs and just reconnect with one another after being apart for well over a year."

High school senior Matthew Singer from Macomb County is in town for the weekend for the state track finals. Spending Friday downtown with his team, seeing Festival going on was a nice surprise.

"I like looking at art, we have some people that are into that stuff, we have some artists that run with us," says Singer. "So we were actually excited to hear about that."

Echoing the feelings of Mayor Bliss, Singer is especially happy to be able to gather with his friends once again.

"Running in general is just a really social sport, so it's nice to be able to kind of connect and hang out places outside of just running on the track," says Singer.

Artists will be around town Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturday, there will also be live music.

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