Innovative Projects

World of Winter

The World of Winter Festival is a two-month long festival that takes advantage of Michigan’s cold climate to provide interesting ways for people to experience and enjoy the season. This Festival aspires to make Grand Rapids a more active winter city, making Grand Rapids an active year-round city by hosting all activities outdoors in public spaces. All programming and activities are FREE, socially distanced for these pandemic times and geared for both families and adults.

World of Winter 2021 hosted 60 days of activation with 52 events, 16 grants to local artists, 20 art installations, and 109 ice sculptures utilizing 50,000 pounds of and ice earning the title of the largest ice festival!

Covid-19 restrictions (specifically those related to gatherings) did present some planning challenges as historically the festival is heavily focused on large scale events. However, we felt compelled to still provide the community some fun activities and were able to showcase our beautiful 4-season city while doing so. Our festival plans were continuously evaluated, and our focus eventually morphed into placemaking opportunities as opposed to events. This adaptation ultimately led the festival to a huge local and national success where we were recognized by ABC News as a city “inspiring America”.

Project Details

World of Winter

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.


Marketing, Communications and Events
$1000001 - $2000000
Grand Rapids