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Community updates: Thursday, June 10

Heritage Hill hosting Garden Tour, Pleasant Park Marketplace on June 19; Fulton Street Artisans Market opening day this Sunday; and Grand Rapids Public Library kicking off adult summer reading program.
Backyard garden of Karen Coy in Grand Rapids' Heritage Hill neighborhood.

Backyard garden of Karen Coy in Grand Rapids' Heritage Hill neighborhood. /Karen Coy

Heritage Hill hosting Garden Tour, Pleasant Park Marketplace on June 19

Grand Rapids residents and visitors will soon have the chance to tour the private gardens of various historic homes and public spaces in the Heritage Hill neighborhood.

Organized by the Heritage Hill Association, an official Garden Tour will take place on Saturday, June 19 from 9am-3pm. It will showcase an assortment of 13 city gardens that have been designed and nurtured by the homeowners themselves.

“For those of us who live here, our gardens truly are a labor of love and creativity,” Karen Coy, Heritage Hill resident and co-founder of the Heritage Hill Garden Club, said. “Each one has a distinct personality of its own.”

Tour participants will be able to see a wide range of styles, according to the HHA, from an artistic bicycle-themed haven with an array of succulents and a community vegetable garden, to old-fashioned roses on the grounds of the 1895 Voigt House Victorian Museum. Many of the gardens also feature architectural elements, such as antique brick paths, fountains, and statues, among others.

Along with the Garden Tour, the HHA is also adding a Pleasant Park Marketplace for the first time and on the same day. It will run 9am-4pm, featuring local artists and vendors. This includes live music from The Mary Rademacher Trio, seed planting, storytelling, and more children’s activities.

“After cancelling our 2020 Garden Tour due to Covid, we are excited for it to return bigger and better than ever,” said HHA Executive Director Barba Draughon. “We look forward to bringing the community together with the addition of the festivities at Pleasant Park, where there will be fun for all ages.”

Draughon noted that Pleasant Park was a crumbling parking lot before being renovated into its current neighborhood park state in 2014. She said the HHA is happy to see it taking center stage during the Heritage Hill Garden Tour.

Tour tickers are available on-site the day of the tour for $15 at Pleasant Park, with the marketplace being free to the public. More details about the tour, including advance tickets, are available on the HHA’s website.


Fulton Street Artisans Market opening day this Sunday

The Fulton Street Artisans Market (FSAM) returns for another summer season on Sunday, it announced.

Marking its 17th Annual Opening Day, the event will feature nearly 100 artisans selling and showcasing their handmade arts and crafts. Included will be pottery, painting, jewelry, sculpture, candles, woodwork, and more.

The FSAM is located in the same space as the 99-year-old Fulton Street Farmers Market. It operates every Sunday this summer, from this Sunday through the end of Sept.

“Once you work up an appetite strolling the market, you’ll find three concessions vendors ready to serve food and drinks,” FSAM said of Opening Day in a statement. “These include El Jalapeño, The Falafel Truck, and Patty Matters.”

Among other handmade arts and crafts available for Opening Day are fiber arts, photography, and herbal body care products.

More details about the FSAM are available through its Facebook page.


Grand Rapids Public Library kicks off adult summer reading program

The Grand Rapids Public Library’s (GRPL) annual summer reading program for adults, GR Reads, kicks off this month on Thursday, June 17.

Running through Aug. 31, participants can read any of its six selected books and participate in 19 free programs throughout the summer. Programs include both in-person and virtual events.

The six books were selected by the GRPL to appeal to a wide range of reading tastes, featuring various genres of fiction and nonfiction. The related programs are both loosely and directly related to the books, according to the library.

Titles selected for GR Reads 2021 are:

A full list of the program's in-person and virtual events is available on the GRPL website’s GR Reads page.


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