Our network

Shopping & Services

Local college and university students offer free tax filing service

Local college and university students offer free tax filing service

KENTWOOD, Mich.—Tax season is almost here and Davenport University is ready to help.

Student and faculty volunteers from Davenport will begin offering free income tax preparation sessions to low- and middle-income tax filers Thursday, Jan. 23.  The service is available on a first come, first serve basis to families making less than $55,000 in total household income.  People who want to utilize the program should bring the following materials:

New Pumpkin Passport kicks off Pumpkinfest 2013

New Pumpkin Passport kicks off Pumpkinfest 2013

ZEELAND, Mich. - This year’s Pumpkinfest is starting early with the addition of the Pumpkin Passport.

Nine local restaurants are featuring a custom pumpkin dish or drink from now until October 5 that people can try, and then be entered into a drawing for free gift cards. 

Participating Pumpkin Passport restaurants include: Frank’s, Public, Main St. Beanery, The 6 Eight, Vitale’s, The Farmhouse, City on a Hill Café, Zeeland Bakery, and Community Restaurant.  Dishes and drinks will include things like: soup, pastas, desserts and coffee drinks, all of which will have a pumpkin theme.

Three-county campaign to Take the Stairs kicks off September 3

Three-county campaign to Take the Stairs kicks off September 3

Organizations in Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon counties are teaming up this week to encourage people to take the stairs.

Take the Stairs Week runs September 3 through September 6.  The three-day campaign is meant to encourage people to become more physically active while saving energy.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, graphic designs promoting healthy behavior have been shown to motivate stair users; that’s why Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris State University created images for this campaign.  Free color signs are available at the Heart of West Michigan United Way for businesses and organizations with escalators or elevators.

Participating agencies include:

The American Institute of Architects, Grand Rapids Chapte

ArtPrize winner among participants in Fallasburg Fall Festival 2013

ArtPrize winner among participants in Fallasburg Fall Festival 2013

The winner of ArtPrize 2010 will be among the more than 95 artists taking part in Fallasburg Fall Festival for the Arts.

LowellArts!  recently released the list of festival vendors, which includes ArtPrize grand prize winner Chris LaPorte. LaPorte’s 28-foot wide pencil drawing “Cavalry, American Officers 1921” earned him $250,000.

 Artists from as far away as Florida will be showcasing their skills during the festival, which runs September 14 and 15.  Visitors can enjoy live music while shopping for new art.

This is the 45th year for Fallasburg Fall Festival for the Arts.  For more information about the event, visit the LowellArts! website here.

Holland sidewalks transformed into shoppers' paradise August 9-10

Holland sidewalks transformed into shoppers' paradise August 9-10

HOLLAND, Mich.—The sidewalks of Holland will be transformed into a shopper’s paradise this weekend as the annual Sidewalk Sales event returns for another year.

Visitors downtown can sift through wares from more than 100 shops, galleries and boutiques in what promises to be the biggest sale of the year.  The Sidewalk Sales event runs August 9 through August 10.

Berry season arrives: Find a U-pick location here

Berry season arrives: Find a U-pick location here

West Michigan growers are seeing high demand for berries this summer.

Many farmers have closed their fields for a couple days after visitors picked their plants clean.  The increasing demand also led to a shorter cherry season for some growers.  

Here's a list of some of the U-pick locations open in West Michigan this summer. Prices, fruit availability and hours vary daily, so it's best to call ahead before visiting any farm.

 

Ionia County

 

Bird Berry Farm

5256 Belding Rd. Belding, MI

(616) 794-5041

Blueberries $1.75 per pound

Patch picked out early Friday morning call back for update Wednesday, July 17

 

 

Kent County

 

North Ridge Berries

3555 20 Mile Rd. NW Kent City, MI

(616) 675-5919

Raspberries $3 per pound

Double Up Food Bucks program begins again July 1

Double Up Food Bucks program begins again July 1

A program aimed at helping low income families eat healthier is back for another season.

Double Up Food Bucks runs July 1 through October 31, 2013.  Participating markets will match the amount spent by shoppers using a SNAP Bridge Card.  The maximum match is $20 per day, and shoppers do not need to use their Double Up Food Bucks the same day they get them.

In West Michigan, participating farm markets include:

  • Ada Farmers’ Market (7239 Thornapple Dr.)
  • Byron Farmers’ Market* (84th & Byron Center, Byron Center)
  • Downtown Market Grand Rapids (435 Ionia St. SW)
  • Fulton Street Farmers’ Market* (1147 East Fulton St.)
  • Greenville Farmer’s Market (1325 W. Washington, Veteran’s Park)
  • Healthy Street Farmers’ Market (431 Cass Ave. SE, Grand Rapids)
  • Holland Farmers’ Market (150 W.