Gilda’s LaughFest, the nation’s first-ever community-wide festival of laughter, is quickly earning a reputation for being one of the nation’s marquee events for both participants and artists. Created by Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids and launched in March 2011 to celebrate laughter for the health of it, the 10-day festival features stand-up, improv, film, authors, community showcases and a variety of seriously funny stuff.
The inaugural LaughFest took place in March 2011 and attracted over 55,000 guests from 25 state and Canada. With over 228 events across 49 different stages, the event featured 642 artists including Betty White, Bill Cosby, Kevin Hart, Gabriel Iglesias, Margaret Cho, Mike Birbiglia and Stephen Lynch. The event kicked off with a Guinness Book World Record for Largest Rubber Chicken Toss, garnering international media coverage.
During the second LaughFest in March 2012, 56,294 people attended from 15 states and Canada. There were 323 events, 217 of which were free. 727 artists performed at 62 festival stages in Grand Rapids, Lowell and Holland. These artists included Martin Short, Kevin Nealon, Whoopi Goldberg, Jim Gaffigan, Patch Adams, The Laurie Berkner Band, Sinbad and many more! The second festival kicked off with setting a Guinness Book World Record for the most people wearing animal noses.
Won’t you join us for LaughFest 2013?
Gilda’s LaughFest is by far, the most balanced festival in the country; there’s literally something for everyone. Comic Roy Wood, Jr.