CityFest marks farewell to Richard DeVos and his vision for Grand Rapids

Posted at 11:12 PM, Sep 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-12 13:32:03-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Saturday marked the first day of the two-day festival of faith, CityFest, at Ah-Nab-Awan park downtown.

Andrew Palau and his father Luis spearheaded the free event this weekend. The two form the Palau Association, which is based in Oregon, and work to put on church-based events all over the world. 

Luis Palau has been a longtime friend of Grand Rapids-native Rich Devos.  Devos died this past week at the age of 92.  Palau himself has stage four cancer and was looking forward to meeting back up with his friend this weekend.  On stage Saturday, the elder Palau said, “Rich just went to heaven.  And I said, 'Oh no.' He said, 'Luis is coming to the city and I’m out of here.' And he took off. But he did a lot to make this city a beautiful city.”

The idea for CityFest was hatched years ago between Devos and Luis Palau.  Andrew Palau recalls Rich calling his father and saying, "Luis, before we go, and it's not going to be long, we've got to do one more thing together in my hometown."  Rich Devos and his family have a long tradition of donating to the City of Grand Rapids through many avenues.

Organizers expect ten to fifteen thousand people to attend the festival this weekend.

Everything starts back up Sunday at 4:00 p.m..  For more information about CityFest and what to expect on Day two, you can visit their website.