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World of Winter Festival draws crowds outdoors to check out Grand Rapids

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Posted at 10:12 PM, Jan 08, 2022

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — There's a new glow that fills the night in downtown Grand Rapids: five large bunnies to be adored by everyone visiting Ah-Nab-Awen Park.

"We have little ones. So the bunnies were a big draw," Katie Potter said.
"I was going to say the bunnies; they were so great," Laura Rodeheaver-Vangelder said.

Australian artist Amanda Parer picked Grand Rapids to feature her "elephant in the room" art piece.

According to the artist, the five supersized bunnies are meant to represent the negative impact we're making on the natural world, big and in plain sight, but still chosen to be ignored.

Many families and kids see the art as an opportunity to take in the wonderful winter weather we're having right now.

"It's really good to enjoy the fresh air. I made a New Year's resolution to be outside more this year, and it's been a great time for that," Potter said.
"We love all the lights. It's great to come out on a cold day and enjoy the warmth of the lights and have fun with our friends and kids," Rodeheaver-Vangelder said.

Downtown Grand Rapids is providing its fifth annual festival as a way to showcase the city as a popular destination to visit even during these cold months. Right now, people are also using the outdoors as a way to safely meet up with friends.

"We haven't seen our friends in a bit, and it's a safe activity to do during COVID. We are just so thankful. It's free for us to enjoy," Rodeheaver-Vangelder said.

Over the next two months, people can see a lot. When you head downtown, you'll be able to see 30 different public art installations and experience over 50 free outdoor events.

"It's great to get out and have something active outdoors, and it's COVID safe to do," Amanda Worst said.

The event runs until early March.

SEE MORE: Jurassic Quest happening this weekend

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