Kentwood Marks its 50th Anniversary with Year of Events

Press Release ( - GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Feb 14, 2017 - The anniversary celebrations will kick off on Feb. 27 at Bowen Elementary with a ceremonial City Commission meeting.  This was the date and location of Kentwood’s first City Commission meeting after it was incorporated in 1967.  The evening will celebrate community growth and recognize the residents, schools, businesses and nonprofits that have made Kentwood a great place to live, work and raise a family.

“The City of Kentwood has grown into a diverse community where families want to live and companies want to do business,” said Mayor Stephen Kepley. “For being a relatively young city, we have become a desired destination in West Michigan. We’re proud of Kentwood’s accomplishments and look forward to continuing to grow in the next 50 years.”

Throughout the year, the City of Kentwood will celebrate its progress with different events. A breakfast to honor businesses that have remained in Kentwood since 1967 is planned for March 23 at Kent District Library Kentwood Branch. The City and the Wyoming-Kentwood Chamber of Commerce will honor these businesses that continue to be a central part of the community. The breakfast will also highlight their contributions to the community through the past 50 years.

The Vibe – A Parks & Recreation Gala, will be held on May 19. This is the second year for this event, which raises money for the City’s Parks and Recreation Department programs. This year’s fundraiser favors jeans and cowboy boots over the traditional gala attire. The 2017 Vibe Gala will be hosted inside the barn at Equine Assisted Development of the Great Lakes in Kentwood. Tickets will go on sale in March.

A weekend-long street fair and festival will be held August 11 – 12, welcoming all of West Michigan to join in the celebration with food, kid-friendly events and live entertainment. Celebrate Kentwood will also feature the most talented from the community in a talent show, Kentwood’s Got Talent, modeled after the popular TV show.

The first round of auditions for Kentwood’s Got Talent are being held March 9 at the Kent District Library Kentwood Branch. Anyone with a talent such as singing, dancing, magic, comedy or variety are encouraged to audition. Those wishing to sign up can do so by stopping by the Kentwood Activities Center at 355 48th St. SE. All entries must be received by March 3.

Kentwood’s 50th Anniversary will have a special presence in everything the City does this year, including Taste of Kentwood, the Farmer’s Market, 4th of July celebrations, parades and all other City-sponsored events.

“We have been working really hard to make this a special year for our community,” said Kentwood Treasurer and Kentwood 50 committee leader Laurie Sheldon. “Our residents, businesses and organizations have made Kentwood an amazing city and we are making sure we express our thanks through great events in 2017.”

Residents can stay up-to-date on news, information and events by visiting the City’s Facebook page. The website and Facebook page encourage residents and businesses to share their personal stories of Kentwood.

Residents can share photos and stories on the website, Facebook page or by emailing Kentwood50 ( Throughout the year, the City’s Facebook page and website will feature submitted stories to highlight the history from the early days of Paris Township to the present-day city. The website also features merchandise, which include shirts, hats and drink ware, available for purchase at City events.

The City of Kentwood was incorporated in 1967 by vote of just more than 6,000 residents, officially making Paris Township the City of Kentwood. Since that time, Kentwood has grown into a thriving community, home to more than 50,000 unique individuals and recently voted one of the Top 20 Zip Codes in the Country by

For more information about the history of Kentwood and events occurring throughout the year, contact Laurie Sheldon at 616.554.0763.

Source : City of Kentwood

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