Celebrating Kentwood is what this upcoming weekend event is all about

Former Kentwood mayors Richard Clanton, Jerry DeRuiter, and Bill Hardiman; former mayor Richard Root’s wife Karleen, Kentwood Mayor Stephen Kelley, and first mayor Peter Lambert’s son Richard at the Kentwood 50th anniversary kick-off in February.

By Joanne Bailey-Boorsma



There will be music, food trucks, and lots of fun behind the Kentwood City Hall as the city hosts its community-wide “Celebrate Kentwood” event in honor of its 50th anniversary.


Since February, the city has been marking its 50th anniversary with a series of events with this weekend, Aug. 11 and 12, being the big two-day celebration.


The 50th anniversary ale, the Golden Beeraucrat brewed by Railtown Brewing, will be available during “Celebrate Kentwood.” (Supplied)

“Everyone is welcome,” said City Treasurer Laurie Sheldon, who has headed up the Kentwood 50th committee which has organized a year-long celebration that includes this weekend’s event. “We have tried to make this as inclusive as possible. We wanted to make it family friendly and affordable, so please come join us and have a great weekend with us.”


Activities will kick off on Friday behind the Kentwood City Hall, 4900 Breton Ave. SE, and next to the KDL Kentwood Library Branch, 4950 Breton Ave. SE. From 5 – 8 p.m. will be a classic car show. Starting at 7 p.m. will be the Kentwood’s Got Talent featuring 10 talented local performers who will be singing, dancing and even beatboxing.


“The kick off with the Kentwood’s Got Talent, we have some amazing individuals competing for a grand prize, and they are pretty excited to be a part of it as well,” Sheldon said. “We have a panel of local celebrity judges who will actually pick the winner. Some of the judges are Mike Knuble, an East Kentwood graduate who is now with the Griffins and Rachael Ruiz, also a Kentwood graduate, will be our MC.”


The other judges include WZZM reporter Angela Cunningham, dance instructor Deavondre Jones of Dancespire, and Vonda Poll from Unique Models & Talent.


Immediately following Kentwood’s Got Talent, WKTV will be premiering the documentary “Kentwood – A Place Called Home,” which covers the city’s first 50 years.


The music starts at 3 p.m. and goes throughout the night with the Mega 80’s wrapping up the evening.

The activities continue on Saturday at 9 a.m. with the Breton Street Fair and the Kentwood Farmers Market. Throughout the day there will be inflatables, carnival games, cultural events, and community booths along with activities at the KDL Kentwood Library Branch.


For the adults, there will be a beer tent featuring the 50th anniversary ale, the Golden Beeraucrat brewed by Railtown Brewing. Also available will be several food trucks such as B.D. BBQ, Doughnuts, the Maine Dish Munchie Snack, The Nordic Grill, and The Olive Branch, will be on hand as well.


The music will start at 3 p.m. with Tom Cutts & Friends. At 4 p.m. is The Isaac Norris Project, followed by Cabildo at 5:30 p.m. Wrapping up the music is the Michigan-based Mega 80’s at 7 p.m. The night will be capped off with fireworks.


“We’re building a Kentwood-centered tradition that we want all of West Michigan to enjoy,” said Kentwood Mayor Stephen Kepley. “The event will be family-friendly giving West Michigan a wonderful opportunity to gather with neighbors and enjoy a weekend of free activities.”


“The entire year, we are celebrating Kentwood’s 50th anniversary with a series of special events. We’ve grown greatly as a city in the past 50 years, and we look forward to our community improving upon its solid foundation.”


The Kentwood 50 celebration will continue until the end of year with the End of Summer Food Truck Festival Sept. 16; the Fall Festival featuring Trunk or Treat Oct. 21, the Ugly Seater 5K Nov. 8, and the Tree Lighting Ceremony Dec. 8.


For more on the Kentwood 50, visit www.kentwood50.com.