Special Events Sponsorship Program

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The City of Grand Rapids is dedicated to supporting the events industry to boost the local economy and rebuild the sense of community that was impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. To achieve this, we created the Special Events Sponsorship Program using federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Over the past 2 ½ years, this program has awarded over $1,000,000 to support 200 events, resulting in more than 450 individual activations. These events spanned all three wards of Grand Rapids, with 71 new activations and 129 recurring ones. Thanks to these efforts, the City has experienced a record number of local special events over the past two years.

As we transition to a post-pandemic world, the ARPA funds are coming to an end. Consequently, the Special Events Sponsorship Program will no longer receive federal support. The City Commission adopted the Fiscal Year 2025 budget on Tuesday, which does not include General Fund allocations for this program. However, we will continue to support community events through our Community Level of Co-Sponsorship. Not-for-profit events held on public property in Grand Rapids, which are free and open to residents and visitors, will still receive a 75% discount on public property rental and a 50% discount on most City services and fees. For more details, please visit our Special Event Planning and Resource Guide.

You may also have opportunities for support through the Neighborhood Match Fund or the event marketing and sponsorship program at Mobile GR. We’re happy to make those connections.

We are grateful for the vibrancy your events have brought to Grand Rapids and are thankful for the opportunity to support these activities through ARPA funds. We look forward to helping you bring your ideas to life in 2024 and beyond.

Happy Planning!