The Great Skate debuted in 2002 as a 24-hour ice skating marathon held at the outdoor Rosa Parks Circle ice rink in downtown Grand Rapids, with every Griffins player and coach skating for at least one hour around the clock with fans. In 2009, the event expanded into a two-day, 34-hour Great Skate Winterfest, with skating, winter sports demonstrations, games and activities as part of a celebration of winter in our city.
The 2021 and 2022 events were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The beloved fundraiser for the Griffins Youth Foundation looks to return in January 2023.
The Great Skate Winterfest is presented by Meijer, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., and the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation.