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 Winterfest, with skating, winter sports demonstrations, games and activities as part of a celebration of winter in our city.
The 2021 Great Skate Winterfest at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids was canceled due to the realities of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The beloved fundraiser for the Griffins Youth Foundation looks to return in January 2022.
The Great Skate Winterfest is presented by Meijer, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., and the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation.