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Great Skate Winterfest Returns this Weekend

Jan 23, 2024
Written By: Andrew Streitel

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Great Skate Winterfest presented by the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation and Meijer returns this weekend for its 19th edition in its original format, 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.

This beloved fundraiser for the Griffins Youth Foundation runs from Saturday, Jan. 27 at 10 p.m. through Sunday, Jan. 28 at 10 p.m. Admission to the Great Skate Winterfest is free, although donations are encouraged and nominal skating fees apply ($4 adults, $2 kids).

Highlights of the event include around-the-clock ice skating, an appearance by Grand Rapids Rise players Claire Chaussee and Emiliya Dimitrova (1-2 p.m.), horse-drawn carriage rides by Classic Carriage (1-4 p.m./$5 per person for a 10-minute ride), a warming tent with beverages and snacks to purchase, and the opportunity to bid on more than 130 items in our online auction. The auction consists of national and regional sports teams’ memorabilia along with tickets and items from local entertainment venues, cultural institutions, hotels, breweries, restaurants, merchants and more.

By visiting, fans can make a donation to the Griffins Youth Foundation in the name of their favorite Griffin or sign up as a fundraiser to collect donations for their own participation in the Great Skate.

The Great Skate will commence at 10 p.m. Saturday, after the Griffins’ home game against the Belleville Senators has wrapped up a few blocks away at Van Andel Arena. Griff and Finn, the team’s mascots, will take the event’s opening shift, and every Griffins player and coach will follow for an hour each until 10 p.m. on Sunday. The lineup of Griffins skaters can be found at

The Great Skate Winterfest is presented by the Griffins, the Daniel and Pamella DeVos Foundation, and Meijer, with support from Acrisure, Centennial Securities, City of Grand Rapids Office of Equity & Engagement, City of Grand Rapids Office of Special Events, Connoisseur Design, FASTSigns, McDonald’s, Mobile GR, Perani’s Hockey World, Smallegan Real Estate, and University of Michigan Health-West.

Established in 1995, the Griffins Youth Foundation promotes academic excellence, community involvement and healthy lifestyles among the youth of West Michigan, enhancing their lives through hockey and ice-related sports. The foundation provides opportunities for nearly 500 deserving boys and girls - many of whom are underprivileged, underserved, at-risk or have special needs - to participate in the great sport of hockey at no cost. Programs currently include co-ed hockey for first through 12th graders, a girls-only high school division, a learn-to-skate program, and the Grand Rapids Sled Wings sled hockey team for children and teens with physical disabilities. For more information, visit

All events and times are subject to change.