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LaughFest Central to open Feb. 11

Posted: Feb. 9, 2013 at 10:55 a.m.

GRAND RAPIDS LaughFest Central will open its doors Feb. 11 inside the Grand Rapids Art Museum located at 101 Monroe Center. The festival headquarters will serve as a focal point for "LaughFest" information, as well as a location where tickets and merchandise can be purchased.

Prior to the festival, LaughFest Central will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and noon 5 p.m. on Sundays. During the festival, from March 7-17, hours will be 9 a.m. 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon 5 p.m. on Sundays.

"Gilda's LaughFest" was created by a team at Gilda's Club Grand Rapids in 2011. In its inaugural year, more than 55,000 people attended the festival. All dollars raised support the free cancer, grief and emotional health programs offered through Gilda's Club Grand Rapids.

"Gilda's LaughFest" also announced the addition of four shows:

"LaughFest 2013" will also see the return of Fast Passes for free events. Fast Passes, which will be available for pickup at LaughFest Central, guarantee holders a seat for free showings as long as they are seated 15 minutes prior to the event start time. At that time, walk-up seating will begin and Fast Passes will expire. Fast Passes are available for most of "LaughFest"'s free events. A percentage of seats at Fast Pass venues will be kept open for walk-ups.

Some of this year's free events include:

"We're excited to bring back some favorites from last year, like 'Full Frontal Nerdity' and Pop Scholars as well as new additions such as panel discussions on Social Media, Technology and Comedy and Health and Laughter," said Joanne Roehm, festival director. "We are proud that 'LaughFest' features both ticketed and free events, providing something accessible for everyone to enjoy."

"LaughFest 2013" will include more than 200 free and ticketed shows including this year's Signature Event with entertainer Wayne Brady. Brady currently appears as the host of "Let's Make a Deal" and previously won an Emmy for his role on the improv comedy show, "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"

For a complete list of shows and events or to purchase tickets, visit or call 616-753-HAHA (4242).

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