Latest News

Rapid Growth Media Article: “WinterWest 2014: The Big (Second) Weekend”

737210_441451319242355_746379221_o

WinterWest 2014: The Big (Second) Weekend 

By: Tommy Allen, Rapid Growth Media’s Lifestyle Editor and G-Sync author

Two unique community-focused events are about to return to the city and you better get ready for the fun challenges and changes they bring with them.

A few weeks ago a temporary ice rink was installed by volunteers from Vector Distribution and, after a few arctic cold days, the ice skating returned to Richmond Park last weekend at the fourth annual WinterWest 2014.

While some fans eye the approaching Super Bowl game, there is a dedicated and very excitable community faction nearly drooling to hit the ice for the ultimate sporting event in Grand Rapids: WinterWest’s annual 3-on-3 Hockey Tournament, presented by Open Systems Technology, on Saturday, February 1, beginning at 10 am. Registration is only $25/team and must be done online at the GRFriends site.

Also happening on Sunday of this same weekend is the completely off-the-rails fun as people bring out their homemade sleds to compete in the Crazy Cardboard Sled Competition presented by the Grand Rapids Public Schools at 3 p.m. on the big hill at the park. This event is free but registration at the GR Friends site is encouraged by the organizers.
And the changes? That’s simple.

Each time we host a community-building project like WinterWest in a city park or neighborhood, those of us who have called the city our home for some time begin to witness a wonderful change in the landscape as long-outdated and stereotypical views of what a city neighborhood can be melt away like snow in the spring’s glowing light.

True to its mission, WinterWest truly is successful more and more each year because of their community’s hospitality to guests who venture over snowy streets to arrive at this beautifully forested park just west of the Grand River.

This annual community-organized event is now the product of a partnership between WelcomeWest, the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, and the City of Grand Rapids. It is made possible in large part by presenting sponsor Ferris Coffee, media partner Clear Channel Communications/104.5 WSNX, and a long list of local contributions big and small from area businesses.

Admission: Free (except as noted above.)

PRESS RELEASE: WINTERWEST 2014 KICKS OFF THIS WEEKEND AT RICHMOND PARK

336690_293354267385395_1075642794_o

Grand Rapids, MI – The 4th Annual WinterWest, a 2-week winter-themed festival held at Richmond Park on the City’s west side, kicks off Friday, January 24 and will run through February 9, 2014. The current and forecasted cold weather has been perfect for making and maintaining the temporary ice rink that was installed last week by volunteers from Vector Distribution, a local, west side company.

WinterWest 2014 is organized by Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, WelcomeWest, and the City of Grand Rapids, and made possible in large part by presenting sponsor Ferris Coffee and media partner Clear Channel Communications/104.5 WSNX.

Similar to years past, a temporary ice rink will be installed in Richmond Park for ice-skating and the Warming Shelter will be opened for park-goers during peak hours on the weekends. Other planned events include:

  • The WinterWest 3-on-3 Hockey Tournament, presented by Open Systems Technology, on Saturday, February 1, beginning at 10 am. Registration is only $25/team and can be done online at www.friendsofgrparks.org/winterwest.
  • The Crazy Cardboard Sled Competition, presented by the Grand Rapids Public Schools, on Sunday, February 2 at 3 pm. Participation is FREE and registration can be completed online at www.friendsofgrparks.org/winterwest.

Additional event information and updates are available online at www.friendsofgrparks.org.

WinterWest is a collaborative effort of Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, WelcomeWest, and the City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department, to provide opportunities for winter recreation and to encourage residents to enjoy our parks and public spaces year-round.

In addition to presenting sponsors Ferris Coffee and Clear Channel/WSNX, event sponsors for WinterWest 2014 include the Grand Rapids Public Schools, Open Systems Technologies, Rylee’s Ace Hardware West Fulton, Meijer, Swift Printing and Communications, Family Fare, Corrigan Moving Systems, Michigan Awesome, the Shade Shop, and the West Grand Neighborhood Organization.

More details and a schedule of planned events are available at friendsofgrparks.org/winterwest.

**********

Press Release: IT’S COLD OUTSIDE, BUT PLANS FOR WINTERWEST 2014 ARE HEATING UP

Web Cover WW

Grand Rapids, MI – Frigid temperatures and falling snow may signal the start of a long winter for many West Michigan residents, but for the organizers of the WinterWest Festival, the weather is a welcome sign of winter fun just around the corner!

The 4th Annual WinterWest, a 2-week winter-themed festival held at Richmond Park on the City’s west side, will run from January 24 through February 9, 2014. The goal is simple, explains Kyle Van Strien of Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, “to get people outside to enjoy winter in West Michigan.”

WinterWest 2014 is organized by Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and made possible in large part by presenting sponsor Ferris Coffee and media partner Clear Channel Communications/104.5 WSNX. Organizers are excited to have a number of local businesses and organizations supporting the event this year. “We want to use this event to highlight the park and winter activities, but we also hope to generate buzz for the groups that support WinterWest,” says Van Strien.

Similar to years past, a temporary ice rink will be installed in Richmond Park for ice-skating and the Warming Shelter will be opened for park-goers during peak hours on the weekends. Other planned events include:

  • The WinterWest 3-on-3 Hockey Tournament, presented by Open Systems Technologies, on Saturday, February 1, beginning at 10 am.
  • The FatBike GRR Bike Race, presented by Central District Cyclery, on Sunday, February 2 at 1 pm.
  • The Crazy Cardboard Sled Competition, presented by the Grand Rapids Public Schools, on Sunday, February 2 at 3 pm.

Additional event information and registration is available online at www.friendsofgrparks.org.

WinterWest is a collaborative effort of Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, WelcomeWest, and the City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department, to provide opportunities for winter recreation and to encourage residents to enjoy our parks and public spaces year-round.

In addition to presenting sponsors Ferris Coffee and Clear Channel/WSNX, event sponsors for WinterWest 2014 include the Grand Rapids Public Schools, Open Systems Technologies, Rylee’s Ace Hardware West Fulton, Meijer, Georgio’s Gourmet Pizza, Swift Printing and Communications, Family Fare, and the West Grand Neighborhood Organization.

More details and a schedule of planned events are available at friendsofgrparks.org/winterwest.

3-on-3 Hockey Tournament registration open now!

172159_154282364625920_728225_o

The WinterWest 3-on-3 Hockey Tournament, presented by Open Systems Technologies (www.ostusa.com).

It’s time for a little pond hockey…WinterWest style!

On Saturday, February 1, WinterWest will host a “backyard” Pond Hockey Tournament, presented by Open Systems Technologies. Teams are guaranteed at least 2 games, and Yes, there will be prizes for the top 3 teams. We want this to be accessible and affordable to all, so entry fee per team is only $25. But, slots are limited, so round up your friends and register TODAY!

Register online here: http://friendsofgrparks.givezooks.com/events/winterwest-3-on-3-hockey-tournament

Tournament Rules and Guidelines

Overview

The Second Annual WinterWest Pond Hockey Classic will be held on Saturday, February 1, starting at 10 am at Richmond Park in Grand Rapids. It is intended to be a fun, neighborhood tournament, open to anyone 18+.

Format

All games are played three on three. Games shall be 20 minutes long consisting of two 10 minute halves with a 2 minute break between halves.

In the event of bad weather, games will be rescheduled for Saturday, February 8.
Nets will be ‘Shinny’ type goals that are designed for the puck to be slid through.

Teams

- Teams can have up to 6 players on their roster with 3 players on the ice at all times.
- Entry fee is $25 per team.
- Entry deadline is January 29, 2014
- Each team will be guaranteed two games.
- Each team is required to have similar light and dark shirts.
- Tournament officials reserve the right to determine schedule and classifications based upon ability, age/experience, and other factors.

Guidelines

Players are expected to abide by the pond hockey code of respect – respecting the game, rink, teammates, opponents, and volunteer organizers.

Penalties

Minor penalties including holding, tripping, hooking, interference and other typical hockey penalties will result in a goal to the offended team. The offended team will then receive possession of puck behind their net.

Major penalties including all offenses of a physical nature (elbowing, roughing, high sticking, etc.) will result in a goal being given to the offended team and them receiving puck. The offending player will be ejected from the game. Fisticuffs are not allowed; players engaging in fighting will be dismissed from the tournament.

Abuse of off-ice officials will not be tolerated and will be considered a major penalty.

Game Play

  • A coin toss will determine which goal teams defend. Play will start with a face-off at center ice.
  • Protective gear including helmets and shin guards are highly recommended, but not mandatory. Other protective equipment is optional but highly recommended. Players assume all risk if choosing not to wear protective equipment.
  • Each team will have no more than six players on a roster. Play must start with at least three players.
  • No goalies are allowed – all players must use ‘player’ sticks and no player may solely guard the goal or lay down to protect the goal (minor penalty). Players are expected to play the full ice surface.
  • Off-ice officials including timekeeper have authority over play and rule interpretations.
  • No slapshots. Slapshot fouls result in a minor penalty to the offending team.
  • Body-checking is not allowed and is a Minor penalty, except in cases where it is deemed by the off-ice official to be a Major infraction.
  • The puck must stay below knee level – a violation results in the puck being given to the other team.
  • If a team sends the puck out of bounds, the last team to touch it loses possession. The puck is then given to the team that did not touch it, and they must be given 2 stick length’s space to restart play.
  • After a goal, the team that was scored on gets possession behind their net and the other team must return to their half of the ice to start play. The team that scored the goal (or was given a goal due to penalty) must announce the score in a clearly audible manner.
  • All goals must be scored from the offensive side of center ice.
  • No offsides or icing will be called.
  • In the event of a tie, games will be played “sudden-death.” Overtime will be started by a face-off at center ice.
  • All games are played running time. Substitutions are made “on-the-fly” or while a new puck is being put in play. Time continues to run after a goal is scored or after the puck goes out of the playing surface.
  • Players may only play for one team.
  • In the event of a dispute, the off-ice official will have the final say.

Prizes

Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams and are yet to be determined. Stay tuned to our website and Facebook fan page for further information about prizes.

Rules and Agreement

Each player/participant will be required to read and sign a liability waiver prior to participating in the event.

Crazy Cardboard Sled Competition registration open now!

336690_293354267385395_1075642794_o

The WinterWest Crazy Cardboard Sled Competition, presented by Grand Rapids Public Schools, is now open for registration!

Entry is FREE! Register your team online: http://friendsofgrparks.givezooks.com/events/winterwest-crazy-cardboard-sled-competition

Head down to your local hardware store and ask for their appliance boxes….The WinterWest Crazy Cardboard Sled Competition will take over Richmond Hill on Sunday, February 2 at 3 pm (“rain-date” is Sunday, February 9).

Prizes will be awarded in 2 categories – Distance (the sled that travels the furthest down the hill) and People’s Choice (the most unique and creative thing you can come up with, judged by our panel of “celebrity judges”)

The basic rules are:

Sleds are to be constructed out of cardboard; duct tape, paint, and wax may also be used. (Special Tip from Griff: A little cooking spray goes a long way! ex. Pam) The idea is to create a sled that will go the furthest or be the most unique! There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes for furthest sliding, and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd for Most Unique/Creative as voted on by event sponsors and local celebrities.

We’ve written these rules to level the playing field.

Please take a moment to register for the Crazy Cardboard Sled Competition so we can appropriately plan for this event and prizes.

People can show up with creations that integrate ski’s or sleds or anything else you can think of, but will only be eligible for the People’s Choice category (Distance category must integrate only the basics).

Rules and Agreement

Each team/participant will be required to read and sign a liability waiver prior to participating in the event.