It's been only 14 months, but as events slowly trickle back into existence, it just seems strange; the latest announcement is the 14th Annual Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival. The event takes place at DeVos Place, and this year is scheduled for November. A release says the organizers are following in the footsteps of the Chicago Auto Show, The Detroit Home Show, and even Grand Rapids' own Art Prize, which all are planning to return in 2021, as long as there isn't a relapse of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Grand Rapids must be doing something right, as it's made Forbes' list of a dozen “Fall Wine Festivals In North America You Don’t Want to Miss” way back in 2019. It's interesting, one of the comments in the Forbes piece is "Michigan is gaining acclaim as a wine region worth watching so why not see for yourself what the buzz is about." Acclaim with whom? The cool kids and snobs? We've had great wine and food here since, at least, people walked the earth. And we know something about beer. (Also, if a photographer asks to take your picture at an alcohol related event, politely pass. Inevitably, people look inebriated, i.e, tiddly.)

Another thing that needs to be paid attention to is how many restaurants will be in a position to represent themselves at events like this. With the current employee crisis, and just the financial hit they've taken in the past year, hopefully an expected business recovery this summer will bring about enough of a financial recovery for these small businesses to be able to participate.

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