Begin your holiday weekend early and head to Downtown Holland for the Street Performer Series! After a cancellation last week due to rain, the Street Performer Series will return to Downtown Holland this Thursday July 1 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Every Thursday evening during the Street Performer Series, Downtown Holland is filled with performing artists and groups from every background – including musicians, balloon twisters, magicians, dancers, caricature artists and more! The Street Performer Series is proudly sponsored by Gentex Corporation.
This Thursday, husband and wife duo Third Class Flynn will make their Street Performer Series debut. Husband and wife Cindy and Ray Veen share a passion for Irish Music and love for Downtown Holland, so they formed the duo Third Class Flynn in hopes of participating in the Street Performer Series this summer. The Veens have played Irish music together for over 10 years and started a five-piece Celtic rock band, The Barley Saints, four years ago. Along with their love of performing as a band, they have always appreciated the art of street performing and began dreaming about becoming street performers themselves…and thus, Third Class Flynn was born. Featuring costumed characters, story-telling, and Irish folk tunes, the duo is certain to keep audiences entertained this Thursday.
Each Thursday night until August 19, 20 performing artists and groups will perform free for the public on 8th Street between Columbia and Pine Avenues as part of the Downtown Holland Street Performer Series. 8th Street will be closed to traffic for the event for crowd safety purposes. While the Series is free to attend, tipping the performers is highly encouraged. In addition to the exclusive event sponsor, Gentex Corporation, the Street Performer Series is also supported by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs through the Holland Area Arts Council.
Street Performer Series Line-Up for July 1
The Beach Bros is comprised of Micah Huisman and Caleb VanderKooi, who have both been playing music since they were young. Micah plays the cello, and Caleb plays the cajon, and together they perform covers of all types of music genres. They have been street performing in Holland and Grand Haven for the past three summers.
Blame the Observer
Sam Spencer, AKA Blame the Observer, has been performing since 2002 when he formed his first original band. He has fronted several bands since then and has performed at venues in Grand Rapids, Indiana, Knoxville, Orlando, Jacksonville and Costa Rica. Today, along with his ukulele, Sam performs solo as Blame the Observer.
A retired math teacher, Bruce Cooke brings a lifetime of music appreciation to performing folk, gospel, blues and American Standard jazz songs on a variety of instruments to the Street Performer Series. He also enjoys performing at church and in schools both in bands and as a soloist.
Caricatures by Corey
Corey Ruffin is a world-renowned caricaturist who has drawn faces in 48 states and on 4 different continents. Corey emphasizes humor and comedy in his exaggerated drawings. He is one of the fastest caricature artists in the nation and can whip out a portrait in less than a minute…much to the crowd’s amazement!
Chase Griffin has been playing the saxophone for nearly 10 years and attended Western Michigan University, where he studied both the jazz and classical styles of the saxophone. He enjoys street performing because of his ability to bring a smile to people’s faces.
Easy Does It
Easy Does It features Dean Michaels on the harp and Greg Howard on the guitar. This duo has been performing their mix of classical music and popular tunes together at weddings, dinner parties, receptions and church services since 1990. They’re looking forward to returning to the Street Performer Series again this year.
The Floor Fienz is an exciting group of break dancers that have been performing for over ten years as part of the Street Performer Series and other community events. In addition to keeping the tradition of break dancing alive, they aim to set a positive example for youth in our community.
Grace Elaine Metheany, also known as GEM, is a singer-songwriter who has been performing in musicals, talents shows, and choirs since she was young. Combining her love of theatre and writing, GEM loves to mix her theatrics and quick wit to involve her audience in her performances. She hopes to one day be a kindergarten teacher by day, and a local musician by night.
Gooder’n Grits is an old-time string band made up of fiddle, banjo, guitar, and brass performed by Robert and Shelley Hudson and Glenn and Julie Warners. The band has been performing together for over ten years and will bring a mix of traditional country and bluegrass tunes to the Street Performer Series.
Henna Tattoos by Anna Schierbeek
Anna has been performing for the public for 12 years and made her first Street Performer Series appearance when she was 17. She has both her BFA and Masters in Drawing from Kendall College of Art and Design. Anna loves to be a part of the community and connect with others through drawing.
Holland Doctors of Jazz
This small jazz combo is primarily made up of doctors from Holland Hospital, including Dave Benjamin, Jeff Carroll, and Micah Vanderhill. Each of them have been performing in a variety of bands and orchestras before joining together to entertain the staff, visitors and patients at the hospital each day at noon.
Jahanara Begum has been a Street Performer in Downtown Holland since the beginning of the Street Performer Series. She is a highly skilled and experienced henna artist who uses all-natural ingredients that are safe for the skin. Her designs never fail to impress her fans of all ages!
M Brooks + Larissa Fall
Larissa Fall is a classically trained violinist who studied music at Hope College. She has performed with The Who, Sarah McLaughlin, Michael W. Smith, in the Holland Symphony, and is the concertmaster of the Vintage Parlor Orchestra. M Brooks is a Michigan-based folk singer/songwriter. Together, they perform folk music and covers.
Random Cloud and the Moon
Random Cloud and the Moon is comprised of Albert Gemmen and Jamison Worst. The pair were part of a full band off and on for about 20 years and are now playing as a duo. Together, they sing and play guitar primarily in acoustic, folk style.
Shayna Gibson is a singer and ukulele and guitar player who has been performing for the public for eight years. She was involved in choir, theatre and dance for seven years and has been street performing in Holland for the past four years.
Still Life is a band from Holland that has played in churches throughout West Michigan. Their music is familiar enough to sing along, with arrangements that breathe fresh air into the songs. With an unusual set of instruments such as hammer dulcimer and 5 string electric violin, as well as guitar, bass and lots of percussion, if you come across Still Life, you can expect to hear a unique sound.
The Balloon Guy
Jim Perry, also known as “The Balloon Guy,” has been twisting balloons for over 40 years. He is a graduate of the world-famous Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College. Jim can make more than 100 different balloon animals, along with swords, flowers, hats and more.
The Growing Roots
The Growing Roots is made up of Scott and Lisa Barry, a husband and wife duo and parents of nine children. They began performing publicly in 2010 in coffee shops and now play in festivals, bookstores and fairs. They have participated the Street Performer Series in the past and are looking forward to returning this summer.
Third Class Flynn
Third Class Flynn is an Irish music busking duo, comprised of husband and wife Ray and Cindy Veen. Dressed as the characters Michael and Mary Flynn, Irish immigrants from the late 1800’s, the Flynn’s tell their story through the music of Ireland: folk tunes, dance tunes, pub tunes, laments and more.
A three-piece band based in West Michigan, the members of Whorled play in sync as if they’d been together their entire musical careers, despite only joining together a year ago. Whorled focuses on upholding and respecting instrumental folk music traditions across the globe and re-imagines the music in their own eclectic style.