As the snow flies, Northern Michigan festivals amp up.
This embrace of the winter season includes a host of events for the family, for the sports-oriented and for those who just want a night out.
Here’s a look at what’s in store this winter season.
Winter Event Schedule
26: Holiday open house and Santa parade, Boyne City
26: Community Christmas tree lighting, Charlevoix
26: Christmas craft show, Indian River
26: Christmas in Indian River, Indian River
27: Stafford’s Downtown Petoskey holiday parade, Petoskey
27: Bay Harbor holiday open house, Bay Harbor
28: Community Christmas tree lighting, Harbor Springs
2: Community night, East Jordan
3: Holiday open house, Petoskey
3-5: Christmas in Mackinaw, Mackinaw city
4: Merchant open house, Charlevoix
4: Flurry Fest, Charlevoix
11: Merchants holiday open house, Harbor Springs
13-15: Winterfest, Mackinaw City
14-15: Sno-Blast, East Jordan
20-23: Bay Harbor Ice and Snow Festival, Bay Harbor
22: Snowmobile Ride-In, Charlevoix
12: Winterfest, Boyne City
19: Winter Carnival, Petoskey
20: Chili Cook-off, Harbor Springs
21-27: Downtown Petoskey Winter Blues Festival, Petoskey
12: Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra concert, Charlevoix
13: Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra concert, Harbor Springs
18-20: Carnival Weekend, Boyne Mountain, Boyne Falls
19: Krazy Daze, Boyne Highlands, Harbor Springs
26: Mardi Gras, Nub’s Nob, Harbor Springs
1: Bowling down Main Street, Harbor Springs
Events by Location
The Bay Harbor holiday open house takes place 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, in the Village at Bay Harbor. Music fills the streets, while treats and shopping specials fill the shops.
Revelry continues in Bay Harbor with the Ice and Snow Festival Thursday through Sunday, Jan. 20-23. A professional ice carving competition will take place throughout the festival, with prizes given Saturday for best of show; demos begin Thursday. Also to be featured are a chili cook-off, sled dog rides and MSnow Show, a flying aerial snowboard show.
Boyne City’s holiday open house and Santa parade are Friday, Nov. 26. The open house runs 5-9 p.m., featuring shopping specials, refreshments and sights and sounds of the season. The Santa parade, starring the man in red himself, is at 6 p.m.
Winterfest returns Saturday, Feb. 12. The event pairs classic games of frozen fish toss and frozen turkey bowling with a chili cook-off and scavenger hunt. Coinciding with the event is Chocolate-covered Boyne, where chocolate goodies are served up by businesses, alongside specials and promotions.
Charlevoix’s community tree lighting is 4-6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26. Hot cocoa and cookies warm up the event, and children are invited to make ornaments and then hang them on the tree, which Santa lights at 6 p.m. sharp.
Charlevoix’s merchant open house and Flurry Fest take place Saturday, Dec. 4. Deals and treats are offered by area shops starting at 9 a.m., and Flurry Fest begins at noon, featuring live music, roasted chestnuts and a contest to find out who has Charlevoix’s best hot chocolate.
Charlevoix Snowmobile Club’s Ride-In roars into town Saturday, Jan. 22. The event features prizes, food and showing off the rides.
Christmas in Harbor Springs begins with the community Christmas tree lighting 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28. Following the event is a hot chocolate and chili supper for the community.
The spirit continues with the merchants holiday open house 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11. Shops keep their doors open late to welcome shoppers and visitors.
February heats up with the annual Chili Cook-off Sunday, Feb. 20. Professionals and amateurs are welcome to compete, and the public is welcome to taste and decide on the winners.
The tongue-in-cheek Bowling down Main Street is Friday, April 1. The quiet streets make the perfect venue to land a strike.Bowling starts when school is out for the day.
Stafford’s Downtown Petoskey holiday parade makes it way through the streets at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 27. Santa himself makes an appearance, along with the high school band and many floats.
Downtown Petoskey holiday open house is a seasonal highlight 6-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3. The streets are closed while carolers wander, stores stay open late and refreshments are served. The Petoskey High School Steel Drum Band is a featured performer.
The Winter Carnival takes place Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Winter Sports Park. This is the 83rd year for the carnival, which features ice skating, a cardboard sled race and the Northern Michigan classic, bumpjumping.
The Downtown Petoskey Winter Blues Festival will run Monday through Sunday, Feb. 21-27. Returning events include the hot dish cook-off, torchlight parade, “Petoskey Has Talent” competition and a Whine and Dine progressive dinner.
Community night in East Jordan is Thursday, Dec. 2. Area residents flock to the downtown for a tree lighting by the citizen of the year, Santa parade and visits, business open house and soup cook-off.
Another premiere event for this
community is Sno-Blast, which takes place Friday and Saturday, Jan. 14-15. Look for the crowning of Belle of the Blizzard and Winter Knight, along with snowmobile drag races, a frozen pancake toss and various downtown events with a wintery twist.
Indian River’s Yuletide fun begins Friday, Nov. 26. The annual Christmas craft show is in its 30th year, and runs 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Inland Lakes Schools.
The town hosts Christmas in Indian River 5-7:30 p.m. downtown with reindeer, Santa and plenty of fare.
Christmas in Mackinaw ushers in the holiday season Friday through Sunday, Dec. 3-5. A Tacky Tinsel Town car parade is at 5 p.m. Friday followed by a tree lighting. Shopping specials run the rest of the weekend.
The village’s Winterfest returns Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 13-15. A chili cook-off, poker walk and fishing tournament are part of the fun, but the main attraction are the outhouse races.
As the end of March approaches, area ski hills throw their annual, end-of-the-season bashes.
In Boyne Falls, Boyne Mountain’s Carnival weekend takes over the resort Friday through Sunday, March 18-20. A costume contest, the Slush Cup, races and slalom events, alongside music and food specials, highlight the event.
The more family oriented Krazy Daze takes place Saturday, March 19, at Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs. Jump competitions, the Krazy Cup, races and a costume contest are part of the event, along with entertainment in the Zoo Bar.
Nub’s Nob in Harbor Springs celebrates Mardi Gras Saturday, March 26, with a host of events for the family. The event features skiing across a pond with the Soaker Cup, crazy couples and Pepsi Challenge races, and music by the Petoskey Steel Drum Band.