Summer. The time of the year when Petoskey’s population grows more than ten times it’s normal census, when traffic is nearly impossible to miss during the day between 10 am and 5 pm, when you’re certain to see a bike rider along the streets at least once every hour, and when the beaches are plastered in towels, tents and umbrellas until sun finally decides to set. So, what brings so many people to the Petoskey shores? I’m assuming all of the exciting events Downtown may have something to do with it!
This week I had the honor and opportunity to sit down with the Petoskey Downtown Extraordinaire herself, Kate Manthei. Kate has been working as the Downtown Promotions Coordinator for just over two years now. She says that her job is a fun challenge with all of it’s different aspects and responsibilities that it entails, but her favorite part is interacting with the community at all of the events and getting to hear first hand how much people enjoy our city. She also loves that she has had the opportunity to play a crucial role in developing her position and has had the opportunity to create a more vibrant atmosphere for the locals as well. While growing up in Petoskey, Kate would always partake in the events Downtown had to offer in the Summer and would look forward to them every year. Now, being a crucial role in the planning for these events, not only does she enjoy them, but also finds great pride in them.
The summer events in Downtown do not start until after May has passed, so there is certainly time to make room in your calendars for the excitement to arrive June 3rd with the kickoff of the Downtown Summer Open House!
The Summer Open House – June 3rd
Since brought back three years ago, this event has continued to take Kate’s #1 spot on her favorite Downtown event list. Not only is it a great time to introduce all that downtown has to offer to visitors to the area, she also says its a great “Hoorah” for the locals too. The Summer Open House used to kickoff in the spring, but due to many years of unproductive weather, it has been pushed back to Summer and has gone on without a hitch since. What you can look forward to at the open house: Downtown Store Offers, Fashion Show, Tastes of Downtown, Drink Tent, Steel Drum Band Performance, Movie in the Park, and so much more!
And, did I mention Grandpa Shorter’s 70th Celebration?! It’s gonna be a party and you’re not going to want to miss it- more details to follow.
The Gallery Walk – June 16th
This event has gone on for as long as Kate can remember and has always been a hit! Did you know that there are 13 Artists’ Galleries in Downtown alone? I didn’t! But, that makes this event even more exciting. During the evening of the Gallery Walk, people young and old are invited to walk the streets and visit the open door galleries provided on the given maps. Most, if not all, of the artists will be present to introduce their pieces and meet and greet with their guests. There are also food and beverages spread around town as well. Afterwards, all attendees are invited to a raffle party at the Perry where there is a chance to win some fabulous artwork! Thousands of dollars are given away in art at this after party, so it is advised that you don’t cut out and go home early.
PETOSKEY ROCKS – Every Friday Starting July 1st – August 31st
There is no such thing as “boredom” in Downtown, and especially on Friday nights. Petoskey Rocks is much simpler than in the passed five years, but it’s sure to grab your attention and keep you entertained! Every Friday night this summer, starting at 6:oo pm, there will be Free Carriage Rides offered through Downtown until 8:30 pm, a Ghost Walk at 8:00 pm, Music in the Park from 7:00 – 8:30 pm, and a Movie in the Park on the big blow up screen at dark (usually around 9:30 pm). There is a sunset schedule posted on the Downtown site for approximate movie start times.
One of Kate’s favorite memories from a Downtown event is at one of the these Petoskey Rocks Fridays when “Frozen” was the movie that was showing. She couldn’t help but be tickled by all of the little dressed up Elsa’s and Ana’s that appeared at the showing and showed their pure excitement for their favorite and beloved Disney film.
Where’s Waldo? – July 29th – 30th
For knowing very little about this event, I cannot wait to be a part of it this summer! The Where’e Waldo event is focused on children, but parents and adults can find particular enjoyment out of it as well. Each child that participates is given a passport book where they can record the places where they find Waldo amongst the merchants downtown. Each participating store is given a cardboard “Waldo” to hide and challenge children to find. This not only encourages children to explore new places downtown, but also for adults to discover new places they had never been nor even knew existed. And, that’s not all. The first 125 Waldo seekers to get their passports stamped or signed at fifteen or more sites can bring their passports back to the Downtown Office to collect prizes. Collecting store stamps or signatures at twenty-five or more businesses will entitle diligent seekers to enter in a grand prize drawing on July 30 during the last day of Sidewalk Sales!
Sidewalk Sales – July 29th – 30th
Speaking of Sidewalk Sales, it’s 51st anniversary is this coming July! This successful event that has been put on for decades is said to be even bigger and better than ever before! If you haven’t been to Sidewalk Sales, here is what you can expect: Closed off Downtown streets filled with Outdoor Merchants, Food Vendors, Musical Entertainment, Farmers Market, and Bargains. Lots of bargains. Shop until you possibly can’t shop anymore and then drop and relax on a blanket or lawn chair at the Movie in the Park at Dark the same day…. That will be my plan anyway!
For even more information on upcoming Summer Events, check out the Downtown Petoskey Website.
Also, we want to know! What is your favorite Downtown Petoskey Summer Event? Please Comment Below.