That’s right, summer is on its way! It may not seem like it right now with the cold temperatures, rain, and random bursts of sunshine, but, the Petoskey Chamber of Commerce’s event calendar assures us otherwise! The Summer fun kicks off Memorial Day Weekend and wraps up with a big bang on August 20th. That means that there are almost three whole months of summer activities for you and your families to enjoy in Petoskey, MI during the long-awaited warmer months!
In order to get the inside scoop on some of the best events to hit Petoskey area this summer, I reached out to the best in the business. Today, I had the pleasure of speaking with the wonderful Nikki Devitt of the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce about this same topic and she was more than happy to fill me in on all that she possibly could at the moment. Nikki, is the Events & Communications Coordinator for the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce and has absolutely fallen in love with her position the past two years. When I asked Nikki what her favorite part of her job was she said, “That’s a hard one. But, I would have to say that working so closely with the community is my favorite part!” She elaborated and spoke about how much she enjoys meeting new people from all over the country and introducing them to our beautiful town. She said that her favorite moments of her job have been when she gets to see the reaction on visitors’ faces after they have been fully immersed in some of the best our town has to offer.
And much to offer it does, especially in the summer months. Here are a few of the events that Nikki said I absolutely have to check out come the end of May:
First Ever Stafford’s Top of Michigan Community Marathon-
This event will be held May 28th, 2016 on the Little Traverse Wheelway between Charlevoix and Harbor Springs. The 10K Marathon will begin at the Trails Council Offices at 1687 M 119 and conclude in Harbor Springs. The marathon is open to runners and walkers of all ages. All of the proceeds of this marathon will benefit the Top of Michigan Trails Council and the Petoskey High School Cross Country and Track Teams. Fees for this event vary on the type of competition you wish to be included in. Marathon Runners: $85, Competitive Runners $40 ($45 after May 1st), and Non-Competitive $25.
You can find more information at the trailscouncil.org website
Downtown Summer Open House-
This event that truly kicks-off the summer will be held Friday June 3rd from 5pm-11pm. Ever been to the downtown Christmas Open House? Well, this event is the warmer version! Not only are local downtown businesses open extremely late into the day, but there is also a live performance by the Steel Drum Band in Pennsylvania Park, the Great Lakes Central Railroad Motorcar Excursion on the tracks, a Movie in the Park, and so much more!
Find updated information at petoskeydowntown.com
The Gallery Walk-
This 14th Annual self-led event begins at 6 pm and concludes at 9 pm in Downtown Petoskey on June 16th. Participating galleries will offer enjoyment for your eyes, ears, and taste buds! This evening is full of art, music and food. Most galleries will have their artists present to introduce their works. There will also be a chance to win great works of art for your home! All you need is a map and tickets.
More information at boyne.com and updates at petoskeydowntown.com
Coming back for it’s Fifth Season- Petoskey Rocks will be held every Friday evening starting July 1st from 7:00 – 8:30 pm. During this time, enjoy free carriage rides throughout Downtown and learn about the spooky history of Petoskey during the Ghost Walk which begins at 8 pm led by local historian- Chris Struble (Tickets for the Ghost Walk are limited and sell out incredibly fast, so make sure to get your tickets in advance by calling the Downtown Office). If Ghost hunting and carriage rides don’t appeal to you, you could always sit in Pennsylvania Park, relax, and enjoy some awesome music! However, once the sun goes down, the lawn chairs, blankets and popcorn appear. To conclude the evening, there will be a movie shown on the big inflatable screen in the park.
For movie listings and more information visit petoskeyarea.com
Antiques at the Fairgrounds-
This event is making its official come-back on July 2nd from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and on July 3rd from 10:00am – 4:00pm at the Emmet County Fairgrounds. During this two day event, the grounds are jam-packed with over 170 antique dealers from around the country. Jewelry, pottery, furniture, textiles… the list goes on and on. The admission fee for the event is only $5 for both days! And children 15 and under are free. Visitors don’t even have to go off the fairgrounds for lunch because food vendors will be provided on site as well.
Can’t make it on July 4th Weekend? No worries. The event will run a second time on the weekend of August 6th-7th!
Detailed information at antiquesatthefairground.com
Art in the Park-
The 31st Annual Art in the Park is on July 16th from 10 am-6 pm in Pennsylvania Park. This is one I am surely not going to miss. Over 130 artists from all over the United States travel to our Downtown area to sell and show off their goods. This one day event is known to attract over 10,000 people into the Petoskey area alone! You’ll find pottery, paintings, drawings, photographs, jewelry and even more for your creative eye to enjoy. This event is a free walk-through art show that is here and gone before you know it!
For more information visit the petoskeychamber.com
Downtown Sidewalk Sales-
The 51st Annual Sidewalk Sales will hit Downtown Petoskey on July 29th and 30th from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm. This event is one everyone looks forward to around the area! Not only are there massive sales given by every participating vendor, but all of the stores in downtown are encouraged to move their merchandise outside to create an old-fashioned and unique shopping experience as well. Streets in Downtown will be closed to vehicles, but foot traffic is certainly welcome. Sidewalk Sales will also provide entertainment for the entire family with the Farmers Market on Friday morning and the Charlotte Ross Lee Concerts in the Park on Friday afternoon. Saturday, July 30th is also a wrap up day with the last day to complete the Where’s Waldo Scavenger Hunt in Downtown Petoskey and final celebration in Pennsylvania Park with prize drawings, treats and games for the kids.
For even more information visit petoskeydowntown.com
Bay View Music Festivals-
The events at the Bay View Music Festival are ongoing from June 11th – August 16th, so you’ve got to be able to make it to at least one performance!
Calendar and more info at bayviewfestival.org
Festival on the Bay-
AKA The Big Kahuna of Petoskey Events is August 19th-20th at the Petoskey Waterfront. This event is full of non-stop entertainment! There’s a Big Art Show, Steel Drum Band Performance, Chalk & Chocolate Festival, Youth Fishing Derby, a Petting Zoo, YMCA Color Fun Run, and so much more! There’s something to do for everyone. Oh, and did I mention the food? So many great food vendors to enjoy too! The Summer is hard to say good-bye to, but with all these activities going on, you’ll forget the season is even coming to an end- the perfect wrap-up.
This event has an entire website dedicated to it, so to learn more visit petoskeyfestival.com
These are just a few of the many many Summer events to look forward to! Keep up to date with everything going on at the Chamber of Commerce’s website on their Event page.