By Kristi Kates
What serves as a bookend for good times in downtown Petoskey? The
annal Spring Open House -- a street party that takes over downtown
The Spring Open House was actually conceived to be the partner event
of Petoskeys Holiday Open House, Petoskey Downtown Director Becky
Goodman says, It is the first Friday in June, exactly six months from
the winter event which is the first Friday in December. Both events
are designed to showcase the stores and restaurants and preview
seasonal merchandise. The resorters are returning and they also want
to see what happened in downtown over the winter.
Plenty, Goodman goes on to explain. Petoskeys downtown, while still
growing, is also the focus of the city, with new tree-lined medians on
Mitchell Street and a plan to turn an old downtown rail corridor into
a new park with a passenger trolley. In spring, the community is also
invited into downtown to see what new stores have opened, and this
year we have several, Goodman continues.
Sponsored by the Downtown Management Board and organized by Downtown
Events Coordinator Kathy Bardins, the event will also serve as a
preview of sorts to Petoskeys upcoming roster of summer events.
The summer theme has been expanded on this year, and we will see
representatives from summer events like Gallery Walk, Festival on the
Bay, Taste of the North, and Art in the Park, Goodman says, The
Mossbacks vintage baseball team will be demonstrating their skills in
the park. SEE North will be here with their birds of prey, and Jania
the Magician will be performing around town. The Wright Cycle Shop on
Park Avenue, Dave Russells collection of Wright Brothers memorabilia
and antique bikes, will be open to the public, too.
In addition to the walkabout activities, which will also include
a mini Farmers Market and a spring fashion show, Blissfest will hold
an Old Time Community Dance on Mitchell Street at 6:30 p.m., and local
favorites The Jelly Roll Blues Band will kick off Petoskeys annual
summer Concerts in the Park series with a show at 8 p.m.. Outdoor
dining will be available at several restaurants as well. And as if the
preview of summer wasnt enough, those interested might also get a
little preview of things perhaps more suited for... Halloween.
Folks will also be able to gather at the downtown office at 9 p.m.
for a Ghost Walk, Goodman explains, this event was held in October
last year for the first time, and is back by popular demand. New
stories have surfaced, and all those interested in the spooky history
of Petoskeys downtown buildings should plan to attend. Tickets are
on sale at the Downtown Office and at the Chamber for $5 each; advance
purchase is recommended as the tour may sell out.
From a sunset-lit evening of great bargains and entertainment to a
night of music, dancing, and ghost stories, Petoskeys Spring Open
House offers something for everyone; but Goodmans favorite part is
the simple fact that the towns residents and visitors gather, as in
olden days, in the center of the city for a little seasonal goodwill.
I love seeing the community gathered in their own downtown and
enjoying themselves, she says, families and friends who attend this
event should expect a lovely, peaceful evening meeting, greeting
neighbors and taking pleasure in the hub of the community; it is
wonderful to see the downtown being used as it was intended, as the
third place for all who live in our beautiful region.
The Petoskey Spring Open House will take place on Friday, June 4 from
6-9 p.m. The downtown streets will be blocked off, with parking
available in the parking lots and on side streets. Visit
www.petoskeydowntown.com for additional details and a schedule of