Groundhog‘s Day is always a head-scratcher for me. If the little guy
sees his shadow on Feb. 2, it means six more weeks of winter.
This is considered a ‘bad‘ thing across the country or in
Punxsutawney, PA where the prognosticating rodent makes his home. But
here in Northern Michigan, ‘only‘ six more weeks of winter sounds like
a sweet deal. Generally, we get socked with 10 more weeks of winter,
with the last of the snows ending in mid-April. (And many of us can
recall snowflakes even into May.)
But at Valentine‘s Day we start to break winter‘s grip hereabouts, and
even a groundhog can see there‘s a whole lotta‘ shakin‘ goin‘ on this
weekend as one of the liveliest we‘ve seen since last July. It‘s a
harmonic convergence of good times.
The weekend kicks off on Thursday with our very own Advice Goddess,
Amy Alkon coming to town to speak at the National Writer‘s Series at
the City Opera House. Amy‘s dazzling wit, head-smackin‘ common sense,
and intellectual observations grounded in behavioral science have made
her one of the ‘stars‘ of our paper over the past 18 years and the
Express staff is thrilled to welcome her to Traverse City. Someone
give the lady the keys to the city, please.
Other major events going on this weekend:
A big Northern Michigan shout-out to the hundreds of skiers making
their way here for the North American Vasa. This is the 34th running
of the event (remember when it used to cross Boardman Lake and finish
downtown?) and there‘s something for everyone this year -- from a
kid-friendly ski tour to a marathon course that would challenge an
If your whistle needs wetting, two ambitious new festivals will
offer the region‘s finest homegrown beverages at the Grand Traverse
Resort: The TC Winter Microbrew & Music Festival on Friday night and
the Winter Wine Wonderland on Valentine‘s Day. These are both winter
versions of festivals held at the Grand Traverse Commons late last
summer/early fall which were considered a huge success.
Save Saturday afternoon for the Great Indoor Folk Festival at
Building 50 in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Northern
Express is a proud sponsor of this free event, which will offer five
and a half hours of acoustic music and more than 60 performers from
the Northern Michigan Songwriters in the Round.
Then too, local restaurants are offering their take on Mardi Gras and
the whole V-Day thing... In short, the entire weekend bodes to be one
big party leading up to Michael Moore‘s TC Comedy Arts Festival, Feb.
19-21. So, groundhogs take note: this is your chance to get out of
that hole and shake off some of winter‘s chill. See you out there.