Petoskey Rocks! is Petoskey’s answer to the Friday night dilemma, while Traverse City offers up Friday Night Live. Both are chock-full of sights, sounds, and eats to start the weekend off right.
ROCKIN’ PTOWN Petoskey Rocks! began three years ago as a way to get people downtown during the summer, said Downtown Petoskey’s Promotions Coordinator Kate Manthei.
Held every Friday night in July and the first Friday night in August, the events – like carriage rides, ghost tours, street performers and evening movies in the park – are free to the public.
“The name is the brainchild of one of our committee members, and we loved the play on words so much that we had to keep it,” Manthei said.
Petoskey Rocks! is set up to complement what’s already happening in downtown, and will build up to the Petoskey Proud! event on Aug. 1, which will be a big celebration of local Petoskey culture, and will serve as the signature event for Petoskey Rocks!
LIVE IN TC TC has a bit of seniority with its event:
Friday Night Live is now in its 21st year and is an August tradition that people look forward to every summer.
“The event is best described as a large community block party,” said Traverse City Downtown Development Authority/Downtown Traverse City Association Marketing and Deputy Director Colleen Paveglio.
Friday Night Live fills Front St. with fun and pedestrians from 5:30pm-9pm. More than 3,000 people participate in the event, sponsored by Hagerty Insurance, Paveglio said.
“It’s a very visible and community-oriented event,” Paveglio said.
BRING ON THE MUSIC A big part of both downtown events is, of course, music, which has long been a fixture in downtown Petoskey.
“We have some fantastic musicians booked to play in Pennsylvania Park,” said Manthei.
This year’s lineup includes Charlie Millard, a local up-and-comer; the winner of the Fight for the Festival (from Petoskey’s upcoming 2014 Festival on the Bay); and the band Bennett, a regional trio of brothers who play original material.
Paveglio said that Friday Night Live is still in the planning stages of their entertainment schedule, but they expect to have The Accidentals kick off on Aug. 1, alongside other musical events that may include a Silent Disco.
Non-musical events will also be part of the plan, like onsite artists, classic cars, and valet bike parking.
“We are looking to work with local artists to be creating art pieces along the street, and we’ll celebrate classic and vintage cars on Aug. 22,” Paveglio said. “We’ll also be offering valet bike parking, to encourage folks to ride their bikes to the event.”
GREAT TIMES TWO
No matter where your Friday night finds you, Paveglio and Manthei say both events are great opportunities to be entertained.
“What makes FNL special is that the intent was designed to bring locals to enjoy an evening in downtown TC, and it does just that,” Paveglio said. “We fully expect that visitors will attend, but you cannot come down without seeing a friend, neighbor, or co-worker.”
Manthei echoed Paveglio’s thoughts. “We’re not looking to compete with the other Friday night events,” Manthei said. “We simply think that Petoskey is already pretty special, and Petoskey Rocks! is a celebration of that fact.”
LIVE MUSIC IN GAYLORD
Meanwhile in downtown Gaylord, visitors will be enjoying an enhanced Friday Night Concert Series. The shows take place every Friday between June 20 and August 22 at The Pavilion On Court. The town is justifiably pumped about a diverse lineup that includes The Accidentals (June 20), Graham Parsons (June 27), The Cookies, Kellerville, E Minor, and others. All concerts are 6-9m and free.
Fridays are fundays in Boyne City, too, at their Stroll the Streets events, which kick off each weekend at 6:00 pm.
Now in its 11th year, Stroll the Streets focuses heavily on music - as you walk through Boyne’s energetic downtown, you’ll hear everything from folk to rock wafting across the blocks.
This year’s musical roster includes performances from Kirby Snively, Charlie and Gerald Millard, The Vermeers, The Sunshine String Band, and quirky local jazz-bluesfunk outfit The Pistil Whips, among plenty of others.
And if you forget your special dancing (or strolling) gear, never fear - you can still get decked out for the festivities right downtown by Stroll the Streets’ own face painters, and then get your caricature drawn as a souvenir of your night.
For more on Petoskey Rocks! visit petoskeydowntown.com; visit downtowntc.com for more on Traverse City’s Friday Night Live events.