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Wonderfest/Petoskey, something new/Wilderness crossing/Leelanau snowmobiling/GT Commons/Michigan walk of fame

Kristi Kates - January 28th, 2008
NEW: Snowshoe de Art

Sculpture & snowshoes: what a concept!

Women interested in getting warmed-up for this weekend‘s 10th Annual Women‘s Winter Tour may wish to consider a new event: The Snowshoe de Art tour through the Michigan Legacy Art Park at Crystal Mountain in Benzie County.
Participants will snowshoe along the 1.6-mile trail through the Art Park, past 40 sculptures created by Michigan artists to fit the wooded, hilly terrain of the site.
Tour founder and artist Kaye Krapohl of Active Women Now says the $10 donation for the snowshoe tour will be split to support both the Art Park and domestic abuse centers to help women escape from unhealthy relationships.
The event takes place Saturday, Feb. 2, with registration at noon. Guided tours of the park will be offered at 12:30, 1 and 1:30 p.m. Snowshoe rentals will be available at Crystal Mountain‘s Adventure Center, located near the ski resort‘s conference center.
Other events on Saturday will include an Art of Chocolate Clinic from 3-4 p.m. wtih Fred Laughlin of the Northwestern Culinary School; and a “Sex Education“ class with winemaker Larry Mawby discussing sparkling wines from 5-6 p.m. The evening‘s offerings include a Luna Film Festival and silent auction from 6-8 p.m., and the Fabulous Horndogs dance party from 8-11 p.m. ($15).
The weekend‘s main event is the Huntington Women‘s Winter Tour on Sunday, Feb. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring a cross-country ski tour on Crystal Mountain‘s trails. The entry fee of $35 includes a $5 donation to the women‘s shelter, Madeleine‘s House, and the Women‘s Resource Center in Traverse City.
Last year, 700 women braved a blizzard and frigid conditions to participate in the tour, which features refreshments and surprises along the route. To register, check out www.womenswintertour.com.

YEAR TWO FOR WONDERFEST
March 2-4 will mark the second year for the Annual Cherry Capital Winter Wonderfest in the Grand Traverse area, a four-day event with a goal of “curing the effects of cabin fever.” Attendees can attend most Winter WonderFest activities via the purchase of a $10 official event button (proceeds go to Special Olympics of Michigan); and those activities, for this year, are set to include a mini film festival, a chili cookoff, frozen fish toss, sleigh and hot air balloon rides, fireworks, a 5K race, a broomball tourney, and live music that will include a concert by ’80s retro-novelty band Loverboy.

PETOSKEY GETTING
SOMETHING NEW?
Rumors abound concerning potential new businesses said to be arriving soon in Petoskey. US 131 South may get a new McDonald’s to join their sister fast-food restaurant on 31 North; Quiznos Subs, “Home of the $2 Flatbread Sammies,” is looking for space near Lowe’s; and a national sports bar and grill chain, Buffalo Wild Wings, is also said to be considering the area near Lowe’s for their business. The long-vacant space on the corner of Petoskey’s US-31 and M-119 is the subject of rumbles, too, regarding a new, as-yet-unnamed restaurant or coffeeshop that may fill that spot.

JUST PROVE IT
Under new regulations from the Michigan Secretary of State‘s office, you must now prove you have a “permanent presence“ in the United States in order to get a driver‘s license in the state. The measure is designed to help curb illegal immigration.

WILDERNESS CROSSING
The Chum’s Corner area near TC, just off US 131, is now host to the new Wilderness Crossing complex, which is currently being worked on with an expected February open date. The main complex is set to include a bowling alley, laser tag, pool/billiards, a restaurant, indoor miniature golf, a bar, and meeting rooms. Another part of the complex will include an indoor archery and gun range with an NRA classroom; dubbed “Zeroed IN,” the shooting area has chosen April for their projected opening date.

SNOWMOBILING IN LEELANAU
The only official Leelanau County snowmobile trail, which runs from Empire Airport to Maple City, is said to be in extra good shape this year. Riders can now reportedly travel by snowmobile from Maple City all the way to Manistee; with some careful planning, determined riders can trek their sleds all the way to Grayling.

GT COMMONS
ON THE GROW
Located across from the Trattoria Stella restaurant in Grand Traverse Commons, buildings 28 and 40 and their connecting cafeteria are being transformed, via $20 million, into an 84-room boutique hotel, a full-service restaurant, and a large banquet hall. With the hotel scheduled to open in the spring of 2009, work is expected to get underway this spring, headed up by summer resident John Weeman, who is also head of Dallas, Texas-based Partners in Development.

MICHIGAN WALK OF FAME
The sidewalks of Lansing, are being embedded with bronze plaques in a project that’s being called the Michigan Walk of Fame. Inductees from 2006 included Henry Ford, W.K. Kellogg, Stevie Wonder, and actor/filmmaker Jeff Daniels. This year’s 2007 inductees will include boxer Joe Louis, scientist Jonas Salk, Andrew J. Blackbird (who helped gain Michigan citizenship for Native Americans under the 1850 Constitution), and local TC favorite Gordie Howe.


 
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