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Your guide to good times

Erin Crowell - December 7th, 2009
Your Guide to Good Times
By Erin Crowell
Why fight the winter cold? Celebrate the season by participating in a number of events happening all over Northern Michigan. Whether it’s shopping with the gals, racing an outhouse or falling over your snowshoes, make this winter the best ever. Mark the following dates on your calendar. Heck! Cut it right out and tape it to your fridge!

10 - Ladies Night Downtown TC, at participating downtown businesses, 5-9pm. Food, refreshments, shopping specials.
11 - Downtown TC Open House at participating businesses, open until 10pm, with specials, gift wrapping, food, refreshments and more.
12 - Harbor Springs Merchants Open House. Participating downtown stores will be open 6-9pm with store specials and appetizers.
12 - Christmas Magic in Downtown Beulah, featuring lights, games and parade.
17 - Men’s Night in Downtown TC, 5-9pm featuring food, refreshments and gift wrapping.
19 - Annual Winter Holiday Get-Together in Empire.
19 - Solstice Celebration of Peace and Life includes workshops, music, dancing and a potluck at the Carnegie Building in Petoskey. Visit for more information.
19-1/3 - Festival of Trains at the Heritage Center, TC, daily.

10 - 6th Annual Downtown TC Bridal Show. Vendors, Bridal Fashion Show, door prizes and more at the Park Place Dome, noon-4pm.
16 - Annual Downtown TC Chili Cook-Off at the Park Place Dome, 11am-3pm.
14-16 - Mackinaw Winterfest, featuring snow carving, sleigh rides, outhouse
races, chili cook-off and more.
16-17- Kalkaska Winterfest, featuring the Midwest International Sled Dog Race, 9am; vendor/craft show, dog pull contest, pond hockey tourney, kid’s activities and more.
22-24 - Zoo-de-Ski Weekend at Boyne Highlands, Harbor Springs. Includes tubing, ice skating, sleigh rides, dog sledding and more. 800-GO-BOYNE.
23-24 - Ladies Retreat at Boyne Mountain includes champagne welcome reception, ski equipment discussion, breakfast, ski/snowshoe excursions, workshops and Goodbye Cheer Reception.
23-24 - Burgers & Brews Weekend at Shanty Creek Resort, Bellaire.
24 - Winter Festival at the Cedar Hill Toppers Snowmobile Club, 1-3pm.

4-7 - North American Snow Festival in Cadillac. Snowmobile races, fun run, live entertainment, ice fishing, ice sculpture contest and more.
6-7 - The Women’s Winter Tour offers everything winter, along with chocolate, wine and good times at Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville. Benefits Active Women Now.
6-7 - Mackinaw Mush Sled Dog Race, 9:30am-5pm.
6-7 - Taste the Passion hosted by the Wineries of Leelanau Peninsula. Special wine pours and chocolate. Sat., 11am-5pm; Sun., noon-5pm.
13 - Great Indoor Folk Festival. 30 folk singers and bands will be performing in Building 50 of the Grand Traverse Commons. Sponsored by Northern Express and Northern Michigan Songwriters in the Round.
13-20 - Petoskey Winter Blues Festival presents the HotDish CookOff, along with a torchlight parade and Petos-KEY Treasure Hunt.
14 - Harbor Springs Chili Cook-Off held at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant, 2-4pm.
12-15 - Cherry Capital Winter Wonderfest
Ice skating, x-country skiing, outdoor carnival, micro-brew tent, fireworks and more at the Grand Traverse Resort, Downtown TC and Mt. Holiday.
19-21 - Shiver by the River, held in Frankfort. Snowcross, winter parade, frozen bowling, games, food, beer, snow sculptures and more.

6-7 - Winter FamilyPalooza at Crystal Mountain combines family-friendly competition and winter fun. Visit
6 - Suds n Snow, combines snowshoeing, food and beer for a day of fun and fundraising. Held at Timber Ride Resort in Traverse City.
13-14 - Spring Fling Weekend at Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville. Includes cardboard classic race, slush cup and slope-style competition.
19 - Carnival Weekend at Boyne Mountain.
20-22 - Krazy Daze at Boyne Highlands.
27 - Mardi Gras at Nub’s Nob featuring the Soaker Cup, Costume Contest, Crazy Couples and more.

Winter Sports Calendar

By Erin Crowell

One of the best ways to beat the winter blues and stave off extra holiday pounds is by training and competing in a winter race. Carve some snow in a downhill race, hit the cross country trails or kick up some powder by snowshoe. Ditch the novel and cozy fire for these cool events:

12/29 - Boyne Holiday Rail Jam at Boyne Mountain.
1/8-1/10 – Midwest NASTAR Open at Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville. The top three competitors in each age division (male and female) advance to the 2010 Nature Valley NASTAR Championships at Winter Park Resort, Colorado.
1/9-1/10 – Middle Earth Ski and Snowboard Competition at Boyne Mountain. USASA members are invited to compete in the terrain park against some of the best riders in the Midwest.
1/10, 2/21 & 3/14 – Snowboard & Freeskier competition at Nubs Nob, Harbor Springs, from 3-6pm.
3/6 - Dynastar/Lange Challenge. Giant slalom racing for all ages and abilities at Nubs Nob, Harbor Springs.

2/5 - White Pine Stampede at Shanty Creek Resort featuring a 40km, 20km & 10km classic and freestyle competition.
12/26 – Boyne Valley Lodge in Walloon Lake hosts the Holiday Classic 8km & 12km cross-country race. This is a Michigan Cup Race, so register early at
1/2 – The Chestnut Valley Freestyle 11k, happening in Harbor Springs, offers beginner skate racers a not-too-challenging course with few steep hills. Call 231-526-9100.
1/3 – Men, women and juniors can compete in the Boyne Highlands Classic 5k & 11k, located in Harbor Springs. Visit for more.
1/9 – Winter Trails Day. Participating ski resorts around the country will offer FREE rental to kids and adults new to the sport of cross-country skiing.
2/13 & 2/14 – It’s time for the 34th annual VASA Festival of Races, a 6k to 50k + of cross-country skiing madness. Categories include classic and freestyle. Thousands of racers and fans will converge as Traverse City hosts one of the biggest North American winter events. For more info and registration, go to
1/16 – Paintball Biathlon. Race against time and others by cross-country skiing over a 1.5 mile loop while shooting paintballs at a set of targets.
2/20 – The name may be long, but the Cote Dame Marie Ski Loppet race offers a variety of distances, including a 30k, 15k and kids race. Join the fun at Hanson Hills, Grayling.
2/21 – Trail blazers of all ages can compete in the Hanson Hills Classic, a 12k Nordic ski race at the recreation area located in Grayling Michigan.
3/13 – Classic 10k at Boyne Highlands, in Harbor Springs.

1/9 – Winter Trails Day. Participating ski resorts around the country will offer FREE rental to kids and adults new to the sport of snowshoeing.
1/23 – Strap on your snowshoes for the Bigfoot Snowshoe Race at Timber Ridge Resort in Traverse City. Race distances include a 5k and 10k. Don’t have your own shoes? Rent them from Timber Ridge or from a number of area retailers. No experience is necessary, but winter athletes can work hard as this is the Midwest qualifier for the National Championship Snowshoe Race, happening in March. Call 932-5401.

Music & Theatre: What’s Ahead?

A snapshot of area concerts and stage performances to brighten your long winter months:

10-13 & 16, 18, 20: “The Christmas Schooner,” tells the story of a Michigan captain who brings Christmas trees to homesick Germans in Chicago, presented by the Little Traverse Civic Theatre, Petoskey.
11-13 “A Christmas Carol: The Musical,” Corson Auditorium, Interlochen.
11-12, 18-19, 23 & 26: “Home for the Holidays,” dinner theatre at The Williamsburg in Acme.
11-13: “Oliver” wraps up its run at the Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee.
13: Mike Ridley and Friends Christmas Celebration at the Cheboygan Opera House.
15: Brenda Lee’s Christmas Show at the Dream Makers Theatre, Kewadin Casino.
19: Billy Dean in concert at the Cheboygan Opera House.

8 - Hot Club of Detroit brings the gypsy jazz sound of Evan Perri to the Ross Stoakes Theatre, Petoskey.
12 - Kathy Kosins presents “The Ladies of Cool” jazz concert at the Cheboygan Opera House.
15 - The Whitfield Company, offers Detroit gospel music at the Milliken Auditorium, Dennos Museum Center.
15 - Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers, Blissfest concert at Crooked Tree Arts Center, Petoskey.
15 - Trombonist Robin Eubanks with the Interlochen Jazz Ensemble, Corson Auditorium, Interlochen.
15-16, 21-24, 28-30: “You Can’t Take It With You,” a comedy about a family of eccentrics at the Old Town Playhouse, TC.
16 - Sister Wilene, folk artist at the Gopherwood concert series, Cadillac Elks Club.
21-24 & 28-30: “Charlotte’s Web,” the story of a pig’s friendship with a spider, presented by the Little Traverse Civic Theatre, Petoskey.
23 - Esparanza Spaulding adds a dose of soul, pop & world music to jazz at the Milliken Auditorium, Dennos Museum Center.
23 - Carol Jantsch on tuba with the Interlochen Orchestra, Corson Auditorium, Interlochen.
30-31 - Opera Workshop performance, Interlochen Arts Academy.

6 - Luke-Winslow-King Trio at the Gopherwood concert series, Cadillac Elks Club.
6 - Bob James and Keiko Matsui offer two top jazz players at one piano at the Milliken Auditorium, Dennos Museum Center.
11-14, 18-21 - “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure,” a mystery with a touch of romance at the Old Town Playhouse, TC.
13 - Mandolin and fiddle virtuoso Peter Ostroushko. Blissfest concert at Crooked Tree Arts Center, Petoskey.
13 - Great Indoor Folk Festival at Building 50 of the Grand Traverse Commons. Sponsored by Northern Express and Northern Michigan Songwriters in the Round.
16 - Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Corson Auditorium, Interlochen.
19 - Sones De Mexico - a folk ensemble from Chicago at the Milliken Auditorium, Dennos Museum Center.
22 - The Moscow Circus, Corson Auditorium, Interlochen.
23 - New Holland Spirited Life Tour at The Loading Dock, TC.

5-6, 11-14, 18-21, 25-27 - “Rent,” the musical about squatters’ rights and AIDS at the Old Town Playhouse, TC.
5-7 - “Hotel Paradiso,” Academy Theatre, Interlochen.
12 - Dervish - Celtic band from Ireland celebrates St. Pat’s Day at the Milliken Auditorium, Dennos Museum Center.
22 - Nrityagram Dance Ensemble brings the dance, music and spirituality of southern India to the Milliken Auditorium, Dennos Museum Center.
24 - “Strega Nona: The Musical,” Corson Auditorium, Interlochen.

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