When something has been around as long as the Petoskey Winter Carnival, you have to think there’s something being done right. Coming up February 15 – 18, this year marks the 90th year for the mid-winter celebration in a place known for winter fun.

One of the cool things (besides the weather) about the festival is that there’s a little bit of something for everyone. And though it’s a winter carnival, not all the events take place outside, so even those who aren’t enamored with snow and cold will have a chance to have a good time.

Thursday night kicks off the festival with a Wine & Dine Progressive Dinner. There’s five delicious stops in all, each within walking distance of the other. Reservations are required.

Friday afternoon brings the Chocoholic Frolic and the chance to nibble your way through town – Candy Land without the board! Then music is king – tunes, dancing and laughs with Main Street Dueling Pianos at Stafford’s Perry Hotel, and Red Sky Stage will be in perfect harmony with a Valentine’s Concert featuring Dan House and Kelly Shively. There’s also the opportunity to see a little bit of town from a unique perspective – a ghost walk.

On Saturday the fun heads outside – with an Ice Bar Celebration in Pennsylvania Park, fun Kids’ Activities and amazing to watch Live Ice Carving all taking place downtown. Out at the Petoskey Winter Sports Park (about four minutes from downtown) they’ll be doing figure eights, whizzing downhill in sleds and competing in the Cardboard Sled Challenge. Rounding out the day is Petoskey’s own unique Bump Jump Competition – a race to the bottom of the hill on a ski the participants sit on.

Before you hit the slopes or trails on Sunday, be sure to take part in the Scavenger Hunt through Petoskey’s Downtown.

Inside or out, chilling at the Ice Bar or being part of the heated competition on the Sports Park Hill, make the Petoskey Winter Carnival part of your holiday weekend. We’re pretty sure George and Abe would have both recommended it!

Find lodging nearby at petoskeyarea.com.


About the author

Diane Dakins is passionate about all the lakeside communities that comprise the Petoskey Area of northern Michigan: Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor and Boyne City. As assistant director of the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, she has ‘been there — seen that’ when it comes to virtually every area attraction. Her blogs give potential visitors the scoop on planning a northern Michigan vacation.