Traverse City Events: The Dandy Horse Bike Festival and Bike Swap

Traverse City Events: The Dandy Horse Bike Festival and Bike Swap of Traverse City, June 10 thru 12. Note: It’s never happened before so there’s no way to even imagine how crazy and fun this will be. Here’s how Traverse City’s newest event happened to happen:

A couple of months ago, Sam Porter, the founder of Traverse City’s Porterhouse Productions, got a phone call from Scott Howard, the president of Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trails (TART), asking Porter if he was interested in putting together some sort of event involving bikes and music. Porter had tossed around the idea in the past, but had never gotten anything together. He said yes to Howard’s request, and a Traverse City festival was born.

Porter’s idea for the festival starts after the final day of TART’s Smart Commute Week ends. Friday, June 10, festivities will start at six, celebrating the culmination of five days’ sustainable efforts to commute efficiently in the Traverse City area.

Picture this: a huge, big top tent behind Blue Tractor, in Old Town, Traverse City. North Peak and Jolly Pumpkin Craft Beer will be there, as well as wine, a full bar, and really great music that you can dance to—the party also happens to be a celebration of the M-22 Challenge kickoff.

On Saturday, the festival continues with the Union Street 400 Block Party in Traverse City, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Expect demonstrations by Toxic Cherry Roller Derby, a performance by the Central High School Drum Line, the Smart Commute Challenge Awards, an obstacle course, Moomers ice cream, Old Town food, tune-up stations by local bike shops, and so much more that you’ll just have to see for yourself.  From 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., hula hoopers and fire twirlers will provide entertainment before music headlined by The Ragbirds, Mike Moran, and Levi Britton gets going—Moran and Britton are both winners of Best Local Musician in the Traverse Magazine and MyNorth.com Red Hot Best of Northern Michigan!

For Porter, a festival like this encourages part of our culture in Northern Michigan. “Riding, biking and long boarding is a big piece of our identity here, it’s what defines a smart community,” he says.  And the community is growing. “People are starting to ask ‘Why drive when you can ride?’” he adds.

The Traverse City bike swap on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon is meant to encourage smart commutership.

Porter believes that the bike swap is going to be crucial in encouraging the community to get smart about how to get from here to here. “We need to inject bikes into the Traverse City community and the best way is through individual bike swaps,” he said. “If you think about it, everybody has old bikes in their garage.”

Music, bikes, people and good food are the ingredients for nothing short of innovative summer collaboration—there’s something for everyone.

Porter says that it’s Traverse City events like the Dandy Horse Bike Festival that make people come together and simply have a good time.

“It’s good to see these boundaries break. With collaboration, a lot can happen.”

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