Join this small town celebration as downtown Petoskey kicks off the season with a Holiday Open House. Always held on the first Friday of December, the celebration begins when Santa arrives and lights the giant Christmas tree in Pennsylvania Park. The streets are filled with carolers, the Petoskey High School Steel Drum Band and cups of soup are provided by the Petoskey Snowmobile Club. Merchants open their decorated shops to holiday shoppers, offering cozy spots to wander hand-picked merchandise and often sip a cup of coffee or cocoa.

This year, the downtown celebration included a Clash of the Choirs, a fun "competition" throughout the downtown, between area musical groups. The "winner" was chosen in a public vote.

This small town holiday celebration is emblematic of celebrations happening in small villages throughout Northern Michigan. All over the North, communities comes out to sing, greet Santa, light beautiful trees and wander the small, beautifully decorated shops that offer cozy spots on a snowy night, filled with hand-picked merchandise that the shop owner is more than happy to talk about. A holiday night in a Northern Michigan town reminds us all why community, lovely downtowns, unique shops and true character are such a wonderful and important part of our lives. So, sit back and enjoy the holiday sights and sounds of Petoskey and then don't miss the chance to see the holidays in their most welcoming and beautiful way yourself—in our towns and villages Up North!

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More Links to Fun in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor and the Little Traverse Region!