Traverse City Winter Comedy Arts Festival adds more family events building on the success of last year’s inaugural celebration. Organizers of the mid-winter celebration gave us the inside scoop on what to expect.

“We’re amping up everything we did from last year,” says Trevor Tkach, executive director of Traverse City’s National Cherry Festival, which partners with the Traverse City Film Festival in hosting the Winter Comedy Arts Festival slated for Presidents Day weekend, Feb. 13–16, 2014.

Larger, “over-the-top” ice sculptures are planned. “We’d like to have greater investment in ice sculptures—give people a reason to travel here and see them,” Tkach says.

Also expect the return of a synthetic ice-skating rink, sledding hill, sled-dog pulls and soup-tasting on Front Street. “We’re exploring the idea of being on two blocks of Front Street, adding even more free activities for families,” Tkach says.

There will be lots of laughs, too, of course. Comedy shows and films will be part of the festival, held at Traverse City’s State Theatre, City Opera House and Old Town Playhouse. “As always, we’re striving to get the best comedians,” he says.

Check out the comedy schedule posted on

Check out the highlights from last year’s big bang here.