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Thanksgiving Week Kicks off the Holidays in Northern Michigan

Thanksgiving is a busy weekend in Northern Michigan as several special events kick off the holiday season in style. While Black Friday is busy everywhere, in Northern Michigan it is more personal with shopkeepers greeting you to announce their specials.

Most events are held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day, unless otherwise noted.

Here's a list of events that typically occur during Thanksgiving Week Up North:

Walloon Lake Village Lighting

This annual event includes live performances from the Petoskey Steel Drum Band, live reindeer, and a special visit from Santa & Mrs. Claus. Bring a donation for Toys for Tots and shop local vendors with gifts for everyone on your list. Enjoy free hot chocolate, kids’ activities, and a cash bar.

Christmas in Indian River

  • 9am-4pm – Shop unique, hand-made gifts from more than 100 vendors at the annual Christmas Craft Show at Inland Lakes School- 4363 S Straits Hwy, Indian River. For an application, visit
  • 5pm – Parade starts at Modern Pharmacy and ends at S. Straits Hwy and River St.
  • Following the Parade – Santa lights the Community Christmas tree.

Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting in Charlevoix

Charlevoix kicks off the holiday season on the Friday after Thanksgiving with Children’s activities, Christmas parade at 5:30pm, and tree lighting at 6pm.

Petoskey Holiday Parade

  • 5pm – Family Fun including Cookie Decorating, Letters to Santa, Photo Area, and more in Pennslyvania Park- 411 E. Lake St., Petoskey
  • 6pm – Holiday Parade downtown featuring the Petoskey High School Marching Band, Santa Claus, and so much more

Harbor Springs Christmas Tree Lighting

This event includes:

  • Announcement of winners of the Holiday Decorating Contest
  • Santa meet and greet outside the Lyric Theatre- 275 E. Main St., Harbor Springs
  • Mailbox to Santa will also be located at the Lyric Threatre At 6pm, Celebrate a magical tradition in downtown Harbor Springs at the Christmas Tree Lighting
  • Following the parade, an ecumenical chili dinner will be held in the Holy Childhood Parish Hall- 150 W. Main Street. Homemade cookies and hot cocoa will also be available, courtesy of the American Legion Auxiliary and their sponsor, First Community Bank

Current Events in Northern Michigan

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Activities & Attractions in Northern Michigan

The Little Traverse Wheelway

The Little Traverse Wheelway

Bicyclists, walkers, and roller bladers can go from Harbor Springs to Charlevoix on the 26-mile long Little Traverse Wheelway.

Petoskey State Park

Petoskey State Park

Petoskey State Park is one of the premier destinations for campers and outdoor lovers and is tucked away between Petoskey and Harbor Springs.