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Cool Off at Petoskey’s Annual Festival on the Bay

With Million Dollar Sunsets over Little Traverse Bay…at 8:38 pm on Friday and 8:37 pm on Saturday!

The Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce invites you to the 14th Annual Festival on the Bay, August 19-20, at the beautiful Bayfront Park in northern Michigan.

This year’s activities will kick off a bit early, on Thursday, August 18. The public is invited to the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Michigan Harley Owners Group (MI.H.O.G.) Rally which features beverages and a food truck, as well as entertainment by Karin Elizabeth & The Remedy Band from Detroit, The Northern Lights Irish Dancers – a Celtic Dance troupe and more. Festivities run from 6-10 pm and are sponsored by 4Front Credit Union.

New this year is the Free Friday Family Fun Night, where Brotha James performs in the Children’s area from 9-11 pm. With his uplifting positive and infectious songs, Brotha James will get everyone in on the fun.

The Midway also gets its own free music stage, sponsored by Michigan Roots Wear. Join Big Water Creative Arts Inc., hosts of the Mackinac island Songwriters Workshop, as they welcome a line-up of talented Michigan artists all weekend long in a collaboration that showcases our Michigan musical roots.

Live entertainment continues to be a major draw for festival-goers. Showcasing the best of what the Pure Michigan’s music scene has to offer, every area of this year’s Festival on the Bay is bursting with music. Paid entry to the entertainment area is only $5 and will open at 5 pm on Friday and 3 pm on Saturday, closing at midnight both nights. The entertainment area will be serving domestic and microbrew beers and a variety of wine, as well as pop and water. Drink tickets can be purchased at the entry gate.

This year’s Main Stage entertainment line-up includes:


5:00 pm            Jelly Roll Blues Band
7:00 pm            Petoskey Steel Drum Band
9:00 pm            The Pistil Whips
10:00 pm          The Cookies (Headliner)


3:00 pm            The National Park Service Centennial Band
4:15 pm            Becoming Human
5:00 pm            3Hearted
5:45 pm            Biomassive
6:30 pm            Olivia Mainville & The Aquatic Troupe
7:15 pm             The Drift
8:00 pm            Brotha James
8:45 pm            The Accidentals
10:00 pm          Nik Carmen
10:30 pm          Billy Strings (Headliner)

Wine on the Water returns on Saturday, with extended hours from 6-10pm, providing a chance to sample award-winning wines from the wineries of the Bay View Wine Trail. Taste tickets are just $1).

Among the more unique activities is the chance to “Paddle the Jiimaan Canoe” on Saturday, between Noon and 5 pm. This 34-foot-long, 5-foot-wide boat requires the cooperative effort of at least 10 people, while the guide with the knowledge of both the water and whims of the bay, help the paddlers focus on the task at hand. These free participatory rides are sponsored by the Odawa Institute of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians.

Kids’ activities include a large petting zoo, Petoskey stone hunting, face painting, bouncy house and more. The Children’s Area will be open on Friday from 1-7 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm Entry Fee is $2 per child, per day (adults free). Teenagers aged 14-18 will enjoy the Club Electro Sunset Dance Party on Saturday from 9-11 pm with music from ThundurDrop. The entry fee is $5 per person.

Other events throughout the weekend include The Big Art Show, Chalk the Walk, YMCA Color Fun Run, Kayak Rides & Demos, Cardboard Boat Races, Waterball Competition, Great Duck Drop, Vendors on the Midway, Silent Disco and more. Find the daily schedule of events here.

Special Sunday activities include the Worship on the Bay at 10 am at the Waterfront.

Blue Lakes By the Bay is providing free shuttle service for those who park at North Central Michigan College, running from Noon to Midnight on Friday and Saturday.

For hotels and lodging packages in the Petoskey area, click here.

Festival on the Bay continues its efforts to “Go Green by the Blue” with a commitment to environmental and conservancy issues and recycling efforts. Glass and plastic bottles, paper and plastic cups, and aluminum cans are recyclable at Festival on the Bay through an on-going partnership with Emmet County Recycling. Look for the recycling stations around the festival site and do your part to keep the waterfront and this community clean and green!

The Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce is a business advocacy organization which has been working for Northern Michigan since 1920. Currently more than 780 businesses are invested as members of the organization and those members are served by a full-time staff of 4. Member businesses benefit from chamber services in the areas of business promotion, networking, advocacy, economic development, tourism promotion and community enhancement.