Holiday happenings around Emmet County begin Nov. 29 with Petoskey parade!


Emmet County's communities are in the holiday spirit, with festivities kicking off Saturday, Nov. 29, with the Petoskey holiday parade. Stafford's Downtown Holiday Parade begins at 10 a.m. in Petoskey and will feature all of the annual parade favorites including the award-winning Petoskey Northmen Marching Band, many floats and entries.

That same evening, Nov. 29, join the community of Harbor Springs as the Christmas tree on Main Street is lit in a small-town-charming annual event that starts at 6:30 p.m.. This year marks the 99th annual Christmas Tree Lighting! The Harbor Springs High School Band will be performing as well.

Holiday Open Houses in downtown Petoskey and Harbor Springs will take place starting Friday, Dec. 5 in Petoskey, from 6 to 9 p.m. The Crooked Tree Arts Center also hosts an Open House this evening. The next night, Saturday, Dec. 6, the Home for the Holidays Downtown Open House will take place in Harbor Springs, also from 6 to 9 p.m.

Christmas in Mackinaw and the Holiday Open House at McGulpin Point Lighthouse take place the weekend of Dec. 5-7. CLICK HERE McGulpin holiday info!

The community of Bay Harbor also gets in on the holiday festivities with a lighted vehicle parade during Holidazzle on Dec. 13, from 6 to 7 p.m.

Check our monthly events' calendar by clicking here!

Deadline is Nov. 30 for the Emmet County WATERS photo contest

Pond reflection, from David Harrell, The Crooked Front Porch

We are almost to the end of the contest period! Do you have a great WATERS photo to share still?

If there is one attribute that defines Emmet County – both geographically and in the hearts and minds of its residents and visitors – it’s the abundance of water in Northwest Michigan. In the tip of Michigan’s mitten, the Great Lakes are a constant presence, and our inland lakes, rivers and wetlands are magnificent natural resources that are the source of recreation, pride and protection. To celebrate our unique water resources, Emmet County is holding its second-annual photo contest, Emmet County Waters. This follows on the heels of the successful 2013 Emmet County Skies photo contest, which drew photographic entries for more than 50 area photographers.

The Emmet County Waters contest will operate the same as the Skies challenge: Through November 30, 2014, please send your Waters photos via email to We've got a couple great prizes lined up for the winner!


Help send care packages to our U.S. servicemembers this holiday season!


The holiday season is upon us and as we prepare to celebrate and gather with family and friends, Jim Alton, Emmet County’s Department of Veterans Affairs Director, and his “chief of staff” Rick Wiertalla, are reminding residents to remember the U.S. servicemen and women stationed and at war in foreign countries. “This county has a lot of men and women serving around the world,” reminded Alton.

The local Veterans Affairs office helps coordinate care packages and gift items that can be sent to U.S. troops. Alton said troops particularly appreciate food items (nonperishable and nonalcoholic) such as dried fruits and beef jerky. Personal care products are also appropriate items to send.  “Even sending cards to our troops to let them know they are cared about is important,” Alton added.

Alton is seeking names and addresses of area military members who are serving this holiday season, so that his office can coordinate the sending of care packages. Additionally, the Emmet County VA is accepting items for care packages.


To coordinate a care package to Emmet County troops or other U.S. servicemen and women, contact the Veterans’ Affairs office at (231) 348-1780. The VA office is located at the John R. Watson Community Resource Center (lower level), 3434 M-119, Suite D
Harbor Springs.


Imagine magazine 2014


Emmet County's annual magazine, Imagine, features the people, places, organizations and communities that make Emmet County a one-of-a-kind place to live, work and play. Up here, quality of life is everything.

This year's magazine, published by Harbor House Publishers in Boyne City, also includes a number of enhancements, including numerous videos that further showcase the unparalleled natural beauty and the residents who are invested in making Northwest Michigan a place like no other. An expanded section on the features of Emmet County is also a new addition to this sixth annual edition.

To have a complimentary copy of Imagine magazine mailed to you, contact its writer/editor Beth Anne Eckerle with your mailing address:, or (231) 348-1704.


Download the Emmet County App!

Take Emmet County with you on your smart device, cell phone or tablet by downloading our NEW app! 

  • Details about the county's parks and recreation opportunities, including McGulpin Point Lighthouse and the Headlands (with trail map);
  • Program schedule for the monthly events at the Headlands International Dark Sky Park;
  • Locator map of all the public parks within Emmet County (including city, village, township and other parks);
  • Locator map of all the historic sites in Emmet County and details;
  • Trail maps for the Little Traverse Wheelway, Headlands and Petoskey and Harbor Springs snowmobile routes;
  • Pellston Regional Airport information;
  • Links to the County's social media sites.

Download the free app and check it out! It's available now in the Google Play and iOS app stores.