I love writing for the Awesome Mitten. Opportunities to explore new places and meet people living inspirational lives are abundant. Every now and then an assignment falls across my lap that I get exceptionally excited about. The Traverse City Winter Comedy Arts Festival is coming back February 14-17 and is packed with more events than ever before. Some of the most popular items will be coming back to entertain festival goers, with additional events that all ages can enjoy.
The comedy festival was first brought to Traverse City two years ago by the Traverse City Film Festival. Deb Lake, of the Traverse City Film Festival, explained that Michael Moore and Jeff Garlin wanted to start a comedy festival during the winter months to bring “cheer and economic benefits to our region.” Along with a huge list of comedians that will be performing, the Comedy Arts Festival will be bringing family events, such as a Ferris Wheel, a bonfire with free s’mores, a laser light show, and a pancake breakfast to benefit the Fresh Food Partnership, which serves all of the area food pantries. Lake is looking forward to the ferris wheel most: “it’s going to be right downtown on Front Street. I just don’t see how it could get any better than that!” I can’t help but agree. In addition, a huge sledding hill will be created right on Front Street, along with snowblower races, slip’n’fall olympics, and a monster dog pull.
February can be kind of a dreary month. With the list of comedians that plan on attending, that is no longer a problem. There are also opportunities for open mic stand-up shows, which always prove to be a blast. Susie Essman, Doug Benson, and Ian Edwards will be among the many comedians performing that weekend. A full list of comedians, along with their claim to fame, can be found on the Comedy Arts Festival’s website. This way, you can scope out some of their videos and decide ahead of time which ones you want to venture out and see.
Many of these events are free and great for families. The Grand Traverse Pie Company will be hosting a “Make and Bake” pie event. Children 12 and under can participate for free, and it will take place on the corner of Front and Park, right in front of the GT Pie Company. Two of the events that I am looking forward to most are the ice sculpture competition and the soup’r’bowl. Tickets for the soup’r’bowl are $8 for 8 tastes, and a full list of participating restaurants can be found on The Comedy Arts Festival’s website.
This three-day event is packed full of so much awesomeness, it would be foolish to miss it. A full list of comedians, events, and activities are on the website, along with the schedule of where and when everything will be taking place. Facebook and Twitter are also great places to keep track of updates and information. I look forward to seeing you all at this marvelous event, and get ready for some giggles!
Jennifer Hamilton, Feature Writer