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August: With nearly 100 microbreweries statewide, Michigan has become a hotspot for the nation’s craft beer revolution—and the movement is alive and well in TC. The twice-yearly Microbrew & Music Festival offers a chance to sample some of the best brews the Mitten has to offer, with some 50 craft beverages, including beer, wine, ciders and mead. Organizers pair the extensive beer menu with food from local restaurants and four tents’ worth of musical acts. The summer installment of the festival happens in August; the winter one in February. Dates and schedule online. 231.499.4968, TCBEERFEST.COM.
February 2014: Proof that Northerners don’t just hunker down and hibernate in the winter, Traverse City has a combo winter festival that helps visitors and locals alike keep the seasonal blues at bay. Joining comedy with classic wintertime fun, in February, downtown TC’s Winter Comedy Arts Festival allows festivalgoers to sample local foods and ice wines in the comfort of a heated tent while taking in family-friendly events like the “Monster Dog Pull” (open to dogs of all sizes) and the “Snowball Softball Tournament.” If you’re looking for something with a little more edge, head inside to hear nationally touring comedians at five top Traverse City venues. WINTERCOMEDY.ORG.