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Winter’s chill may be the reason so many of our midwinter activities are athletic, from the Farmland 5k European Style XC Challenge footrace to the White Pine Stampede cross-country ski race at Shanty Creek. But it’s also the time for lots of food and wine-related fun; there’s the annual Downtown Chili Cook-Off, several wine trail events (Taste the Passion on the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail and the Winter Warm-Up from the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula) and the culminating glory of Traverse City Restaurant Week, where local restaurants outdo each other to create the best three-course meal for only $25.
But winter is also a festive time here, and most of our communities celebrate the Christmas and New Year’s holidays with song, sentiment and lots of sales – especially in Downtown Traverse City, where the season’s biggest outdoor event is the annual Cherry-T Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve!