7 Tips for Travelers to the Traverse City Film Festival


Film Festival Flow Chart graphic

It’s time for the annual Traverse City Film Festival. It’s a great chance to discover new movies, attend fun events and enjoy the hospitality of our city. We thought we’d share a few tips on how to be a traveler — not a tourist — during the film festival.

Standby line outcomes pie chart

Film Festival Tips for Travelers

  1. Take advantage of the free festival shuttle provided by BATA. The Bayline will bring you into town from your hotel. And look for details about their festival loop traveling between film venues. The buses are all ADA accessible, air conditioned and have wifi.
  2. Travelers know it pays to be flexible. If you didn’t get tickets to a movie, try the standby line. You just might get in, even if you don’t get to sit with your friends.
  3. Not all the movies are shown at The State and The Bijou. Make sure you know where your movie is playing before you get in line.
  4. Speaking of lines, bring a little patience. Don’t be that tourist who thinks lines are for other people.
  5. As long as you’re here to binge watch, why not be a traveler and venture out to our surrounding communities and take in a movie at The Garden in Frankfort, the Bay Theatre in Suttons Bay or check out northern Michigan’s only drive-in movie theater at the Cherry Bowl Drive-In in Honor.
    Film Festival Movies pie chart
  6. The outdoor movies in the Open Space are not to be missed. They’re free, they’re family-friendly and there’s usually something for everyone. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and arrive before dusk to claim your spot on the lawn. Here’s the Open Space lineup for this year:
    Tuesday | Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
    Wednesday | 9 to 5
    Thursday | The Greatest Showman
    Friday | Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
    Saturday | Black Panther
    Sunday | Coco
  7. The Traverse City Film Festival is the perfect excuse to spend the day downtown. Try a new restaurant, grab a drink with some friends, or do a little wine tasting. Our Dining Guide can be a helpful resource if you’re looking to try something new. It’s fun to be a traveler for the day, even if you’re a local.

Check out this year’s TCFF promotional video below:

We hope you use our tips to be a traveler during the Traverse City Film Festival. Enjoy the shows!

By |2018-12-12T08:45:08-04:00July 31st, 2018|Arts & Culture, Events, Family Fun, Travel Tips|0 Comments

August Events in Traverse City

August is full of events in and around the Traverse City area. If you’re feeling like summer is passing you by, stop and smell the excitement and take part in the fun. I guarantee there is something for everyone in the family.


August Events in Traverse City


Paella in the ParkPaella in the Park
Friday August 3 | Clinch Park, Traverse City
The Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula pair up with 7 chefs to create 21 paellas for a great taste combination. Enjoy music from Spin Doctors and Grupo Aye and a beautiful views of the bay.




State Theatre Traverse CityTraverse City Film Festival
July 31-August 5 | Downtown Traverse City
Hosted by filmmaker Michael Moore the non-profit festival is volunteer run and supports the State Theatre. The 2011 festival included over 150 screenings and 128,000 admissions. There are free movies each night at dusk, and a free shuttle service for the festival loop.



Northwestern Michigan FairNorthwestern Michigan Fair
August 4-11 | Fairgrounds, Traverse City
Goin’ to the Fair has been a local tradition since 1908. From livestock exhibits and 4H shows, to nightly grandstand events including horse pulls, motocross and tractor races, the fair is fun for the whole family. Arnold Amusements Midway is open Monday – Saturday. And don’t forget the classic fair foods from Gibby’s Fries to elephant ears and turkey legs. I can smell it now.


Sheryl Crow at InterlochenInterlochen Center for the Arts
One of the nations premier performing arts schools is located just miles from Traverse City in Interlochen. The August concert and event schedule includes:
August 2-5 | Children of Eden, high school musical theater performance
August 11 | The Magic of Bill Blagg Live!
August 13 | Sheryl Crow performs at Kresge Auditorium
August 18 | The Dukes of September Rhythm Revue: Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs



bicyclesCherry Roubaix Bike Race
August 10-12 | Traverse City
A series of competitive bicycle races through downtown Traverse City including a dedicated road race which will crown the 2012 Michigan State Champion. Fun to watch and compete.



Brewed in Michigan T-shirtTraverse City Summer Microbrew and Music Festival

Friday & Saturday August 24-25th | The Village at Grand Traverse Commons
Featuring 200+ brews and live music with Friday night concert by Dierks Bentley.



Don’t let the sands of summer slip between your fingers leaving only dust in their wake. Fill your summer with memories of a great time in Traverse City with family, friends, food and fun.

Cheers to August in Northern Michigan!

By |2012-08-02T08:26:45-04:00August 2nd, 2012|Events, Traverse City|0 Comments

Traverse Traveler Lip Dub Giveaway

It’s Official, the Traverse City Lip Dub is online and ready for viewing.

But did you know Traverse Traveler played a role in the production?


Check it out:



When I found out the Traverse City Film Festival was planning on creating a Lip Dub I jumped at the chance to get in on the ground level. After art directing a few TV commercials when I worked at a local ad agency I discovered I loved working behind-the-scenes on film productions. So I thought it would be fun to be involved in a community project that was designed to promote my town, Traverse City.


It turned out to be a great event. Over 100 people attended the kick-off meeting when we didn’t even know what the songs would be. With a handful of meetings and only a couple rehearsals, Max Fisher and the crew at FishSoup Films pulled together hundreds of Traverse City residents who were proud to showcase what an amazing town we live in. From the beginning this was an open event, where ideas were welcomed, shared and incorporated. Community members of all ages participated and represented dozens of organizations, teams, businesses and venues.


I walked into the first meeting expecting to work behind the scenes, and ended up in front of the camera. So I thought I’d have some fun with it. I decided to print a limited edition Traverse Traveler t-shirt to give away to my volunteer "crew" during the lip dub. And when I had one shirt left I saved it for a special givaway after the lip dub’s release. It’s time for that giveaway!

Traverse Traveler lip dub giveaway


So here’s the deal.

1. Become a fan of Traverse Traveler on Facebook and "like" our page

2. Watch the Traverse City Lip Dub and look for me, and the Traverse Traveler crew (shown above)

3. You have until this Friday, August 5th* to email me with the lines I sing during the lip dub.

 *The original deadline has been extended since the lip dub was released later than expected.


A winner will be drawn from the correct submissions. I hope you enjoy the Traverse City Lip Dub. It was a blast to be a part of this creative expression that all started as an idea from a couple of TCFF interns. It just goes to show what you can pull off when you put your mind to it—and spread the word to a few thousand friends on Facebook!




By |2011-08-01T07:43:56-04:00August 1st, 2011|Traverse City|0 Comments

Traverse City Film Festival July 26-31

Traverse City Film Festival poster imageTraverse City welcomes visitors to 7th annual Film Festival


Whether you’re a film fanatic, or just looking for a fun activity while visiting Traverse City, the Traverse City Film Festival is a event for the whole family. This year’s fesitival is packed with movies from near and far, including a community-wide Lip Dub that premiere’s on opening night.


The festival features:

  • Indie Films, Foreign Films, Documentaries and Shorts in 7 different venues
  • Free movie screens at the Open Space each night
  • Kids Fest with $1 daily films
  • Panel discussions & Film School at NMC


Free Open Space begin at dusk:

July 26 – Star Wars V: Empire Strikes Back and the premiere of the Traverse City Lip Dub

July 27 – Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

July 28 – Mrs. Doubtfire

July 29 – People’s Choice: Batman, the Dark Knight

July 30 – Tangled


An event this popular often sells out, so if you haven’t purchased tickets yet what are you waiting for? Visit their website: www.traversecityfilmfest.org.



By |2011-07-25T11:14:49-04:00July 25th, 2011|Events, Traverse City|0 Comments

Traverse City Film Festival Opens with Street Party

Traverse City Film Festival imageTraverse City Film Festival Opens

Tuesday, July 28 from 5-9 PM there will be a Traverse City Film Festival Opening Kick Off Street Party on Front Street between Park and Union Street in Downtown Traverse City.

The event is free and features amazing balloon sculptures by New York artist Jason Hackenwerth, music by Charlie’s Root Fusion and Rojo Loco, and a 6 p.m. opening ceremony with Michael Moore, honoring 2009 Michigan Filmmaker Award Recipient Rich Brauer.


The 5th Annual Traverse City Film Festival runs from July 28th through August 2nd. There are still tickets available, click here to purchase online. And don’t forget about the free movies each night in the Open Space. For more details and information on the festival visit their website at www.traversecityfilmfest.org.


Looking for a break from the downtown action, check out Left Foot Charley & the Vino Factory in The Village on July 31st from 6-9pm. Tickets are $20 and include special food & wine pairings, exclusive winery tours and, of course, golden tickets. Call Left Foot Charley at 231.995.0500 to reserve a spot today.

Movie Fans Rejoice in Traverse City

4th Annual Traverse City Film Festival July 29 – August 3

The streets of Traverse City flow with festival goers of another sort. Over the next several days the Traverse City Film Festival will thrill, amaze, enlighten and entertain thousands of eager movie fans. 


The festival is held in downtown Traverse City at five separate venues: the State Theatre, Old Town Playhouse, Milliken Auditorium, Lars Hockstad Auditorium, City Opera House, and the Open Space Park on the waterfront. 

"The festival has become a beacon of hope for the Grand Traverse region," said festival founder and president, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore. "It’s nothing short of thrilling to see the response from tens of thousands of people eager to see a great movie. And this year we have dozens of them."

For more information on the festival visit their website. Tickets are still available for many of the films. They can be purchased online or through the film festival office in downtown Traverse City. Each evening there are free movies at the Open Space for everyone to enjoy.

By |2008-07-29T16:54:31-04:00July 29th, 2008|Events, Traverse City|0 Comments