Frequently Asked Questions
A. The city of Petoskey is located in the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula on Little Traverse Bay. It’s roughly 1 hour south of the Mackinac Bridge on highway US-31 and 3 ½ hours north of Grand Rapids on US-131. For more information, contact the Boyne Country Visitor’s Bureau: 1-800-845-2828.
A. Many of our key events take place at the local community college in Petoskey, located at 1515 Howard Street. From US-131 or US-31 heading north: Upon arriving in Petoskey, continue on US-31 north through town. You’ll pass the hospital (on your left) and then cross a bridge before turning right onto Mitchell Street into the downtown gaslight district of Petoskey. Head east on Mitchell for two blocks. Howard is the second stoplight on Mitchell. Turn right onto Howard. Continue through four stop-signs. After the fourth stop-sign, you will see signs for the college on your left. Click below for a campus map with event locations.
A. Stafford’s Perry Hotel in downtown Petoskey is the official hospitality sponsor of the festival.
Stafford’s Perry Hotel
A historic turn-of-the-century hotel located at the corner of Bay and Lewis Streets in downtown Petoskey, MI. Guests and speakers alike enjoy its Victorian charm, excellent location, fine dining, and Noggin Room pub (reminiscent of many an Inklings gathering at the Eagle & Child in Oxford!). Overflow guests are housed in the equally delightful Bay View Inn on Little Traverse Bay, within minutes of downtown.
For room reservations www.staffords.com
SCHEDULE AND REGISTRATION
SPONSORSHIP AND DONATIONS
A. C. S. Lewis was a twentieth-century British scholar and author whose writings in many genres are still bestsellers today, including the beloved children’s series The Chronicles of Narnia. Local interest in Lewis continues to be fueled by national interest—including major films of The Chronicles of Narnia—and each year collaborators enthusiastically explore ways of engaging with Lewis’s many works in a broad range of genres. Schools and libraries enjoy the opportunity for students to interact with great literature, while performing artists embrace the chance to present a subject of interest to a broad audience—including the annual children’s performance of the Narnia musical, now a local tradition much like The Nutcracker in other communities. Meanwhile, churches and other study groups welcome the discussions raised by Lewis’s religious perspective. All of this draws regional, national and international attention from fans of Lewis, many of whom return annually for festival events.
A: Though C. S. Lewis never traveled to the United States, local interest in his life and writings reflects a national trend that includes films such as the PBS documentary The Magic Never Ends: The Life and Work of C.S. Lewis, co-produced by Petoskey resident David Crouse. But beyond local interest, northern Michigan itself—with its beautiful coastlines, rolling hills, undeveloped wilderness, and snowy winters—is a kind of Narnian paradise that reflects Lewis’s own fascination with what he called “Northernness”: “a vision of huge, clear spaces…the endless twilight of Northern summer, remoteness, severity.”  Readers of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe recognize a kinship between Lewis’s vision of another world and the wooded coastlines of our local landscape. Can you glimpse the castle Cair Paravel through the trees? We can, hence our tagline, “To Narnia and the North!”
 From Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, by C. S. Lewis, p. 73.
A. The question for us is, “How do we fit it all into just one month?” In fact, we don’t! The class held at North Central Michigan College meets for the entire fall semester, while satellite programs take place as early as September and as late as December. There’s no end of topics to explore. Lewis’s diverse writings—including fiction, children’s literature, poetry, literary criticism, Christian apologetics, and personal letters—along with intriguing details about his life (such as his friendship with J. R. R. Tolkien, celebrated author of The Lord of the Rings) give ample subject-matter for discussion, drama, music, creative writing, and visual arts. If we had the funding and the time to do this festival all year round, we would!
“TO NARNIA AND THE NORTH!”
A: In an effort to bring about the broadest possible collaboration, the festival seeks to partner with anyone who wishes to join in our stated mission. Some will participate in festival events because of Lewis’s ability to articulate issues of faith, others because of Lewis’s amazing literary talents. The collaboration that is the C. S. Lewis Festival is big enough to encompass all of these motivations. Because of Lewis’s Christian views, and because of the collaborative nature of the festival, some events of the festival will include speakers and activities that celebrate Lewis’s Christian worldview. At the same time, other events and activities will not emphasize this aspect of Lewis. The nature of each event will be self-evident in the title, venue, and/or description of that event. In this way the C. S. Lewis Festival hopes to be a place where positive dialogue can take place between a broad spectrum of collaborative partners.