Festival of Trains

NMRRC Festival of Trains 2021

First Christian Church This year’s event will be held at the First Christian Church – 3686 W. South Airport Road – just behind Best Buy on the north side of Airport Road. The show will take place in the general-purpose area of the church and gymnasium.
A change in venue was decided upon by the membership of the NMRRC to be able to accommodate easier parking of more than 300 vehicles and more space inside.

Dates and times of the show:
The show starts Saturday, Dec. 18th and runs through Friday, Dec. 31st.

A swap meet will be held on Dec. 18th and 19th with tables available for $20.00 each for the general public. Times for  the event will be from 10 am until 5 pm Monday through Saturday and from noon until 4 pm on Sundays. Christmas eve will be from 10 am until 4 pm and we will be closed Christmas Day. On Dec. 31st, we will be open from 10 am until 4 pm (New Year’s Eve). Masks are optional.


The Festival of Trains History –
The Festival of Trains has been an annual holiday tradition in Traverse since 1991. Dave Walker, Rick Antosh and Bryan Crough who are considered to be the “Founding Fathers”, began the festival in the Traverse City Opera House. The FOT was a major fundraiser for the renovations at the Opera House and it quickly became a significant attraction for the Traverse City area. When the renovations began in 2002, much to the dismay of hundreds of children (and adults) throughout Northern Michigan, the Festival of Trains shut down due to not having a suitable venue anymore.

In 2003, thanks to the help of The Northern Michigan RailRoad Club, the FOT was reborn at the Historic Carnegie Library on 6th Street, now home to the Crooked Tree Art Center, and formerly known as the Traverse Area Historical Society. The Northern Michigan RailRoad Club had been the primary exhibitor at the FOT since the club’s inception in 2003. Many or our members were also involved with the FOT prior to the existence of the Club at the City Opera House.

The 2021 FOT will be moving to a new venue at the First Christian Church on W. South Airport Road next to Best Buy. The reason for the move is to provide more space for layouts with increased parking for over 300 cars.

With nearly 6,000+ visitors each year, the FOT is now one of the largest fundraisers for Traverse City charities and is currently partnering with The Children’s Museum and the First Christian Church of Traverse City.

Check out this fabulous video from Don Connors from the Festival of Trains 2019!

Festival of Trains