The National Cherry Festival in northern Michigan runs for one week, from July 1 through July 8, and features multiple events, most of them free to the public. Festival-goers can enjoy an air show, carnival rides, and cherry-themed contests. The National Cherry Festival has a rich history going back to 1925.
Michigan Live prepared an itinerary for the National Cherry Festival, highlighting the different booths, events, and shows taking place each day of the week-long festival. In what is sure to be a centerpiece of the festival, there will be a large cherry farmer’s market open with different vendors for attendees to buy a variety of cherry-themed dishes. A different band will play every night at the Pepsi Bay Side Music Stage, and there will be three rounds of fireworks, multiple cherry pie eating contests, and orchard tours during the week. In the orchard tour, guests explore a 100-acre farm in the heart of cherry country and can take part in kid-friendly activities, like a petting zoo, or explore what innovations in cherry technology the farm is using.
On July 4, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians will put on a Pow Wow. Dancers will perform the traditional Native American dance in colorful native costumes. The organization will also be Native American cuisine.
Other events include the Festival of Races, multiple opportunities for runners at all levels to run for a cause, the July 6 parade, and Classic Car Show on Sunday.
The history of the National Cherry Festival goes back over 100 years, but the festival became popular in 1925 and never lost steam. That year, local farmers got together for the “Blessing of the Blossoms Festival” and crowned the first Cherry Queen. To honor the festival’s history, a photographer compiled these images of Cherry Festivals in the 1960s. It was in the ’60s that the festival length grew to a week long.
This year, thousands of people are expected to attend the Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan. BATA is offering a free shuttle to transport people to and from the Cherry Festival. With multiple free events and activities, the Cherry Festival promises to be an accessible event for everyone.
[Featured Image by Scott Barbour/Getty Images]