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The National Cherry Festival: Unveiling the Best Kept Summer Secret

The Big Summer Cherry Festival You Probably Didn’t Know About

Are you a cherry fan? Do you enjoy attending unique and exciting food festivals? If so, you need to mark your calendar for the annual National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan. This remarkable celebration of cherries and all things cherry is a must-attend event that draws thousands of visitors from across the country. Let’s dive into the fascinating details of this incredible festival.

A rich history and cherries at its heart

The National Cherry Festival has a long and storied history dating back to 1924 when it was first held as the Blessing of the Blossoms. The festival was created to celebrate the area’s bountiful cherry harvest and to honor the hard work of cherry farmers who have grown cherries for generations.
Traverse City, the festival’s host city, is known for its cherry production. Even outside of the festival season, you can find roadside stands selling cherries, cherry wine in stores, and cherry-infused dishes on the menus of local restaurants. Cherries are deeply rooted in the city’s culture and history.

A week-long extravaganza

The National Cherry Festival takes place each year for a week around the Fourth of July holiday, coinciding perfectly with the cherry harvest season. During this festive week, visitors can immerse themselves in a variety of activities and events that celebrate the beloved cherry.
One of the highlights of the festival is the Cherry Pie Contest, where talented bakers showcase their skills in creating delicious cherry pies. The aroma of freshly baked cherry pies fills the air, creating an irresistible temptation for festival-goers.
Parades, fireworks and concerts are also part of the festivities, providing entertainment for people of all ages. The Cherry Royale Parade, led by President Gerald Ford in 1975, is a particularly memorable event that showcases the grandeur of the festival.
Art lovers can enjoy an art contest featuring cherry-inspired artwork created by talented artists. It’s a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the creativity and beauty that cherries inspire in various art forms.
For those who want a more hands-on experience, many local cherry farms offer the opportunity to pick your own cherries. This activity is a favorite among visitors, allowing them to experience the joy of plucking ripe cherries directly from the trees.

Record Breaking Achievements

The National Cherry Festival has also made its mark in the world of records. In 1987, the Festival set a record for the largest cherry pie ever made, weighing a whopping 28,350 pounds. This monumental achievement symbolizes the Festival’s grand scale and ambition.
The festival’s significance extends beyond Traverse City. The National Cherry Queen, crowned during the festivities, serves as an ambassador for the festival, spreading the word about this delightful celebration across the country. The Queen travels far and wide, delivering pies and promoting the health benefits of cherries.

Cherry Capital Airport and the future

Traverse City’s dedication to cherries extends beyond the festival. The city’s airport is proudly named Cherry Capital Airport, a testament to the importance of cherries in the region. It serves as a constant reminder of the city’s deep connection to this beloved fruit.
With such passion and enthusiasm for cherries, the National Cherry Festival is sure to captivate visitors for years to come. It’s a celebration that not only honors Traverse City’s rich history, but also showcases the beauty and deliciousness of cherries in all their forms.
If you’re a cherry lover or simply looking for an unforgettable summer experience, add the National Cherry Festival to your bucket list. Prepare to immerse yourself in a week-long extravaganza of cherries, fun activities and the warm hospitality of Traverse City. Don’t miss this hidden gem of a festival that truly embodies the spirit of summer and the joy of cherries.


The National Cherry Festival is an annual week-long celebration held in Traverse City, Michigan, to honor the cherry harvest season and pay tribute to the region’s rich cherry heritage.

When is the National Cherry Festival?

The festival is held each year for a week around the Fourth of July holiday, which coincides with the cherry harvest season.

What can I expect to see and do at the National Cherry Festival?

During the festival, you can participate in a variety of exciting activities such as pie contests, parades, fireworks, concerts, an art contest, and even pick your own cherries at local cherry farms. There’s something for everyone!

Where is the National Cherry Festival?

The festival is held in Traverse City, Michigan, a city known for its cherry production. Traverse City is often referred to as the Cherry Capital of the World.

Are there any record-breaking achievements associated with the National Cherry Festival?

Yes, there are! In 1987, the festival set a record for the largest cherry pie ever made, weighing a staggering 28,350 pounds. That’s just one example of the Festival’s size and ambition.

How can I learn more about the National Cherry Festival and its history?

You can visit the official festival website or contact the National Cherry Queen, who serves as an ambassador for the festival and travels the country spreading the word about this delightful celebration.

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