International Food Festival – The National Cherry Festival

National Cherry Festival is an exotic 8 day food festival held in Traverse City of Michigan, USA. The gala event welcomes millions of tourists from all over the world. Delicious and tasty dishes made with red ripe cherries are the key attractions in the festival. The air is filled up with the rich aroma of the delicacies. The culinary skills of the chefs create a delightful experience for food lovers. To add to the entertainment, several musical concerts, live music, and fun-filled events are organized at the festival premises.

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The History behind the National Cherry Festival

The festival was originally started in 1925 in the name of Blessing of the Blossoms Festival. The main purpose behind the festival was to allure the tourists to enjoy the fragrant cherry blossoms. Six years later in 1931, the Michigan legislature body renamed it to the National Cherry Festival to be held in June every year. The Festival is now in its 92nd year and has an overwhelming response from about 500,000 visitors. The cherry blossom harvest usually happens in the months of June and July, hence the festival is made to coincide the harvest season. The cherries are available in abundance to celebrate the grand fest.

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The Exclusive Delicacies of the National Cherry Festival

Cherry pies, cherry cakes and pastries, pancakes, jams, wines, and other lip-smacking dishes dominate the National Cherry Festival. The visitors are fortunate to witness the mouth watering menus prepared by the participants at the festival. The local vendors and farmers set up several shops to sell the fresh harvest in the form of fruits, flowers, and plants. They even sell baked dishes made from the ripe cherries. You can find the world's best cherries in the farmer's market area.

In 1987 the organizers of the National Cherry Festival earned recognition in the Guinness Book of World Records for their expertise and excellence in baking the largest cherry pie in the world.

Pancakes covered with cherries at the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan

The Entertaining Events at the National Cherry Festival

The festival hosts spectacular air shows every year. You can relax and enjoy the breathtaking shows sipping your favorite drink and a cherry-topped meal. The US Airforce Thunderbird performs the amazing feat with the fighter planes. The pilots soar high above the air creating various interesting formations in the sky.

It is amazing to watch the food trucks, street-side shops, farmers markets dotting the festival area, adorned with the red vibrant coloured cherries. Cherry pitting events and pie-eating contests are held where the visitors can participate and win prizes. You can also enjoy the wine tasting tours at the festival, quenching your drinking desire with some of the exquisite wines from different regions of the world.

620travel — A flag team marches during the Cherry Royale Parade in downtown Traverse City during the National Cherry Festival. (photo courtesy TC CVB)

Musical concerts and shows are held every day, entertaining the audience with live music from prominent singers and musicians from different parts of the world. You can tap your feet and shake your legs with some of the melodious and rhythmic beats of music.

Tips and Tricks for the National Cherry Festival

  • Smoking is prohibited inside the festival premises and should be followed strictly
  • Do not carry any alcoholic beverages with you in the Open Space park except while you are in wine tasting tours, beer tent, beverage pavilions
  • Pets are not allowed to enter into the Open Space park

Timings for the National Cherry Festival

The festival is open Monday to Friday in the 8-day schedule from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. It remains closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Places to stay or park your vehicles near the National Cherry Festival

There are a number of parking lots available in Traverse city where you can park your vehicles before entering into the festival ground. The Larry C. Hardy Parking deck is the one that is located nearby.

Several lodging facilities are available to stay near the National Cherry Festival

  1. Cherry Tree Inn and Suites with beachfront
  2. Best Western Four Seasons hotel
  3. The Victorian Style Bayshore Resort
  4. Pinestead Reef resort for an affordable stay
  5. Grand Traverse Resort and Spa


A blogger interested in travelling and exploring new places and sharing ideas with all. Curious about the unique features of a place and its ethereal beauty.

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