National Cherry Festival


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Cherry Festival, National

Second week in July
An annual event since 1926, Michigan's National Cherry Festival takes place in Traverse City, "The Cherry Capital of the World," where 70 percent of the world's red cherries are grown. Traditionally held for a full week in July, the time of the cherry harvest, the festival features both traditional and offbeat events involving cherries: cherry pie-eating and cooking contests, a cherry wine competition, displays of cherries and cherry products, free tours of the cherry orchards, a cherry smorgasbord luncheon, and the weighing-in of the world's largest cherry.
The festival began in 1924 with a ceremony to bless the cherry blossoms and ensure a good crop. Now it draws upwards of half a million visitors and includes three major parades, national high school band competitions, canoe races, and a water ski tournament among the more than 100 different events. Former President Gerald R. Ford, a Michigan native, officiated at the festival in 1975.
CONTACTS:
National Cherry Festival
109 Sixth St.
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-947-4230; fax: 231-947-7435
www.cherryfestival.org
SOURCES:
GdUSFest-1984, p. 94
References in periodicals archive ?
The organization has partnered on many community initiatives, including sponsoring 18 senior events for the National Cherry Festival, an eight-day celebration of cherries held each July that draws half a million attendees.
Settlers brought cherries to North America as early as the 1600s, and the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Mich., is testament to how the cherry industry has flourished since then--and demonstrates there is definitely more to the famous red fruit than a fun-to-spit pit surrounded by a sometimes-sweet and sometimes-tart pulpy layer.
The National Cherry Festival features more than 150 events, with most held in the Festival Open Space on Front Street overlooking beautiful West Grand Traverse Bay.

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