National Cherry Festival

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National Cherry Festival
BeginsJuly 3, 2021
EndsJuly 10, 2021
VenueOpen Space Park
Location(s)Traverse City, Michigan
Most recent2019

The National Cherry Festival is a food festival in Traverse City, Michigan. It began in 1925 as the Blessing of the Blossoms Festival, which was held in early May to attract tourists to Northern Michigan to view the blooming cherry blossoms. In 1931 the Michigan Legislature renamed the festival the National Cherry Festival, and moved the event to the summer.[1] Since 2004, a May event coinciding with blooming of the cherry blossoms is also held again, as the Blossom Days Festival, in addition to what is now the better-known National Cherry Festival.[2]

Cherries from Traverse City


The first cherry trees in the region were planted on the Old Mission Peninsula in 1852 by Rev. Peter Dougherty.[3] Commercial orchard production of cherries began in 1893 near Old Mission. The very first festival was held in May of 1925, and was known as the Blessing of the Blossoms. The first cherry queen was Gertrude Brown.[4] In 1931, the Michigan Legislature renamed the festival to the National Cherry Festival, and moved to July.[5] The festival was cancelled from 1942 to 1947 due to World War II.

In 1975, President Gerald Ford, a Michigan native, attended the festival, and led the Cherry Royale Parade as Grand Marshal.[6]

On July 25, 1987, Cherry Festival participants earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for baking the world's largest cherry pie. The pie was 17 ft 6 in (5.33 m) in diameter, weighing 28,350 pounds. This replaced the pie baked nine years earlier in Charlevoix, Michigan. This record was held until July 14, 1990, when a pie weighing 37,740 lb 10 oz (17,118.9 kg), 20 feet (6.1 m) in diameter was baked and eaten by approximately 1500 people in Oliver, British Columbia.[7]

In 2020, Festival Officials announced on Thursday, April 16, 2020 that the 94th National Cherry Festival was to be postponed until the following year; July 3rd - July 10th 2021.[8] This postponement was in light of recent global health concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of announcement, the State of Michigan had 28,059 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 1,921 COVID-19 related deaths, 17 confirmed cases were in Grand Traverse County, and 3 deaths.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-08. Retrieved 2011-05-20. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-13. Retrieved 2011-05-20. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "History of Cherries". Retrieved 2021-04-02.
  4. ^ "Past Cherry Queens". Retrieved 2021-04-02.
  5. ^ "History of the Traverse City National Cherry Festival". 2013-07-01. Retrieved 2021-04-02.
  6. ^ "Fun Facts". Retrieved 2021-04-02.
  7. ^ "A Piece of the Pie". Northern Express. 2015-07-02.
  8. ^ "National Cherry Festival COVID-19 Update". National Cherry Festival. 2020-04-16.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°46′05″N 85°37′20″W / 44.76806°N 85.62222°W / 44.76806; -85.62222