The National Cherry Festival is a weeklong celebration that celebrates everything and anything cherry. The festival is in Traverse City and attracts people from all over the country. This year marks the 91st National Cherry Festival and will be held between July 1st-8th. With 8 days of entertainment and events, there are countless attractions to look forward to. Here are the best things to do at the Cherry Festival this year.
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are returning to the Cherry Festival this year for two days of Air Show entertainment. On July 1st and 2nd, people can watch the Air Force Thunderbirds perform roughly 40 different aerial maneuvers. The Air Show is free and guests can watch it from the shores of West Grand Traverse Bay. However, you can also buy tickets and get the best view of the Air Show while you sit at the top of the historic Park Place Hotel.
Meijer Festival of Races
Come run through vineyards and cherry orchards at the Festival of Races! On Saturday July 8th, runners have the choice to race in a 5K, 10K, 15K or half Marathon. Depending on what race you choose, you’ll be able to see beautiful views of Grand Traverse Bay and finish in downtown where you’ll be handed delicious cherries after you cross the finish line. Register here and be one of over 50,000 participants that have finished this race in past years!
8 Nights of Concerts
Sit back and relax or get up and dance at The Cherry Festival’s 8 Nights of Concerts. Each night during the festival there will be a different band or special group performing. The concerts begin at 6:00 PM and are at the Pepsi Bay Side Music Stage located across from West Bay. Popular names coming to perform are Shinedown, Cole Swindell, and REO Speedwagen. There is also a 90s Dance Party featuring Vanilla Ice and more popular 90s artists. You can purchase tickets here as well as find a list of all 8 concerts and more events.
truTV Impractical Jokers Starring The Tenderloins
If you’re a fan of the show Impractical Jokers, you’ll want to sign up for this show. Join the stars of Impractical Jokers (Joe Gatto, Brian Quinn, James Murray and Sal Vulcano) as they perform pranks, stand-up comedy, stories, and jokes on one another. This show is part of the 8 Nights of Concerts and is on Friday, July 7th. Anthony Grupido also joins as a special guest magician.
Cherry Festival Parades
The famous festival parades are back and returning to the streets of downtown Traverse City! So grab you chairs and get ready to enjoy three wonderful parades: The Heritage Parade, the DTE Energy Foundation Cherry Royal Parade, and the Touchstone Energy Junior Royal Parade. The parades are on different days throughout the weeklong festival, so make sure to check out the events page for a full list of information.
Very Cherry Pancake Breakfast
Start your Saturday morning off right with a delicious breakfast! Join The Festival Foundation and Chris Cakes catering company to enjoy pancakes topped with Herkner’s Original Cherry Topping and Out of the Woods Farm maple syrup. There is also sausage, milk, juice, and coffee. Purchase your tickets for the Very Cherry Pancake Breakfast and get your day off to a great start.
End your 4th of July day with a beautiful firework show presented by TC Boom Boom Club. The firework display is over West Grand Traverse Bay and can be seen all through the south end. Some of the best spots to see the fireworks are at the Clinch Park Marina, Brant and West End Beaches, or the Festival Open Space Park. The show begins at dusk or 10:30 pm.
These are only a few of the wonderful attractions and events that are happening at the 2017 National Cherry Festival. To find more information about the festival, a full list of events, or to learn how you can be involved, visit the National Cherry Festival website.