Cherry Festival

The cherry has served as a symbol of Michigan’s economy and culture ever since French settlers planted cherry seeds along the St. Lawrence River. From there on, when America needed tart cherries for their pies, jams, and meats, they would turn to Michigan. The cherry had become so important to Michigan’s economy that in 1910, farmers who grew cherries in the Grand Traverse area had taken to performing a ‘blessing of the blossoms’ around May. Give or take about 90 years, and this ceremony became what we recognize today as North Michigan’s National Cherry Festival. Running from June 29th to July 6th and held in Traverse City, Michigan, this festival is jam packed (if you’ll pardon the pun) with the best of the history, culture, and cherries that make Northern Michigan what it is today.

We can’t mention a cherry festival without talking about food, and boy, does this festival aim to please. North Michigan’s National Cherry Festival brings in chefs, bakers, and candy makers who know how to use the sweet-yet-tart fruit’s unique flavor to bring you some of the best bites in the state. On June 29th, chow down for a cause at the Very Cherry Flying Pancake Breakfast, where the pancakes soar through the air like trapeze artists. The admission price you pay to enjoy your flapjacks helps support the Kevin Copeland Memorial Scholarship, so you can pour on the extra cherry sauce without guilt. It’s not the only way to enjoy the eats at the festival – running throughout the entire festival, the Cherry Farmer’s Market hosts some of the most beloved producers of cherry products, including Six Lugs, Deering’s, and Naturally Nutty. If there’s a place at the cherry festival to grab your jams, sauces, and snacks, this is it!

The National Cherry Festival isn’t known just for its great food – it’s also well recognized for the amazing experiences that you can have there, too. The Arnold Amusement Midway provides all of the excitement and fun that you can expect from North Michigan’s National Cherry Festival, with everything from Ferris wheels to carnival games. The festival is also known for its air show, which shows off stunts and spectacles performed by the United States Air Force Thunderbirds. Finally, families can enjoy not one, but three parades that the National Cherry Festival hosts. Make your pick and attend the Junior Royale parade, the DTE Energy Foundation Cherry Royale Parade, or the Consumers Energy Heritage Parade presented by Hagerty. Better yet, make a plan to do all three of them!

With so much to do, it’s a blessing that the National Cherry Festival runs for so long. That means that you can work in everything that you want to do, while enjoying the pure Michigan landscape that surrounds you. Stay close to the festival so that you don’t miss a thing, or stay close to Michigan’s nature, when you stay at Bay Harbor. Whether you’re staying for only a short while or for the whole summer, Bay Harbor has a way of making itself your home away from home.

Located right in the heart of the action is Bay Harbor, a coastal resort and golf community that offers a lifestyle like no other.  Encompassing five miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, Bay Harbor is home to the area’s best amenities and lifestyles. Families often enjoy boating, swimming, and fishing off the shores of Lake Michigan or walking or biking along the Little Traverse Wheelway.  The Bay Harbor Golf Club has been called “The Pebble Beach of the Midwest” and the Bay Harbor Yacht Club is known as the social centerpiece of the entire community. The Village at Bay Harbor offers lots of options for unique shopping and delicious dining. Residents here enjoy life to its fullest.

The coolest thing about this place is that the fun doesn’t have to end when the day does. Bay Harbor makes for a great place to stay a day, a week, or a lifetime. With more than 30 neighborhoods, Bay Harbor offers a wide array of homes and a price range to match your lifestyle.

No matter how long you stay, you’ll wish it could be longer. It’s not too late to plan your summer adventure today by requesting a complimentary copy of Explore Bay Harbor magazine. Through its pages, you’ll find information on the area, more local events and tips for planning your trip.