Northern Michigan Events: The seven Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula will host the annual Blossom Days event this May 14 and 15. An annual rite of Spring, there is no more beautiful location to view the cherry trees in blossom than Old Mission Peninsula. At this event, winemakers invite you to their tasting rooms for a sample of unreleased wine. Barrel and Reserve wines are showcased in addition to each winery’s standard tasting list. The $15 ticket price includes a souvenir glass and tasting at all seven Old Mission wineries plus discounts at local businesses and restaurants.
Tickets are available at any Old Mission Peninsula Winery on the days of the event or at chateauchantal.com Contact 231.223.4110 for further information.
On Sunday, May 15th at 12:15pm, Chateau Chantal will host the non-denominational Blessing of the Blossoms service, the origin of the Cherry Festival, with Bishop Hebda. Complimentary Sara Lee cherry pie, Crêpe Suzette, and sparkling wine samples on hand after the half hour service.
In 1910, the residents of the Old Mission Peninsula created the "blessing of the blossoms" ceremony to pray for a good cherry crop. Over the years more orchards were planted and the ceremony grew as cherries became more important to the region’s economy. In 1925, the cherry growers partnered with Traverse City merchants to create the "Blessing of the Blossoms Festival" to promote the region and the cherry business.
For a number of years the Fiedrich Tower (across from what is now Chateau Grand Traverse) was the ceremony site. Mr. Fiedrich built the observation tower, dressed it with garlands, and sought to wed tourism and faith in the Blessing ceremony. The location moved to Center Rd and Old Mission on occasion, and on to Bowers Harbor Park where the temptation to float blossoms on the water proved irresistible.
In 1928, the Blessing of the Blossoms was renamed the Michigan Cherry Festival which shortly evolved into the National Cherry Festival.