2013 Traverse City National Cherry Festival: Competitions and Games

Do you have a deep-seeded drive to win, even when it comes to silly things like a say, a cherry pie-eating contest? Are you always searching for some stiff competition? Are you always watching competitions on television? If you answered “yes” to these questions, be sure to check out these events at The 2013 National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, which runs from June 29 to July 6, and either partake in the action or just sit back and watch others compete.

Week Long Events

Million Dollar Hole-in-One Golf Contest (June 29 to July 5 at 10 a.m., final round July 6 at 9 a.m.): Would you like a chance to win one million dollars? Well, of course you would. So grab your clubs and go over to Bay Meadows Golf Course for a chance to take a shot for a cool million. Competitors can qualify for a chance to make a hole-in-one for a million dollars on July 6, by competing in the National Cherry Festival's qualifying rounds June 29 through July 5. The golfers who hit the ball closest to the pin in the qualifying rounds will win a flatscreen television from Best Buy and will be asked back to take a drive for one million dollars on July 6.

2013 National Cherry Fest Arnold Amusements Midway (opens daily at 11 a.m.): The midway at the National Cherry Festival is the perfect place to partake in some challenging carnival games as well as enjoy some fun rides. Be sure to check out this mainstay at the Cherry Fest!

Bingo (check Cherry Festival website for times throughout the week): If you are 18 or older head to the Cherry Festival Open Space Park East at the corner of Union Street and Grandview Parkway. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners.

Cherry Pie Eating Contests for Adults & Children (check Cherry Festival website for times and locations throughout the week): Pig out on cherry pie in a judgment free zone. Be sure to have someone bring a camera so that they can snap a picture of you in all your cherry pie filling covered glory. (Send those photos to [email protected] and you might see your work on MyNorth.com's home page!)

Cherry Pit Spitting Competitions (check Cherry Festival websites for times and locations throughout the week): How far can you spit a cherry pit? Find out at the National Cherry Festival by competing at their pit spitting competitions throughout the week. Adults ages 18 and up are eligible to compete. Free registration occurs onsite, just before the start of the competition.

CHERRYOPOLY Tournament (Qualifying rounds held Monday, July 1 and Wednesday, July 3 at 4:30, final round held Friday July, 5 at 4:30): This event was brought back by popular demand. Play this Northern Michigan version of Monopoly and see if you have what it takes to be the grand champion.

June 29

Two-Person Beach Volleyball Tournament (play starts at 9 a.m.): Spend your Saturday morning watching men’s and women’s volleyball at the beautiful Traverse City West End Beach. Registration for teams is closed, but you can still sit on the beach and enjoy watching the competitive play.

Kid’s Big Wheel Race (Registration from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., race begins at 10 a.m.): Head over to the Grand Traverse Mall and bring your children to either watch or compete in the big wheel race. Competitors must be between the ages of 3 and 6. Equipment will be available for out-of-town guests.

June 30

Four-Person Beach Volleyball Tournament (9 a.m.): In case you missed the action on June 29 at the two-person tournament or if you just can’t get enough beach volleyball, head over to West End Park to watch some beach volleyball.

2013 National Cherry Festival Family Sand Sculpture Competition (6 p.m.): Put your sand castle building skills to the test at this competition. The competition will be held at the Senior Center Beach. Registration is free and occurs onsite.

July 1

Kids’ Bubble Gum Blow (Registration from 9:30 to 10 a.m., competition from 10 a.m. to noon): Do you think that you can blow a big bubble? Test your bubble blowing skills against other competitors. This competition is open to children ages 4 to 12 and is held at the Grand Traverse Mall.

Kids’ Turtle Races (3 p.m.): Do you think you have the speediest turtle around? Bring your shelled friend to this event, held at F&M Park. Even if you do not own a turtle, you can borrow one to compete in the race with. Registration begins at 2:30 p.m. and is open to children ages 3 to 12.

July 2

Seniors Pinochle Tournament (7 p.m.): No reservations are necessary for players to partake in this competition. This pinochle game is open to players over the age of 50.

July 3

Cherry Tee Golf Clinic (8:30 a.m.): Practice your golf skills at the Bay Meadows Golf Course. Maybe hone in on your driving skills so that you will be prepared to take part in the Million Dollar Hole-in-one Golf Contest. The clinic is limited to the first 30 participants. Call Bay Meadows Golf Course to reserve your space today. Walk-ins will be taken in as space allows.

2013 National Cherry Festival's Seniors’ Shuffleboard Tournament (9 a.m.): Calling all shuffleboard enthusiasts age 50 and up to compete in the National Cherry Festival’s Seniors’ Shuffleboard Tournament. Prizes will be award to the top finishers and equipment will be provided. There is no fee for this event.

July 4

Kid’s Fun and Games (9 a.m.): Take your child to F&M Park for a morning filled with fun games, face painting, tennis workshops and more. Children ages 5 to 12 are welcome.

Teen Volleyball Tournament (9 a.m.): Teens, grab some friends to put together a team of six volleyball players. Registration forms are due to the National Cherry Festival Office on the corner of Park and Front Streets by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3.

2013 National Cherry Festival Ultimate Air Dogs (July 4, 5 and 6 at 11 a.m.): Put your pooch to the test and see if they have what it takes to be “The Ultimate Air Dog.” This annual event is always a huge success and almost 100 dogs participate annually. Either visit West End Beach to watch the fun unfold or register your pooch online before the event to watch them compete.

2013 National Cherry Fest Fifth Third Bank Golden Mile (5 p.m.)Run: This event is a National Cherry Festival Classic. Watch high-level collegiate runners and professionals that were hand-selected by the directors of the race. The minimum performance standard for men competing in the race is 4:10 mile and 4:55 mile for women runners, so this is sure to be a fast-paced and entertaining race through downtown Traverse City.

July 5

Cherry Golf Scramble (begins at 9 a.m.): Get in the spirit of the National Cherry Festival by playing this family-friendly course. Tee times must be reserved in foursomes and the registration sheet is available on the Cherry Fest’s website. The fee is $25 and is due at the time of play. Winners will be awarded prizes.

Kids’ Sand Sculpture Contest (9 a.m.): Now it’s the kids’ turn to show off their sand castle making skills. The contest is divided by age group and registration takes place 15 minutes before the start of each age group. Check the Cherry Festival’s website for starting times by age group.

Diaper Derby & Toddler Trot (Registration from 9 to 9:45 a.m., competition begins at 10 a.m.): This event is meant to entertain even the youngest of 2013 National Cherry Festival goers, children ages 3 and under. This event will take place at F&M Park.

Cherry Idol Auditions (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.): Put your pipes to the test at the auditions for the 6th Annual Cherry Idol Competition. Auditions will take place at the Lay’s Cherry Blast Stage and participants will be required to sing a song of their choice a cappella. The Cherry Idol Competition is dived into four age divisions, youth, teen, young adult and adult. Pre-registration is required and the registration forms can be found on the Cherry Festival’s website.

Kids’ Chalk Art Contest (1 p.m.): Let your child exhibit their creative side at the National Cherry Festival. Children ages 5 to 12 are welcome and there is no fee for this event.

Senior Bowling Fun (Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. and the event kicks of 1 p.m.): head over to Lucky Jacks Bowling Alley for some healthy competition. Prizes will be awarded to the top finishers and participants over the age of 50 are welcome.

Seniors’ Euchre Tournament (7 p.m.): Come to the Senior Center and enjoy an evening of cards and competition. No reservations are needed but competitors should arrive 15 minutes early. Participants must be over 50.

July 6

Meijer Festival of Races (7:30 a.m.): Over 10,000 competitors have run in this event since its inception in 1973. The Festival of Races features both a 5K and a 15K. Register for this run on the Cherry Festival’s website.

Cherry Idol Finals (2 p.m.): See the finalists of Cherry Idol sing their hearts out on the Lay’s Cherry Blast Stage as they compete for the title of 2013 Cherry Idol. 

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