Traverse City: The National Cherry Festival has fun rides, challenging carnival games, music and entertainment, a breathtaking view of the Bay and most importantly, delicious food. And while the Cherry Festival is full of delicious eats, these popular crowd-pleasers stand out among the crowd.
1. Six Lugs Wine Sloshee
This fruit slush blend turns your wine into a delicious slushie that is perfect to enjoy on a warm Northern Michigan evening. Mix a bottle of Six Lugs Wine Sloshee with your favorite bottle of wine, put it in your freezer and watch it turn into a delicious alcoholic fruit beverage right before your eyes. This Cherry Fest favorite is also available at the Beer Tent. Daniel Umulls, of Six Lugs, said that they went through 20 gallons of Six Lugs Wine Sloshee on the opening Saturday of the Cherry Festival alone. If you don’t get to try a Wine Sloshee at the Cherry Festival, this product is available at retailers throughout the Traverse City area, including Tom’s, Oleson’s and 45 North.
2. Deering’s Market Traverse City Cherry Beef Jerky
For the week of the Cherry Festival, Deering’s Market sets up shop in the open space to sell their mouthwatering jerkies. The week of the Cherry Festival ends up being one of the best weeks of the year for Deering’s Market. “(The National Cherry Festival) accounts for a large portion of our sales for the year,” said Deering’s owner, Paul Deering. Deering’s also sells their other varieties of jerky including, chicken teriyaki jerky, Kentucky bourbon beef jerky and spicy habanero beef jerky. In addition to their Traverse City Cherry Jerky, which is the official jerky of the National Cherry Festival, Deering’s sells cherry chipotle beef jerky, black cherry beef jerky and cherry turkey jerky. All of Derring’s jerkys are made in Traverse City and the beef jerkies are made using Michigan lean, round steak.
3. Grand Traverse Pie Company’s Flurry
Cherry pie — check, vanilla ice cream — check, cherry topping — check, cookies — check, now put it all together and you have a delicious cherry flurry. This treat from the Grand Traverse Pie Company is only available at the Cherry Festival, so be sure to get over to the Open Space to get your flurry fix while these delicious treats are available.
4. Right Brain Brewery’s Cherry Pie Whole Amber Ale
Traverse City’s Right Brain Brewery is known for creating unique beers and for utilizing local ingredient. This brew is no different and is made with the official cherry pie of the National Cherry Festival, Grand Traverse Pie Company’s Cherry Crumble Pie. Actually, 100 Cherry Crumble Pies were used to create this beer. The brew takes on the qualities of the pie. It is amber in color, has a buttery flavor from the crust and fruity notes.
5. A Cherry Festival Margarita Made With Dekuyper Michigan Cherry Liqueur
According to festival volunteers, this signature cocktail is one of the most popular drinks sold in the beer tent. Dekuyper uses cherries grown in Michigan to flavor their liqueur, which is then mixed with Sauza tequila and lime margarita mix to create a delicious cherry-flavored cocktail.