Traverse City Events: The 2012 Traverse City National Cherry Festival will be filled with live music, special entertainment events, parades and fireworks! Here's a line-up to help you plan your Traverse City National Cherry Festival week of fun!

Traverse City National Cherry Festival Kicks-Off with Air Show

July 7 and 8, 2012 12:45 p.m.

Traverse City's 86th Annual National Cherry Festival opens with the anticipated Festival Air Shows on Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8 2012. Pilots will fly over West Grand Traverse Bay, in perfect position for crowds at the Festival Open Space in Traverse City to watch.

Bay Side Music Stage – The Bihlman Brothers

July 7, 2012 8:00 p.m.

Four-times Emmy Award winners and graduates of Musicians Institute of Technology. They have backed, recorded, or appeared with Trey Anastasio (phish), Ted Nugent, BB King, Pink, Ray Charles, Dido, Hank Williams Jr.,ZZ Top, Buddy Guy, Kenny Olsen (Kid Rock), John Echols (Love), Jack Tempchin (Eagles), Robert Bradley, Tim Pierce (everybody!), and legendary Chicago Blues man Son Seals.

Bay Side Music Stage – Pop Evil, Finding Clyde and Wayland

July 8, 2012 8:00 p.m.

Known for their love of University of Michigan’s ‘Big House’ Football Stadium through their hit single ‘In the Big House’, Pop Evil will rock the Festival’s Bay Side Stage. ‘Since re-releasing their first record in 2008, Pop Evil has developed their following the hard way. They have toured the US continuously since their first release, playing nearly 400 shows in two years and only taking time off to record their new album, War of Angels.

Heroes' Day Concert

July 9, 2012 1:30 p.m.

The NMC Concert Band and the Cherry Capitol Men's Chorus will perform on the Lay's Potato Chip Cherry Blast Stage. This free concert features American music as a tribute to Veterans, active duty and reserve military personnel and first responders.

National Writers Series – An Evening with Janet Evanovich

July 9, 2012 7:00 p.m.

The National Cherry Festival and The National Writer Series have teamed up to bring author Janet Evanovich to Traverse City this summer! See Janet speak at the City Opera House.

Lay's Cherry Blast Free Stage – The Corvairs

July 9, 2012 8:00 p.m.

Traverse City local band, The Corvairs!

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians Pow Wow

July 10, 2012 12:00 p.m.

The National Cherry Festival will celebrate the heritage of the region with a Native American Pow Wow Dance, presented by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. Come and see the colorful display of dance and drumming from days gone by and taste Native American cuisine. 

HEAT!! Teen Event

July 10, 2012 8:00 p.m.

The 2012 Heat event is offered this year on Tuesday, July 10th from 8:00pm – 11:00pm and will be located near the volleyball courts in the center of the National Cherry Festival.  Entertainment features music through Northern D.J. Connection, and the hands-on opportunity to participate in firefighter agility tests and driving simulators, home escape obstacle course, and a “distracted driving” simulator. There will also be big prize giveaways from Rockstar, Volcom and 2nd Level Goods. Attendees must be between the ages of 16 to 20 and admission is FREE!

Lay's Cherry Blast Free Stage – LoCash Cowboys

July 10, 2012

LoCash Cowboys have criss-crossed the country, honing their craft on stages large and small, developing one of the most dynamic live shows in any genre of music. Along the way, they had sold more than 60,000 copies of their homemade CD, shared bills with artists including Charlie Daniels and ZZ Top and performed at halftime of NBA and U.S. Olympic team basketball games.

Cherryland Band Classic – MACBDA Preliminary Finals

July 11, 2012 6:00 p.m.

For the first time, the National Cherry Festival will host the Mid-American Competiting Band Directors Association Preliminary Finals during this year's National Cherry Festival.  Come see Sound of Sun Prairie, Renegade Regiment, Shadow Armada and more!

Bay Side Music Stage – Joe Diffie and Jerrod Niemann

July 11, 2012

Since he first topped the charts in 1990 with Home, Joe Diffie has remained on a steady course, staying true to his Oklahoma roots and delivering hit after hit totaling twelve #1’s,  twenty top 10’s and four gold and platinum albums. When you attend a Joe Diffie concert, you’re not waiting for him to sing his hit – you’re waiting for him to sing your hit.  Whether it’s Ships That Don’t Come In, Pickup Man, John Deere Green, or If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets), Joe’s music always makes you remember where you were the first time you heard it.

Adding to the amazing music of Joe Diffie on Country Night: Jerrod Niemann! Niemann’s compositions reflect an adherence to the adage “Write what you know.” With hits like his lead No. 1 single, Lover, Lover or his lighthearted barroom anthem One More Drinkin’ Song, which climbed into the Top 15 on country radio, Jerrod will have you singing along in no time!

Touchstone Energy Junior Royale Parade

July 12, 2012 6:30 p.m.

See one of America's only Kids Parades, the Touchstone Energy Junior Royale Parade features the National Cherry Festival Prince and Princess court representing our 27 local Elementary schools. Come see clowns, marching bands, floats, and much more!  This years theme is "America the Beautiful", celebrating the Sleeping Bear Sand Dune's designation as "America's Most Beautiful Place".  The parade is approximately two hours.

Bay Side Music Stage – Blue Oyster Cult

July 12, 2012 8:00 p.m.

Blue Öyster Cult (often abbreviated BÖC) is an American rock band from Long Island, New York, best known for such classic rock songs as "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", "Burnin' for You", and "Godzilla". Since the release of their self-titled debut album in 1972, the band has sold over 24 million albums worldwide, including 7 million in the United States alone. The band's music videos, especially "Burnin' for You", received heavy rotation on MTV when the music television network premiered in 1981, cementing the band's contribution to the development and success of the music video in modern pop culture.  

Afterglow with Rocker Mitch Ryder

July 12, 2012 11:00 p.m.

Rolling Stone Magazine has cited Mitch Ryder as one of the five most influential rock and roll singers to ever come from Detroit and has also published a special collectors issue entitled, “The Five Hundred Greatest Songs of All Time” which includes Mitch Ryder’s “Devil With the Blue Dress / Good Golly Miss Molly”; which was cut during his short sting with the ever changing back-up group The Detroit Wheels. If you are interested in witnessing a genuine legend perform join us for an afterglow party with Mitch Ryder at the Inside Out Gallery.

Cherryland Band Classic – MACBDA Championship Finals

July 13, 2012

The Cherryland Band Classic will again host the Mid-American Competiting Band Directors Association Championships during the 86th National Cherry Festival!  Come see first hand the hard work of bands from throughout the midwest compete for the title of MACBDA Champion!

Queen's Coronation Ball and Royale Auction

July 13, 2012

Join us and meet the four candidates competing to be the 2011/2012 National Cherry Queen. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with hors d'ouevres, cash bar, and live and silent auctions benefiting the Queen's Scholarship Program. Program will get underway at 8:00 p.m. with the crowning of the 2011/2012 Queen at 9:00 p.m.

Bay Side Music Stage – Grand Funk Railroad

July 13, 2012 8:00 p.m.

Originally from Flint, Michigan, Grand Funk Railroad is an American rock band that made its name in the 1970's, selling out concert venues throughout the country.  Since then the group still tours from coast to coast and was recently voted into the Michigan Legends Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 for several of their recordings. With songs out such as "We're an American Band" and "Some Kind of Wonderful" Grand Funk Railroad is always guaranteed to put on a fun and eventful concert.

Afterglow with Rocker Dick Wagner

July 13, 2012 11:00 p.m.

Dick Wagner’s songs and lead guitar have been featured on more than 200 renowned albums, garnering more than 35 Platinum and Gold records, BMI songwriter awards, Emmys, and numerous prestigious international awards. More than forty years after launching his storied and dynamic career, hit songwriter, guitar virtuoso, producer and arranger, Dick Wagner, remains a brilliant, prolific and vibrant force in American music.  Whether rock, blues, country, jazz or spiritual, Wagner’s songs continue to detail the essence of life. His guitar playing continues to inspire guitarists worldwide, and his production values recall the era of great songs with great melodies and universally accessible lyrics.

DTE Energy Cherry Royale Parade

July 14, 2012 11:15 a.m.

Join us in kicking off the 86th National Cherry Festival's final day with the DTE Energy Cherry Royale Parade! Enjoy royalty, marching bands, Prince and Princess floats, clowns, specialty entries and much more! Wheelchair access on the corner of 6th and Union Street.

Cherry Idol Finals

July 14, 2012

Cherry Idol finalists returned to the Bay Side Music Stage to compete for the 2012 Cherry Idol title!

Bay Side Music Stage – Here Come The Mummies

July 14, 2012

Here Come the Mummies will bring their "Terrifying Funk from Beyond the Grave" and are looking forward to a party atmosphere in Traverse City on Saturday, July 14th! Enjoy Festival fireworks and great funk!

Festival Fireworks Finale Over West Grand Traverse Bay

July 14, 2012 10:30 p.m.

It's a Fireworks Finale in grand style over West Grand Traverse Bay closing out the 2012 National Cherry Festival!  Fireworks can be viewed along the south end of West Grand Traverse Bay near the Festival Open Space Park, Clinch Park Marina, Bryant and West End beaches.

Check out the Traverse City National Cherry Festival Kids Event Schedule!

Here's the Traverse City National Chery Festival Foodie, Wine/Beer and Cherry Event Guide!

Find more Northern Michigan events at!