Traverse City National Cherry Festival: It's time once again to celebrate Northern Michigan's super fruit at the 86th Annual National Cherry Festival in Traverse City! Check out the National Cherry Festival's opening weekend events, then take a look at the rest of the week's cherry-centric events:

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.

Paul Jr. Designs Chopper Benefits March of Dimes

July 7 and 8, 2012

Calling all chopper fans! The National Cherry Festival is going to have a Paul Jr. Designs Chopper at the Open Space on Saturday, July 7 and the at the Festival's Classic Car Show on Sunday, July 8.

Million Dollar Hole-In-One Golf Contest

July 7-13, 2012 9:00 a.m.

Golfers! How would you like a chance to win one million dollars. That's right – one million dollars! Come out to the Bay Meadows Golf Course and take your best shot at a hole in one July 7-13. The closest to the pin qualifiers will return on Saturday, July 14 for a shot at a cool million.

Arnold Amusements Midway

July 7-14, 2012 11:00 a.m.

Visit Traverse City's own favorite amusements at the corner of Grandview Parkway and Union Street. Ticket prices are $1.25 each or $20 for 18 tickets.  Each ride takes 3 – 4 tickets.

Beer Tent

July 7-14, 12:00-11:00 p.m.

Cool off with a cold one and enjoy views from "Traverse City's Coolest Bar on the Bay" at the 21+ beer tent.  Choose from local and regional beers, wine and more to sip, an enjoy views of West Grand Traverse Bay, all while listening to nightly entertainment streaming from the Bay Side Music Stage! The Beer Tent Stage will also feature live music throughout the afternoon and happy hour.

"A Walk Through Festival History" Gallery Exhibit & Festival Vintage Films

July 7-14, 2012 11:00 a.m.

A look back in time, from the first "Blessing Of The Blossoms" and its journey to what we know as today's National Cherry Festival.

Go for the Gold Pin is Back

The Go for the Gold pin is back and better than ever! The price of each pin has been slashed from $5 to $3 and this year National Cherry Festival-goers have a chance to win prizes. Purchase yours at stands throughout the National Cherry Festival.

Presidential Cherry Pancake Breakfast

July 7, 2012 8:00 a.m.

Nothing starts the week better than a good breakfast! Join the National Cherry Festival Poobahs at the Traverse City Open Space for pancakes, sausage, coffee, milk and juice, plus a chance to meet the Air Show Pilots.

Kids' Big Wheel Race

July 7, 2012 10:00 a.m.

On your mark–get set–go! to one of the most popular of all the National Cherry Festival kids' events. Registration is 9:00-9:45 a.m. with no fee required. Equipment will be available for out-of-town guests. No rubber wheels or altered wheels for added traction will be allowed. For ages 3 to 6. 

Two-Person Beach Volleyball Tournament

July 7, 2012 9:00 a.m.

Two-person tournament play on the beautiful beaches of West Grand Traverse Bay. Saturday's tournament features Men's and Women's play, with 18 teams per division.  Registration is full for 2012.  Good luck to all the teams!


July 7 and 8, 2012 3:00 p.m.

One of America's great pastimes featuring cash prizes. Must be 18 years and older to play.

Cherry Pit Spitting Contest

July 7, 2012

The tradition of the Cherry Pit Spit Contest continues! Join the fun and win daily prizes of award-winning cherry product selections and more. Register on-site. No fee required.

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.

Four Person Beach Volleyball Tournament

July 8, 2012 9:00 a.m.

Four-person tournament play on the beautiful beaches of West Grand Traverse Bay. Sunday's tournament features Co-Ed Open (18 teams), Co-Ed Recreational (12 teams) and Women's (6 teams) play. Registration is now full.  Good luck to all the teams participating! 

TART Cherry Bike Tour

July 8, 2012 9:00 a.m.

The National Cherry Festival and TART Trails presents the first TART Cherry Bike Tour, taking riders from Traverse City to beautiful Leelanau County.

Old Town Classic Vehicle Show

July 8, 2012, 11:00 a.m.

Stroll around Union and Sixth Street in Traverse City for a spectacular look at hundreds of gleaming, show-conditioned collector vehicles primed for judging at the National Cherry Festival Old Town Classic Vehicle Show.

Arts and Crafts Fair

July 8, 2012

Juried Arts and Crafts Fair held in lovely downtown Traverse City. A selective Arts and Crafts Fair featuring more than 100 artists from across the Midwest. Purchase unique, local, hand-crafted items and art.

Kids Arts and Crafts

July 8, 2012 11:00 a.m.

Come create your own individual National Cherry Festival related masterpiece. Open to all kids ages 4-12. No fee required and no early registration. First come first accommodated as supplies last.

Kids' Cherry Teddy Bear Tea

July 8, 2012 3:30 p.m.

Calling all kids and teddy bear companions! Bring your favorite bear and blanket for a fun filled afternoon in the park. Enjoy story telling, making a teddy bear craft, and of course an afternoon tea party with other teddy bears and kids. Parents are welcome.   

Family Sand Sculpture Contest

July 8, 2012 6:00 p.m.

A fun time on the beach with sand sculpture competition for families, groups and individuals ages 13 and up. Only items found on the beach may be used in the decoration of the sculpture with the exception of food coloring. Register on site. No fee required.

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.

Check out the 2012 National Cherry Festival Kids Event Guide!

Take a look at the 2012 National Cherry Festival Food, Wine/Beer and Cherry Event Guide!

Here's the 2012 National Cherry Festival Music and Event Schedule!

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