The National Cherry Festival will kick off its 88th annual celebration—which runs from Saturday, July 5th to Saturday the 12th—with a highly anticipated, Independence Day weekend return of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels air show on Saturday, July 5th, 12:30 pm and Sunday, July 6th, 12:30 pm over West Grand Traverse Bay.  The Blue Angels flight team demonstrates the choreographed refinements of Navy-trained flying skills while exhibiting graceful, aerobatic maneuvers like the four-plane diamond, opposing solos, and the six plane delta formation.

During their aerobatic demonstration, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly six F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, split into the Diamond Formation. The Diamond performs maneuvers such as formation loops, barrel rolls, and transitions from one formation to another. The Solos showcase high-speed passes, slow passes, fast rolls, slow rolls, and very tight turns. The highest speed flown during an air show is 700 mph.

The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation supersonic supermaneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter.

Blue AngelsTraverse City is the center of America’s tart cherry industry, with over three million trees in production, and it celebrates that heritage every year during the first week of July with an eight-day party featuring over 150 family activities: air shows, fireworks, parades (including the nation’s largest all-children parade) games, races, midway rides, demonstrations, nightly outdoor concerts and lots of chances to taste delicious cherry products. The Cherry Festival is Traverse City’s signature event, drawing as many as 500,000 attendees from around the country.

The Cherry Festival is centered within walking distance of most of Traverse City, and since most of the events are free, the festival offers more than a week of affordable family fun.

Also flying in the 2104 National Cherry Festival Air Show:

F-22 Tactical Demo

The Air Combat Command F-22 Demonstration Team at Langley Air Force Base performs precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the unique capabilities of the world’s only operational fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

The F-22 Raptor is the Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft.  Its combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities.

U.S. Coast Guard from Traverse City, A Coast Guard City

Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City was established in 1946 and is a part of the United States Coast Guard’s Ninth District.  We are situated on the southern end of Grand Traverse Bay in northern Michigan. Since 1995, Air Station Traverse City has controlled and manned Air Facilities throughout southern Lake Michigan.

Kevin Copeland

KC Aerosports, LLC is based in the Traverse City, MI area, operated by Kevin Copeland, that offers upset maneuver recovery training, spin training, scenic air tours, basic and precision Aerobatic lessons for pilots, and adrenaline pumping Aerobatic thrill rides for non-pilots all flown over the beautiful Grand Traverse Bay area.

Bremont Horsemen

Bremont are delighted to announce the arrival of ‘The Bremont Horsemen’ WWII display team. The Horsemen took off over a decade ago as the world’s only P-51 Mustang formation aerobatic team. Since that time, the team also flies in formation F8F Bearcats, F4U Corsairs, F-86 Sabres, the P-38 Lightning and most recently, Spitfires.

Billy Werth

Billy Werth is now a Captain on the Embraer 145, based in Indianapolis. Billy has over 6000 hours of flight time in 20 different aircraft, with 600 of it teaching folks how to fly upside down.


More Traverse City and Cherry Festival Content:

Traverse City at

The History of the National Cherry Festival

Festivals at

Traverse City National Cherry Festival Vacation Guide 

Photo(s) by National Cherry Festival