Whether you’re parents who want a short break from the kids or you’re a couple searching for romantic date ideas, there’s something for every adult to enjoy at the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City. Enjoy a show from your favorite bands at the coolest Northern Michigan music stage—The Bay Side Music Stage. Get the kids a sitter, and head out for a special night with your sweetheart or friends for these adult only Northern Michigan events.


Adult Cherry Pie Eating Contest

Feel like your younger self as you compete with other friendly yet competitive adults to see who can finish their piece of cherry pie fastest. This is a free event at the Open Park Space and there are prizes awarded to the winners afterwards. The Adult Cherry Pie Eating Contest is Monday, July 6th at 5:00 pm.

Bay Side Music Stage

This stage is the place to be for every night of the festival. Musical acts will include Gunnar & the Grizzly Boys & Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers, Weird Al” Yankovic, Toad the Wet Sprocket with special guest Tonic, Here Come the Mummies, Charlie Daniels Band and Gloriana, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Foghat with Peter Rivera and The Journey Tribute Band. So grab a beer and enjoy some great music by the water.

Beer Tent 

A tent that will be open all week long that specializes in serving beer and wine. How great does that sound? Festival goers must be 21 years of age or older to enter and need to be wearing a 2015 commemorative pin. Pins can be picked up from the workers in red shirts who will be selling them all around the festival. Drinks do have to stay in the tent, however the tent is essentially a lively bar on the beach. The Beer Tent is open throughout the festival.


Another chance to be competitive with other adults as you play America’s most frustrating yet fun game. Participants must be 18 years of age or older to participate and the event will also take place in the Open Park Space. Bingo begins Saturday, July 4th at 3:00 pm and continues throughout the week at various times posted on the National Cherry Festival website.

Business Before Hours

A special invitation has been given specifically to regional business owners and staff to come to Grand Traverse Pie Co.’s new location to celebrate the national Cherry Festival with breakfast and networking. The event will offer a special cherry infused breakfast menu and there will be VIP tickets, souvenirs and gift certificates raffled off. Business Before Hours is Thursday, July 9th at 7:30 am.

Cherry Pit Spit Contest

A long time tradition at the National Cherry Festival, the Cherry Spit Contest offers you a chance to aim for the Guinness World Record of 95 feet and 6.5 inches. Participants must be 18 years of age or older to enter. The event is free and there will be a trophy presentation afterwards. The Cherry Spit Contest is Saturday, July 4th at 6:00 pm and at the same time on July 6th, 8th and 10th as well.

Festival Fireworks

Pack up a to-go dinner and find a comfy spot on West End Beach to catch the stunning fireworks shows during the opening and closing ceremonies at the National Cherry Festival. Wrap up under some blankets while you enjoy the breeze off the bay and the historically fantastic firework show. It’s the perfect way to end a day with the kids, or a great romantic date idea.

Million Dollar Hole in One

How good is your golf game really? Think you’ve got what it takes? Then take a swing at winning a million dollars at the Million Dollar Hole in One Contest at the National Cherry Festival. You can pick from either Bay Meadows Family Golf Course or the Grand Traverse Resort to make your best million dollar swing. The top seven performers from each location will move on to the final tournament. Daily prizes will be awarded to the player closest to the pin, and the final shoot out winner will have hopes of winning the million dollars. The tournament runs from July, 5th – July, 10th at 4:00 pm with the final day qualifiers returning to Bay Meadows Family Golf Course on July, 11th at 9:00 am.

Paddle for Pints

Sign up to experience a brewery pub crawl like no other down the Boardman River. This will allow you to experience a fun day on the river and enjoy some good brews with your local beer loving neighbors and friends. You will be able to visit six breweries along the Boardman River on your SUP, Kayak or Canoe and experience the great brewing Northern Michigan has to offer. The Paddle for Pints starts at 11:00 am on Monday, July 6th.

Prince and Princess Over 21 Alumni Event

Anyone who was once National Cherry Festival royalty and is 21 years of age or older is encouraged to attend this festive alumni event in the Beer Tent. The Prince and Princess Over 21 Alumni Event is Tuesday, July 7th at 7:00 pm.

Queen’s Ball

Come join this year’s National Cherry Queen candidates and see who is crowned 2015 National Cherry Queen at 9:45 pm. The event will start with a cocktail reception, cash bar and live and silent auctions. The Queen’s Ball is on Friday, July 10th at 7:00 pm.

Find more information about events on CherryFestival.org.


More National Cherry Festival 2015

2015 National Cherry Festival Concert Line-Up

2015 National Cherry Festival Family Events

Foodie Events at the National Cherry Festival 2015

Photo(s) by David Weidner