Each summer since 1968, Traverse City has dedicated eight days to the celebration of one of its most famous and tasty commodities: the cherry (though they’ve been holding informal blessings of the blossom since 1910!). National Cherry Festival 2017 is July 1 through July 8—a week filled with live music, good eats, local wine, an incredible air show and a whole lot of cherries. Here’s everything you need to plan your Cherry Fest vacation.
Much of the festival’s energy stems from the live music that pours from the stage just beside the West Grand Traverse Bay. The concert line-up offers a refreshing amount of variety including REO Speedwagon, Shinedown, Cole Swindell, Old Dominion, Vanilla Ice and more. The live music leaves the city buzzing each evening of the festival.
Be sure to pack your appetite before heading to National Cherry Festival 2017. The week begins with a pancake breakfast and will hardly slow down until the festival’s last moments. Farmers markets and food trucks line the streets, while barbecues and picnics pave their way into each day. Be sure to pace yourself—you won’t want to miss a bite!
Keeping the whole family happy and entertained is a breeze. With hands-on arts and crafts, pie eating contests, parades and pet shows, it’ll be no trouble at all to pass the time until the orchard tour or airshow. The kids will be fast asleep in bed after long days of fun they’ll remember for years to come.
Is it time for a date night? Ladies night out? Time to just sit back, cool down, and have a drink? Between the beer tent, adults-only pie eating contests, and wine tasting tours, the National Cherry Festival buzzes with limitless adults-only fun.
Fun for Seniors
The National Cherry Festival is a celebration of tradition. As such, Cherry Festival 2017 is paying tribute to the classics through its shuffleboard and euchre tournaments, and plenty of bingo. These events are reserved exclusively for the festival’s 50-and-over crowd and are sure to celebrate time-honored Northern Michigan favorites.
There’s no shortage of athletic events and activities to choose from—the Diaper Derby and Toddler Trot before beach volleyball tournaments begin and the Festival of Races to cool down. Each event will end in a fistful of fresh cherries and the satisfaction of a day healthily spent. You can find the complete list of Cherry Festival athletic events here.
Cherry Festival Lodging
Need a place to stay while you enjoy the Cherry Festival? We’ve got you covered. Here are some comfortable places at various price points. (And here are some cool nearby towns with awesome hotel options if you want to stay outside of Traverse City.)
- Best Western Four Seasons, 305 Munson Ave., Traverse City
- Bayshore Resort, 833 E. Front St., Traverse City
- Brio Beach Inn, 1465 US 31 N, Traverse City
- Cherry Tree Inn and Suites, 2345 US 31 N, Traverse City
- Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, 100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd., Acme
- Pinestead Reef Resort, 1265 US 31 N, Traverse City
For more hotel information and suggestions, visit MyNorth’s hotel directory.
Parking and Public Restrooms
You’ll find parking at the Larry C. Hardy Parking Deck located on Front and State Streets, as well as in a number of public lots scattered about the city. (Here’s your complete parking/restroom guide with links to Google Maps.)
Public restrooms will be available at the following locations:
- Clinch Park – 181 E. Grandview Pkwy.
- Traverse City Visitor Center – 101 W. Grandview Pkwy.
- Chamber of Commerce – 202 E. Grandview Pkwy.
- Great Lakes Bath & Body – 110 E. Front St.
- Espresso Bay – 202 E. Front St.
- Milk & Honey – 240 E. Front St.
- Morsels Espresso & Bakery – 321 E. Front St.
- BATA Transit Center – 115 Hall St.
Open Space Park Rules
- Pets are not allowed in the Open Space Park during festival week.
- No alcoholic beverages are allowed in the Open Space Park except in the Festival Beverage Pavilion and the Beer Tent. Special festival events, including wine-tasting, are also an exception.
- Smoking is prohibited in the park.
More National Cherry Festival Fun:
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Cornerstone: National Cherry Festival 2017