As the USA’s leading producer of tart cherries, Michigan celebrates its heritage each year with the National Cherry Festival. Held in Traverse City, the Cherry Capital of the World, the festival is now in its 93rd year and runs from 29 June to 6 July 2019.
Amongst the cherry-tastic events are the Very Cherry Flying Pancake Breakfast, the Cherry Pie Eating contest and the Adult Cherry Pit Spit contest, where competitors aim to beat the world record for cherry spitting of 95 feet and 6.5 inches (Guinness Book of Records).
The eight-day party features 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. Now in its 94th year, the National Cherry Festival is Traverse City’s signature event, drawing as many as 500,000 attendees from around the world. Everything is conveniently located within walking distance, and since almost all the events are free, it offers more than a week of affordable family fun.
Cherry production in Michigan is a major part of the agriculture industry in the state, harvesting over 90,000 tons of cherries each year. The five counties around Traverse City make up the region that produces 40 percent of the annual tart cherry crop in the United States.
Traverse City is also home to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore where towering sand dunes overlook a breath-taking expanse of water and islands. Sleeping Bear is a 64-mile curve of sweeping vistas, perfect freshwater beaches, forested wilderness islands and miles of hiking trails with 150 feet high sand dunes.