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Guide to the 2021 National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan

Mark your calendars for the 2021 National Cherry Festival, July 3-10th!

Traverse City is considered the “Cherry Capital of the World” and is the largest producer of tart cherries in the United States. The National Cherry Festival was created to celebrate and promote cherries, community involvement, and the Grand Traverse Region.

History of the Festival

The first cherry trees in the region were planted on the Old Mission Peninsula in 1852. In the early 1900s, cherry growers began holding “Blessing of the Blossoms” ceremonies each year during blossom time in May. In1925, local businesses partnered with the cherry farmers to promote the growing cherry industry by making the “Blessing of the Blossoms” an official festival. This event was later moved to July and renamed the “National Cherry Festival.”

In 2020, for the first time since World War II, the festival was canceled. This was due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s back again this summer with multiple events for locals and visitors. At Delamar Traverse City, we will also be celebrating this great Northern Michigan event with our local community.

What Can You Expect to See at the 2021 National Cherry Festival? 

This year, the festival will feature over 150 virtual and in-person events, 85% of which are free to participate in. If you have attended the festival in previous years, you will find that NCF staff and volunteers are working on relocating some events in order to facilitate social distancing.

Here are some of the many events and activities to expect this year:

  • The Porch Parade will be making a comeback this year! Walk, bike, or drive around participating neighborhoods to see porches, windows, and yards decked out in celebration of National Cherry Festival Week. 
  • Arts & Crafts Fair will feature more than 100 artists from across the Midwest. Purchase unique, local, hand-crafted items and art from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on July 4th. 
  • Cherries Got Talent Show is also returning. The auditions will be held virtually, while the finale will be at the Beer Tent on July 9th.
  • Beer Tent will be open throughout the festival. Offerings include beer, wine, and specialty cocktails. Festivalgoers must be 21 or older to enter the tent and have a commemorative pin.
  • Old Town Classic Car Show has been relocated to Grand Traverse Commons this year. This wholesome, local classic show will feature hundreds of show-condition collector vehicles, including cars, trucks, tractors, and motorcycles, from throughout the Midwest
  • Great American Duck Race is also making a comeback this year. This unique free family-fun event features Mallard Ducks. Sixteen children are chosen to release ducks on the racetrack. The winner is awarded special prices.  

Additionally, the main festival grounds will be located at Open Space Park. Come try a slice of the Grand Traverse Cherry Pie, grab lunch or dinner from one of the many booths of local restaurants in the food court, shop at the Cherry Farmer’s Market and so much more! Click here to learn more and explore the full list of events

Experience the Best of National Cherry Festival at Delamar Traverse City

As the newest addition to the Delamar hotels and resorts, Delamar Traverse City is a full-service upscale resort with exquisite views of Grand Traverse Bay, a waterfront, fine dining restaurant, and the perfect home base from which to participate in the National Cherry Festival. Book your stay with us today and enjoy this annual Michigan tradition. 

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