Close this search box.

Photo by Nick Fewings on

National Cherry Festival in Traverse City

June 28th-July 6th, 2024

The Traverse City area bursts at the seams each summer when the National Cherry Festival occurs. The festival includes air shows, concerts, parades, kids activities, arts/crafts show, fireworks, and more.

The Grand Traverse region is well-known for its world-record tart cherry harvest and those visiting the festival can find cherries made into all kinds of food products.

Here's the most updated schedule for 2024:

Scroll down to see attractions that are held over multiple days.

Friday, June 28th, 2024

  • 5pm – Classic Car Cruise beginning at Turtle Creek Casino- 7741 M-72, Williamsburg. Staging will begin at 5 pm and the cruise will leave at 6 pm.
  • 5:30-8pm – US Coast Guard Open Ramp at USCG Air Station Traverse City- 1175 Airport Access Rd., Traverse City. Free event to view displays and meet aerial demonstration teams.

Saturday, June 29th, 2024

  • 8am – Norte Kids Balance Bike Race at Norte Clubhouse- 1213 W. Civic Center Dr. Registration is from 8-8:45am and the race is from 9-11am. Riders ages 2–5 are invited to Norte’s balance bike course at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center. Norte has helmets and bikes for racers, and families are encouraged to bring their own.
  • 8-10am – Zumba by the Bay at Open Space Park next to Clinch Park Marina- 111 E. Grandview Pkwy. Led by certified instructors from the Northwest Michigan Area. 
  • 8am-11am – Very Cherry Flying Pancake Breakfast at Open Space Park. Cost is $7-$14 which benefits the festival foundation. Ticket sales open on March 14th, 2024.
  • 10-11am – Opening Ceremonies at Open Space Park with remarks by the National Cherry Queen, the National Cherry Festival President, and other prominent figures of the Grand Traverse Region.

Sunday, June 30th, 2024

  • 8:30am – FREE Yoga by the Bay at Open Space Park. Check in at 8am. Register by clicking here.
  • 9am-5pm – Arts & Crafts Fair at the Grand Traverse Commons- – 1200 W. 11th St. Over 100 vendors. For an application, call (231) 922-2050 or visit
  • 11am-1pm – Old Town Classic Car Show at the Grand Traverse Commons. See hundreds of show-condition collector vehicles. Day-of registration is from 8am-10am. Awards at 1pm. Pre-registration begins on May 23rd, 2024.
  • 4:30-6pm – FREE Kids Cherry Teddy Bear Tea at F&M Park (Railroad & Washington Streets). Kids are invited to bring their favorite bear and blanket for a fun filled afternoon in the park. Enjoy story telling, making a teddy bear craft, and an afternoon tea party with other teddy bears and kids. Parents are welcome.

Monday, July 1st, 2024

  • 9am – Cherry Pie Bike Ride at F&M Park. Explore Traverse City during this short, meandering ride that begins and ends at F&M Park. Every rider receives a voucher for a free slice of pie from the Grand Traverse Pie Company. Registration opens on May 16th, 2024.
  • 9:30am-12pm – FREE Kids Pet Show at F&M Park. Entries are open to “Live” pets, and kids 3-12 yrs of age. Animals must be under control by the participant. Winners will be awarded in the following categories: Most Unusual Pet, Best Dressed Ensemble, Dressed for the Decades: 1930s, Most Creative Cherry-Theme, Most Patriotic Pet, and Most Royal Pet. Registration is on-site only, beginning at 8:45am.
  • 10am-12pm – Princess Tea at Park Place Hotel- 300 E. State St. Kids can enjoy tea with the National Cherry Queen and her royal court. Tickets available beginning April 25th, 2024.
  • 6-10:30pm – Live music featuring Bret Michaels on the Pepsi Bayside Music Stage. Purchase tickets by clicking here

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2024

See attractions are held over multiple days below.

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2024

  • 9am – Fun & Games for Special Kids at Open Space Park. Children of all ages with hearing, visual, physical, and developmental impairments are invited to participate. Activities may include pie making, obstacle courses, face painting, and a trip to the Midway hosted by the Arnold Family.
  • 4-7pm – FREE Kids Cherry Town Fun Night at F & M Park. Families are invited to a fun-filled evening of entertainment for all ages. Many performers, hands-on activities, food and all-around enjoyment. 
  • 6-10:30pm – Live music featuring The Goo Goo Dolls on the Pepsi Bayside Music Stage. Purchase tickets by clicking here

Thursday, July 4th, 2024

  • 4:30-6pm – Cherry Mile Fun Run at 13th & Oak Streets. Registration opens May 2nd, 2024.
  • 6pm – Cherry Kids 1-Mile Fun Run at 13th & Oak Streets. Each child participant receives a medal and a giveaway. This run is open to all ages with a fee of $10. Registration opens May 2nd, 2024.
  • 6-10:30pm – Live music featuring Dylan Scott on the Pepsi Bayside Music Stage. Purchase tickets by clicking here
  • 6:30pm – Consumers Energy Community Royale Parade in Downtown Traverse City- Front St. to Union St. to 7th St.
  • 10:30pm – Fireworks over Open Space Park.

Friday, July 5th, 2024

  • 8:30am – Cherry Golf Scramble at Grand Traverse Resort. Two-person, 18-hole scramble on Spruce Run, the original Resort course. Shotgun start at 8:30am  Special Cherry Festival rate available. Proper golf attire is required. Register by clicking here
  • 10am – Diaper Derby & Toddler Trot at F&M Park. Fun filled competitions of baby crawling and toddler trotting. Registration gets under way at 9am and the first race will start at 10am. Open to children 3 and under.
  • 10am-6pm – DTE Energy Day at Open Space Park. Learn ways to save energy and money. Play games and win prizes. All ages welcome.
  • 1-3pm – FREE Chalk Art for kids ages 5-12 at Open Space Park. Chalk is provided. 
  • 2pm – Cherries Got Talent Finals at Lay’s Cherry Blast Stage. Watch finalists perform. For more information, click here
  • 2-2:30pm – Cherry Industry Program & Awards at the Michigan State University Horticultural Research Station- 3291 College Rd., Holt. 
  • 6-10:30pm – Comedian Gabriel ‘Fluffy’ Iglesias Live at the Pepsi Bayside Music Stage. Purchase tickets by clicking here.
  • 6:30-9pm – Queen’s Coronation at the Hagerty Center- 715 E. Front St. Doors open at 5pm with heavy Heavy hors d’oeuvres and cash bar. Crowning of the National Cherry Queen at 7:30pm. Tickets available beginning April 25th, 2024. 

Saturday, July 6th, 2024

  • 7am – Meijer Festival of Races at Traverse City High School- 3962 3 Mile Rd.
  • 11:15am-1pm – DTE Energy Foundation Cherry Royale Parade from Front Street to Union Street to 13th Street.
  • 3:45pm, 4:15pm, 4:45pm – Semi Finals for Go for the Gold! Pin Program at Open Space Park. Ten semi-finalists will be drawn.
  • 5pm – Go for the Gold! Pin Program Final Drawing at Lays Cherry Blast Stage. One lucky “Go For The Gold” Pin qualifier will win the Festival’s Grand Prize. Pin finalists need not be present to win.
  • 10:30pm – Festival Finale Fireworks over Open Space Park.

Here's a list of attractions that span over multiple days:

  • Every day but Thursday from 7:30am-12pm – Sarah Hardy’s Farmer’s Market at the Old Town Parking Deck- 125 E. 8th St.
  • Every day but Thursday from 10am-5pm – Kids Club at Clinch Park- 111 E. Grandview Pkwy. Free activities for kids ages 2-12.
  • Every day but Thursday from 10am-10pm – Go for the Gold! Pin Program at Open Space Park – Commemorative pins will be sold for $5, with the possibility of winning a grand prize. Pins are also needed for entry into the beer tent. Gold pin entry forms may be turned in at the pin tent. Winners do not need to be present to win and will be chosen on July 9th.
  • Every day but Thursday from 10am-10pm – American Farmland Trust Cherry Farm Market at Open Space Park. Shop cherry products from local businesses.
  • Every day but Thursday from 10am-10pm – Official Cherry Festival Souvenir Tent at Open Space Park.
  • Every day but Thursday from 11am-11pm – Arnolds Amusements Midway at the corner of Grandview Parkway and Union Street.
  • Every day but Thursday from 12-10pm – Beer Tent at Open Space Park. Libations include beer, wine, and specialty cocktails. Festival goers must be 21 to enter the tent and have a commemorative pin.
  • Saturday-Saturday from 6-7pm – Adult Cherry Pie Pit Spit Contest at Open Space Park. 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place prizes, women’s & men’s. Register on-site, just prior to 6pm contest. No fee required.
  • Saturday, Sunday, & Monday at 9am – Bayside Beach Volleyball Tournaments at the Beach Volleyball Courts on Grandview Parkway- 314 US-316 events. Events include 2-person mens, 2-person womens, 2-person co-ed, 4-person open, 4-person rec, and 2-person youth.
  • Saturday & Sunday from 12:30-4pm – Picnic at the Park at Park Place- 300 E. State St. Watch the airshow from the 10th floor of the Tower while you enjoy an array of appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts served along side two adult beverages in a fully enclosed, air-conditioned venue. Ticket sales open on March 14th, 2024.
  • Saturday & Sunday from 1-4pm – Flight Deck at Open Space Park. Reserved seat with great views of the air show. Includes a picnic lunch. Tickets available beginning March 14th, 2024.
  • Saturday & Sunday from 1-4pm – Air Show over Open Space Park.
  • Saturday & Sunday from 1-4pm – Indigo View Air Show at Hotel Indigo- 263 W. Grandview Parkway. View the air show from Hotel Indigo’s swank rooftop. Menu to be announced. Two beverage tickets are included with the meal.
  • Saturday & Sunday from 1-4pm – The Flight Path at Delamar- 615 E. Front St. Dine on edge of Grand Traverse Bay while enjoying the airshow. 
  • Saturday & Sunday from 1-4pm – Great American Picnic at the Hagerty Center. Enjoy the Blue Angels Show,  cherry inspired picnic food, and outdoor games. Food is served from 1-3pm. Tickets available beginning March 14th, 2024.
  • Monday-Friday from 10am-1pm – Orchard Tour & More at the Michigan State University Horticultural Research Station, a 137-acre research farm in the heart of “Cherry Country.” There will be educational exhibits, samples of cherry products, and tours of the farm. Cherry fun for the kids includes a 4-H petting zoo and a 4H kids activity (No petting zoo on July 4th). Shuttles available.
  • Monday-Friday from 1-3pm – Kids Cherry Pie Eating Contest at F&M Park. Age groups from pre-school to 12 years old. Youngest contestants compete first. Arrive 15 minutes early to register.
  • Monday & Wednesday from 5-6pm – Adult Pie Eating Contest at Lay’s Cherry Blast Stage in Open Space Park. Prizes awarded. Free registration will open 30 minutes prior to event at stage, no fee required.
  • Monday, Wednesday, & Friday at 2pm – Bubble Gum Blow at Kids Club. Three age divisions: 5-7, 8-10 and 11-13. Registration will open at 1:45pm and close at 2:15pm each day. Parents must be present to sign a waiver for children to participate.
  • Tuesday-Saturday from 12-5pm – Hole-in-One Tournament at X-Golf- 3480 W. South Airport Rd. #B. $5 for 3 shots with a daily prize for the closest to the pin Tuesday-Friday. Qualifiers will return Saturday at 9am for a chance to win $50,000.
  • Wednesday & Thursday from 12-6pm – Cornhole Tournaments at the Beer Tent. 
  • Thursday-Saturday with Multiple Shows Each Day – Ultimate Air Dogs at Open Space Park. Nearly one hundred “dog athletes” and their proud owner/trainers compete for advancement in the regional competition. Free to view but pre-registration is required to participate. Find more detailed information by clicking here
  • Second Friday from 3-7pm and Second Saturday 5:30-6:30am – Meijer Festival of Races Packet Pick-Up at Traverse City High School- 3962 3 Mile Rd. 
  • Second Friday and Second Saturday from 8am-5pm – Pickleball Tournament at YMCA South- 3000 Racquet Club Dr. Registration info TBA. Women’s and Men’s Doubles will be skill level 3.5 and below and 4.0 and above Mixed Doubles will be skill level 3.0 and below, 3.5, and 4.0 and above. Skill levels will be split by age after registration closes. Final brackets are limited to 7 teams. Friday is Women’s & Men’s Doubles and Saturday is Mixed Doubles.

Other Events That Have Been Held in the Past:

  • Kids Movie Matinee at the State Theatre- 235 E. Front St.
  • Blues, Brews, & BBQ at Haggerty Center- 715 E. Front St. Enjoy beer, BBQ, and the Blue Angels. Ticket includes two adult beverages and food. BBQ is served from 1-3 pm and parking is very limited.  
  • Family Sand Sculpture Contest at Sunset Park Beach- 417 Munson Ave. Sand sculpture competition for families, groups, and individuals ages 13 and up. Only items found on the beach may be used in the decoration of the sculpture with the exception of food coloring. No fee required.
  • Garden Party at Historic Barns Park- 1500 Red. Dr. 
  • Cherry Pie Make & Bake at Open Space Park. Kids ages 2-12 years old will learn to make a mini Cherry Crumb Pie (National Cherry Festival’s Signature Pie) from the bakers at Grand Traverse Pie Company. Kids make the pie and it can be baked on site or taken home to be baked. First come, first served basis with on-site registration opening at 9am. While there is no cost for this event, a $3 donation to benefit the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center is suggested.
  • Curling with the National Cherry Festival at TC Curling Club- 1712 S. Garfield Ave. 24 spots per hour open for this competition. Each registration will give the entrant 2 stones to throw for $10. Additional throws can be purchased if space is available. Must be 6 years of age or older to play. Register here
  • FREE Kids Sand Sculpture Contest at Sunset Park Beach. Age divisions are: ages 3-5 (9-9:45am), Ages 6-8 (9:15-10am), Ages 9-12 (10:15-11:15am), and Groups with ages 3-12 (10:30am-12pm). Pre-registration is required and opens on June 1st. Capacity maybe limited. Only items found on the beach may be used in the decoration of the sculpture with the exception of food coloring.
  • Cherry Pins & Pizza at Lucky Jack’s Bowling Center- 1705 S. Garfield Ave. $3/Game, $2/Shoe Rental, $2/Slice of Pizza.
  • Cherries at the Botanic Garden. Enjoy special events at Historic Barns Park.
  • Classic Movie Matinee at the State Theatre
  • Bingo!
  • USAF Thunderbirds Souvenir Tent at Open Space Park.

Experience Traverse City

Traverse City is perhaps the most beautiful region of Michigan, where thousands from around the country come to vacation. Read the stories below or go to the Grand Traverse County destination page.

For More Information on the Annual National Cherry Festival, please contact:

National Cherry Festival Committee

521 S. Union St., Traverse City, MI  49684

(231) 947-4230

What's Happening in West Michigan?

Discover more to do in West Michigan!

Advertisement – Please scroll below for more information.

West Michigan Activities & Attractions

Mason County Cultural Trails

A site to behold along Lake Michigan, these structures with a rich history give both a sense of safety and a beautiful site.

Beaches & Parks

Before you make a splash in Lake Michigan, check out the water temperatures for beaches from Manistee, Ludington, Pentwater, and Silver Lake.

M-22 Scenic Drive

Take one of the most scenic drives in the nation as you travel across M-22 in West Michigan. A long winding road of adventure awaits!

Manistee’s Riverwalk

The Manistee Riverwalk follows the Manistee River from Jones Street, under the US-31 bridge, behind downtown, and ends at First Street beach.