Photo by National Cherry Festival
Festivals celebrating many aspects of life are scheduled throughout the year in the Traverse City area. These festivals celebrate cherries, microbrews, wine, comedy, films, equestrians, ski races, and even macaroni and cheese!
Others celebrate women and seniors, boats, homes, food, blossoms and trains. And still others feature children’s books, mountain bike races, businesses, hunting and fishing, and RVs.
Here we’ve condensed the most popular annual happenings, so you can see at a glance which time of year you may want to visit our wonderful area. Welcome to Grand Traverse County!
The wineries of Old Mission Peninsula celebrate Blossom Days annually in mid-May. On that weekend, winemakers invite the public to their tasting rooms to sample unreleased wines in addition to their customary tasting list. A souvenir glass and tasting at all eight Old Mission wineries are included in the ticket price. Tickets go on sale 60 days before the event.
The Leelanau Peninsula Birding Festival is held annually for three days in late-May, and is hosted by the Leelanau Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. A variety of festival field trips are offered within this event.
The Traverse City area bursts at the seams each summer when the National Cherry Festival occurs. The festival includes eight days of air shows, concerts, parades, food tastings, arts/crafts show, and fireworks.
The Northwestern Michigan Fair in Traverse City is held in mid-August. It was established in 1908 and has been held at its current location on Blair Townhall Road, Traverse City, since 1975. The fair continues to follow its original purpose of celebrating area agriculture and youth programs.
Downtown Traverse City bustles with party goers for the annual CherryT Ball Drop held on New Year’s Eve. CherryT is a play on words for Charity and the cherry, a symbol of the Traverse City region, which grows about 75% of the nations tart cherry crop each year. The celebration takes place at the downtown intersection of Front Street and Cass Street. The family-friendly event sees crowds estimated at 8,000 to 12,000 people.
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Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes has miles of sand trails and hills, where hikers are rewarded at the end with spectacular views of Lake Michigan.
Get some fresh air and exercise during those cold winter months when you hit the Pentwater Pathway for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
The Manistee Riverwalk follows the Manistee River from Jones Street, under the US-31 bridge, behind downtown, and ends at First Street beach.
Beautiful color emerges come Fall. Take it all in with an afternoon drive, or stroll, through the many forests of West Michigan.
The spring/fall runs of steelhead and salmon, the resident brown trout and “brookies” make the PM River extremely popular for fishing.
The Annual Show of the Western Michigan Old Engine Club is held the first weekend of August at Scottville’s Riverside Park.
The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts is a cultural center in West Michigan and plays an integral part in Manistee’s history.
The Pentwater River provides opportunities to experience a paddle sport for the first time or take on a challenge for those more experienced.
Find artifacts, photographs, and lots of information and stories about the rich history of Pentwater at this historic museum!
Take a tour on the Historic S.S. City of Milwaukee car ferry and the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Acacia docked in Manistee, Michigan.