2020 Traverse City National Cherry Festival (+Free Interactive Map and Guide!)

Written by Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan


The National Cherry Festival is July 4-11, 2020! Cancelled this year.

This highly anticipated festival is one of Michigan's biggest festivals!  Grab our FREE interactive map and event guide!  Plan your trip in a glance!

More than 500,000 people flock to the Traverse City Festival every year! We love watching the thrilling Thunderbirds soar through the sky, indulging in a delicious pancake breakfast, waving at the passing colorful floats during the famous parades, shopping at the farmers markets, rockin' the concerts, cheering on the silly turtle races and of course, enjoying every minute of CHERRY EVERYTHING!

To help plan your trip, we developed a Free Interactive Map!


Cherry Festival Tips and Know Before You Go


We love the huge variety of vendors, souvenir shops and food choices at the Traverse City Festival.  You are bound to find SOMETHING cherry that you love! I grabbed a cute cherry tank top with cherry blossoms and some cherry marinade!  

Here is a great list of Cherry Festival Know Before You Go stuff, like parking, what to bring, things to see and fun for the whole family.



The Ultimate Traverse City Cherry Festival Interactive Map Includes:

  • Locations of the Traverse City National Cherry Festival events so you can plan your day without missing anything!
  • The famous Cherry Festival Parade Routes so you can grab a great viewing spot!
  • Awesome places to view the Thunderbirds (includes a classy restaurant rooftop!)
  • Convenient hotels close to the action!
  • BONUS: Top 5 favorite things to do in Traverse City (just in case you get cherried out!!)


Traverse City National Cherry Festival Schedule of Events and Fun Things To Do!

Friday, July 3, 2020 and Saturday, July 4, 2020 National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan

The air show is only July 4th and 5th, so plan accordingly!


Friday, July 3, 2020

Old Town Classic Car Cruise, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Turtle Creek Casino.  Join up for a classic vehicle cruise!

U.S. Coast Guard Open Ramp, 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM. USCG Air Station Traverse City.  The U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City is hosting the National Cherry Festival Airshow aerial demonstration teams. This is a FREE event!

SHUTTLE AVAILABLE: Park at the Foster Family Community Health Center (formerly, Munson Community Health Building) on Airport Access and catch a shuttle! Shuttle will run from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm every 20 minutes.


Saturday, July 4, 2020

Questions? Contact the cherry festival committee at 231.947.4230.

Go for the Gold! Pin Program,  Open Space Park - , Take home a festival keepsake! Commemorative pins are available for $5, with the possibility of winning one of the grand prizes. Commemorative pins will also be needed for entry into the beer tent.

Sara Hardy Farmers Market, 7:30 AM - 12:00 PM, Old Town Parking Deck. The Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market is an awesome spot to source locally grown agricultural products. There's lots of fresh produce, delicious baked goods, gorgeous flowers and plants.

Farmers Market Brunch, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Old Town Parking Deck. Come out to the Farmers Market Brunch during the hours of the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market.

Very Cherry Flying Pancake Breakfast, 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM, Open Space Park. There is a Fee. 

Zumba! in the Bay Side, 8:00 AM and 8:45 AM sessions at the Pepsi Bay Side Music Stage - Pre-registration suggested but you can also register on-site starting at 7:30 am. Free!

Norte Kids Balance Bike Race, 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM, Norte Clubhouse. For the little ones ages 5 and under. Go to the Norte Clubhouse for a balance bike race on La Plaza. Registration & Open Course - 9:00 am-9:45 a.m. Races 10:00 am - 11:30 am. Only balance bikes are allowed on this super fun course!

Two Person Beach Volleyball, 9:00 AM, Traverse City West End Park Beach Volleyball Courts on Grandview Parkway - 231-947-4230Two-person tournament play on the beautiful beaches of West Grand Traverse Bay. Saturday's tournament features Men's and Women's play, with 18 teams per division. Good luck to all the teams!

Cherry Farmers Market at Festival Open Space, 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM.

Open Space Park (Main Festival Grounds),10:00 AM - 11:00 PM Main festival grounds located on West Grand Traverse Bay in the Open Space Park.

Grab a slice of Grand Traverse Cherry Pie with ice cream (yummy!), grab a meal from a local restaurant booth, shop everything Cherry at the Cherry Farmer's Market, and snag some awesome cherry shirts, purses and souvenirs!

Watch buskers as they entertain, enjoy a lunch time music series at the Lay's Cherry Blast Stage, check out the Marina Drive attractions on your way to the famous Gibbyville. Stop into the Beer Tent for a beverage (make sure you have your Commemorative pin for entry)

Also there:

  • The Baby Comfort Station
  • First Aid Tent
  • Welcome Center
  • Box Office
  • Lost and Found 
  • Other Festival necessitates

Kids Club, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Clinch Park National Cherry Festival Kids' Club is a family friendly event centering on providing free activities for children ages 2 to 12.

Opening Ceremonies 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM, Lay's Cherry Blast Stage, Open Space Park

Souvenir Tent 10:00 AM - 10:30 PM Open Space Park

Arnold Amusements Midway 11:00 AM Corner of Grandview Parkway at Union Street.  Ride the Ferris Wheel for a great view of the festival, city and beach! Lots of rides and games! Fee for tickets and wristbands.

Beer Tent 12:00 PM - 11:00 PM Open Space Park (near the marina) Must be 21 to enter the tent and have a commemorative pin.

Flight Deck 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM Open Space Park,The "Flight Deck" will give Festival Premium viewing as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels take to the skies!

Enjoy a picnic-style lunch while watching the airshow over the bay.
Menu includes brats, hot-dogs, chips and Pepsi!  Fee

Indigo View Air Show 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM Hotel Indigo, Overlooking the Grand Traverse West Bay, Hotel Indigo’s swank rooftop is a great spot to enjoy the magnificent airshow while indulging in the drinks and bits. Two beverage tickets are included with your meal. Garage Parking is available at this event through Hotel Indigo for $12/vehicle. Fee

Air Show 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Open Space Park. U.S. Navy Blue Angels will take to the skies opening weekend July 4th & 5th. Show.

Blues, Brew & BBQ 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Hagerty Center. Kick off the National Cherry Festival with the Air Show, microbrews and awesome BBQ! BBQ is served from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Parking is very limited. Doors open at 1:00 pm. Fee. Get your tickets early!

Adult Cherry Pit Spit Contest, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Open Space Park - According to the Guinness Book of Records, the record distance is 95 feet and 6.5 inches. Let's try to beat the record at the National Cherry Festival! You just might win a trophy! Register on-site, just prior to the 6 pm contest. Free!


Sunday, July 5, 2020 National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan


Sunday, July 5, 2020

Questions? Contact the cherry festival committee at 231.947.4230.

Go for the Gold! Pin Program,  Open Space Park - , Take home a festival keepsake! Commemorative pins are available for $5, with the possibility of winning one of the grand prizes. Commemorative pins will also be needed for entry into the beer tent.

Yoga by the Bay, 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM, Open Space Park, fun for the whole family! All levels welcome to this FREE event.

Four Person Beach Volleyball Tournament, 9:00 AM, Traverse City West End Park Beach Volleyball Courts on Grandview Parkway. Play volleyball on the beautiful beaches of West Grand Traverse Bay! Sunday's tournament features Co-Ed Open (18 teams), Co-Ed Recreational (12 teams) and Open (6 teams) play.

Arts and Crafts Fair, 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM Union Street Between Grandview Parkway & State Streets. Juried Arts and Crafts Fair in downtown Traverse City featuring more than 100 artists.

Cherry Farmers Market, Festival Open Space 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM Open Space Park - Awesome farmer's market, Cherry Style!

Festival Open Space Park 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM Open Space Park

Kids Club 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Clinch Park, National Cherry Festival Kids' Club is a family friendly event centering on providing free activities for children ages 2 to 12.

Souvenir Tent 10:00 AM - 10:30 PM, Open Space Park

Arnold Amusements Midway, 11:00 AM Corner of Grandview Parkway at Union Street.  Ride the Ferris Wheel for a great view of the festival, city and beach! Lots of rides and games! Fee for tickets and wristbands.

Old Town Classic Car Show 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM Union and Sixth Streets in Old Town. Wide range of cars, trucks, tractors and motorcycles from across the Midwest. Hundreds of show-condition collector vehicles will be featured. Family friendly, local classic show.

Beer Tent 12:00 PM - 11:00 PM Open Space Park (near the marina) Must be 21 to enter the tent and have a commemorative pin.

Flight Deck 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM Open Space Park,The "Flight Deck" will give Festival Premium viewing as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels take to the skies!

Enjoy a picnic-style lunch while watching the airshow over the bay.
Menu includes brats, hot-dogs, chips and Pepsi!  Fee

Indigo View Air Show 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM Hotel Indigo, Overlooking the Grand Traverse West Bay, Hotel Indigo’s swank rooftop is a great spot to enjoy the magnificent airshow while indulging in the drinks and bits. Two beverage tickets are included with your meal. Garage Parking is available at this event through Hotel Indigo for $12/vehicle. Fee

Great American Picnic 12:45 PM - 4:00 PM Hagerty Center, Have a great time at the Great American Picnic! Watch the Air Show and play old fashion picnic games while enjoying a cherry inspired picnic lunch! Fee

Air Show 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Open Space Park. U.S. Navy Blue Angels will take to the skies opening weekend July 4th & 5th. Show.

Kids Cherry Teddy Bear Tea, 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM, F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets

Family Sand Sculpture Contest 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM, Senior Center Beach


Monday, July 6, 2020 National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan


Monday, July 6, 2020

Go for the Gold! Pin Program,  Open Space Park - , Take home a festival keepsake! Commemorative pins are available for $5, with the possibility of winning one of the grand prizes. Commemorative pins will also be needed for entry into the beer tent.

Cherry Pie Bike Ride, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM, F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets. Enjoy a very short, slow and fun summer bike ride on the neighborhood streets and trails of Traverse City that will end at the Open Space. Your reward? A Free Slice of Pie voucher from Grand Traverse Pie Company! How cool is that!?

Lifetime Leadership Award Breakfast, 9:00 AM, Traverse City Elks Lodge. Join the National Cherry Festival in honoring an individual for their leadership, volunteerism and service to their community.

Cherry Farmers Market at Festival Open Space,10:00 AM - 11:00 PM, Open Space Park

Cherry Pie Make & Bake, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Open Space Park - Kids from 2-12 years old learn how to make a mini Cherry Crumb pie from the bakers at the Grand Traverse Pie Company. This event is scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Please come early to sign up!

There is no cost for this event, but a $3 donation is suggested to benefit Traverse Bay Children's Advocacy Center. 

Festival Open Space Park, 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM, Open Space Park

Kids Club, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Clinch Park. This is a family friendly event centering on providing free activities for children ages 2 to 12.

Orchard Tours & More, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM. (Shuttle available-see below!) The National Cherry Festival and Michigan State University Extension invite you to their 100 acre research farm in the heart of "Cherry Country". Visit a productive orchard in beautiful Leelanau County, where fruit and festival come together at the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station operated by Michigan State University.

In addition to the guided orchard tours, there are exhibits and samples of the newest cherry products and technology inside the station. There are all sorts of "cherry" fun for the kids, including a 4-H petting zoo, kid’s crafts and activities, and many more! *Please note: The 4-H petting zoo will not be available on July 4th

The shuttle to Orchard Tour & More will depart every hour from 9:30 am to 11:30 am from Traverse City Tourism, Monday through Friday.

Princess Tea, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM. Hagerty Center -

Souvenir Tent,10:00 AM - 10:30 PM, Open Space Park

Arnold Amusements Midway, 11:00 AM Corner of Grandview Parkway at Union Street.  Ride the Ferris Wheel for a great view of the festival, city and beach! Lots of rides and games! Fee for tickets and wristbands.

Beer Tent 12:00 PM - 11:00 PM Open Space Park (near the marina) Must be 21 to enter the tent and have a commemorative pin.

Kids Cherry Pie Eating Contest, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets. Age classifications from pre-school to 12 years old.

Hole in One Contest, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Bay Meadows Family Golf Course. Hone your golf skills cause it's ON!

Adult Cherry Pie Eating Contest, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM. Lay's Cherry Blast Stage, Open Space Park. The first person to finish their slice wins! Prizes awarded. Free! registration will open 30 minutes prior to event at stage.

Adult Cherry Pit Spit Contest, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Open Space Park - According to the Guinness Book of Records, the record distance is 95 feet and 6.5 inches. Let's try to beat the record at the National Cherry Festival! You just might win a trophy! Register on-site, just prior to the 6 pm contest. Free!


  • There is a free bike valet so you can ride your bike to the festival and park it without worry!

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Go for the Gold! Pin Program,  Open Space Park - , Take home a festival keepsake! Commemorative pins are available for $5, with the possibility of winning one of the grand prizes. Commemorative pins will also be needed for entry into the beer tent.

Boomers Bootcamp, 7:00 AM, 8:00 AM, 9:00 AM. Clinch Park

Seniors Shuffleboard Tournament, 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM, Traverse City Senior Center. Equipment provided, or bring your own. Must be 50 and older. Prizes awarded to top finishers. Free! Registration required.

Cherry Farmers Market at Festival Open Space, 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM

Festival Open Space Park, 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM, Open Space Park

Kids Club 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Clinch Park. National Cherry Festival Kids' Club is a family friendly event centering on providing free activities for children ages 2 to 12.

Kids Pet Show, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets. Super popular kids events with registration from 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

Orchard Tours & More, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM. (Shuttle available-see below!) The National Cherry Festival and Michigan State University Extension invite you to their 100 acre research farm in the heart of "Cherry Country". Visit a productive orchard in beautiful Leelanau County, where fruit and festival come together at the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station operated by Michigan State University.

In addition to the guided orchard tours, there are exhibits and samples of the newest cherry products and technology inside the station. There are all sorts of "cherry" fun for the kids, including a 4-H petting zoo, kid’s crafts and activities, and many more! *Please note: The 4-H petting zoo will not be available on July 4th

The shuttle to Orchard Tour & More will depart every hour from 9:30 am to 11:30 am from Traverse City Tourism, Monday through Friday.

Souvenir Tent,10:00 AM - 10:30 PM, Open Space Park

Traverse City History In the Movies, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Bijou by the Bay

Arnold Amusements Midway, 11:00 AM Corner of Grandview Parkway at Union Street.  Ride the Ferris Wheel for a great view of the festival, city and beach! Lots of rides and games! Fee for tickets and wristbands.

Beer Tent 12:00 PM - 11:00 PM Open Space Park (near the marina) Must be 21 to enter the tent and have a commemorative pin.

Cherry Pins & Pizza, 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Lucky Jack's Pizza slices, shoes, pop, game of bowling - $1 each. Lots of fun for the whole family. Garfield Avenue near South Airport Road.

Beer Tent 12:00 PM - 11:00 PM Open Space Park (near the marina) Must be 21 to enter the tent and have a commemorative pin.

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians Pow Wow, 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM. Pepsi Bay Side Music Stage. Everyone welcome! See colorful dancing, drumming and taste Native American cuisine.

Kids Cherry Pie Eating Contest, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets. Family favorite that all children enjoy. Age classifications from pre-school to 12 years old.

Cherry Industry Program and Awards, 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM. Michigan State University Horticultural Research Station. Cherry industry information is presented in this special program, bringing industry leaders, Festival officials and the National Cherry Queen and her court together.

Hole in One Contest, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM. Bay Meadows Family Golf Course. Week long Hole-In-One Golf Contest.

Consumers Energy Heritage Parade, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM. Front Street to Union Street to 13th Street. Honoring the history of our community and the cherry industry this parade is truly a tribute to the community of northern Michigan.


Thursday, July 8, 2020 National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan


Thursday, July 8, 2020

Go for the Gold! Pin Program,  Open Space Park - , Take home a festival keepsake! Commemorative pins are available for $5, with the possibility of winning one of the grand prizes. Commemorative pins will also be needed for entry into the beer tent.

Sara Hardy Farmers Market, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Old Town Parking Deck. The Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market is an awesome spot to source locally grown agricultural products. There's lots of fresh produce, delicious baked goods, gorgeous flowers and plants.

Farmers Market Brunch, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Old Town Parking Deck. Come out to the Farmers Market Brunch during the hours of the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market.

Fun and Games for Special Kids, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Open Space Park. A fun-filled morning for hearing, visually, physically impaired, and developmentally disabled children.

Cherry Farmers Market at Festival Open Space, 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM. Open Space Park.

Open Space Park (Main Festival Grounds),10:00 AM - 11:00 PM Main festival grounds located on West Grand Traverse Bay in the Open Space Park.

Grab a slice of Grand Traverse Cherry Pie with ice cream (yummy!), grab a meal from a local restaurant booth, shop everything Cherry at the Cherry Farmer's Market, and snag some awesome cherry shirts, purses and souvenirs!

Watch buskers as they entertain, enjoy a lunch time music series at the Lay's Cherry Blast Stage, check out the Marina Drive attractions on your way to the famous Gibbyville. Stop into the Beer Tent for a beverage (make sure you have your Commemorative pin for entry)

Also there:

  • The Baby Comfort Station
  • First Aid Tent
  • Welcome Center
  • Box Office
  • Lost and Found 
  • Other Festival necessitates

Kids Club, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Clinch Park National Cherry Festival Kids' Club is a family friendly event centering on providing free activities for children ages 2 to 12.

Orchard Tours & More, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM. (Shuttle available-see below!) The National Cherry Festival and Michigan State University Extension invite you to their 100 acre research farm in the heart of "Cherry Country". Visit a productive orchard in beautiful Leelanau County, where fruit and festival come together at the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station operated by Michigan State University.

In addition to the guided orchard tours, there are exhibits and samples of the newest cherry products and technology inside the station. There are all sorts of "cherry" fun for the kids, including a 4-H petting zoo, kid’s crafts and activities, and many more! *Please note: The 4-H petting zoo will not be available on July 4th

The shuttle to Orchard Tour & More will depart every hour from 9:30 am to 11:30 am from Traverse City Tourism, Monday through Friday.

Souvenir Tent 10:00 AM - 10:30 PM Open Space Park

Arnold Amusements Midway 11:00 AM Corner of Grandview Parkway at Union Street.  Ride the Ferris Wheel for a great view of the festival, city and beach! Lots of rides and games! Fee for tickets and wristbands.

Arts & Crafts, 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Crooked Tree Arts Center

Royale Pageant of Fashion & Luncheon, 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM. Hagerty Center - Enjoy a luncheon and view the latest fashions, modeled by the National Cherry Queen and her royal court!

Beer Tent 12:00 PM - 11:00 PM Open Space Park (near the marina) Must be 21 to enter the tent and have a commemorative pin.

Hole in One Contest, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM. Bay Meadows Family Golf Course, National Cherry Festival’s week long Hole-In-One Golf Contest.

Kids Cherry Town Fun Night, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM, F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets. Fun-filled family evening of entertainment for all ages. Many performers, hands-on activities, food and all-around enjoyment. Free!

Adult Cherry Pie Eating Contest, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM. Lay's Cherry Blast Stage, Open Space Park. The first person to finish their slice wins! Prizes awarded. Free! registration will open 30 minutes prior to event at stage.

Adult Cherry Pit Spit Contest, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Open Space Park - According to the Guinness Book of Records, the record distance is 95 feet and 6.5 inches. Let's try to beat the record at the National Cherry Festival! You just might win a trophy! Register on-site, just prior to the 6 pm contest. Free!


Friday, July 9, 2020 National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan


Friday, July 9, 2020

Questions? Contact the cherry festival committee at 231.947.4230.

Go for the Gold! Pin Program,  Open Space Park - , Take home a festival keepsake! Commemorative pins are available for $5, with the possibility of winning one of the grand prizes. Commemorative pins will also be needed for entry into the beer tent.

Kids Fun and Games with Arts and Crafts with Bubble Gum Blow, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets. Lots of games, activities, arts and crafts for children 5 to 12 years old. Face painting, tennis workshop, numerous games, and more! Free!

Teen Volleyball Tournament, 9:00 AM. Traverse City West End Park Beach Volleyball Courts on Grandview Parkway.Teams are limited to six members. There are two divisions ages 12-15 and 16-19. Players under 18 will need parent's permission. Registration opens April 1st.

Cherry Farmers Market at Festival Open Space, 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM. Open Space Park.

Open Space Park (Main Festival Grounds),10:00 AM - 11:00 PM Main festival grounds located on West Grand Traverse Bay in the Open Space Park.

Grab a slice of Grand Traverse Cherry Pie with ice cream (yummy!), grab a meal from a local restaurant booth, shop everything Cherry at the Cherry Farmer's Market, and snag some awesome cherry shirts, purses and souvenirs!

Watch buskers as they entertain, enjoy a lunch time music series at the Lay's Cherry Blast Stage, check out the Marina Drive attractions on your way to the famous Gibbyville. Stop into the Beer Tent for a beverage (make sure you have your Commemorative pin for entry)

Also there:

  • The Baby Comfort Station
  • First Aid Tent
  • Welcome Center
  • Box Office
  • Lost and Found 
  • Other Festival necessitates

Kids Club, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Clinch Park National Cherry Festival Kids' Club is a family friendly event centering on providing free activities for children ages 2 to 12.

Orchard Tours & More, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM. (Shuttle available-see below!) The National Cherry Festival and Michigan State University Extension invite you to their 100 acre research farm in the heart of "Cherry Country". Visit a productive orchard in beautiful Leelanau County, where fruit and festival come together at the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station operated by Michigan State University.

In addition to the guided orchard tours, there are exhibits and samples of the newest cherry products and technology inside the station. There are all sorts of "cherry" fun for the kids, including a 4-H petting zoo, kid’s crafts and activities, and many more! *Please note: The 4-H petting zoo will not be available on July 4th

The shuttle to Orchard Tour & More will depart every hour from 9:30 am to 11:30 am from Traverse City Tourism, Monday through Friday.

Souvenir Tent,10:00 AM - 10:30 PM, Open Space Park

Arnold Amusements Midway, 11:00 AM Corner of Grandview Parkway at Union Street.  Ride the Ferris Wheel for a great view of the festival, city and beach! Lots of rides and games! Fee for tickets and wristbands.

Ultimate Air Dogs, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM . Traverse City West End Park Beach Volleyball Courts on Grandview Parkway. Featuring nearly one hundred "dog athletes" and their proud owner/trainers competing for advancement in the regional competition. Preregistration is required to participate.

Beer Tent 12:00 PM - 11:00 PM Open Space Park (near the marina) Must be 21 to enter the tent and have a commemorative pin.

Kids Cherry Pie Eating Contest, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets. Age classifications from pre-school to 12 years old.

Hole in One Contest, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Bay Meadows Family Golf Course. Hone your golf skills cause it's ON!

Junior Royale Parade, Registration 4:45 PM - 5:45 PM, F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets. Kids ages 1 to 14 can register to participate in 12 parade categories in the Touchstone Energy Junior Royale Parade! Free.

Cherry Mile, 5:00 PM. Downtown Traverse City. This classic event returns to the streets of downtown Traverse City with a new twist! The ‘Cherry Mile’ presented by the Traverse City Track Club will be a fast paced competition of elite runners, high school runners, and will offer an ‘Open Mile’ for the first 200 runners from the community. Twelve participants in each of the high school and elite races will compete. There will be prize money awarded with the elite men and women division.

The elite field of racers will consist of high level collegiate and professional runners selected by Race Directors. To apply, the minimum performance standards of 4:10 for the men's mile and 4:55 in the women's mile will be required. In order to maintain a competitive race field, these races will be capped at a maximum of 12 athletes. The open mile will be capped at 200 runners.

  • 3:45PM Bib pick up (Central Grade Elementary)
  • 5:00 PM Open Men/Women
  • 5:00 PM Elite Invite
  • 5:00 PM Elite High School
  • 6:00 PM Cherry Kids Fun Run

Cherry Kids Fun Run, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM, F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets. This kids fun run will proceed the Junior Royale Parade! Enjoy running the one mile course down the parade route!

Junior Royale Parade, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM. Front to Union to 7th Streets. See one of America's only Kids Parades, features the National Cherry Festival Prince and Princess court. Come see clowns, marching bands, floats, and much more!

Concert on the Lawn, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM. Grand Traverse Pavilions. Bring lawn chairs. Concessions available. Free!


Saturday, July 10, 2020 National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan


Saturday, July 10, 2020

Go for the Gold! Pin Program,  Open Space Park - , Take home a festival keepsake! Commemorative pins are available for $5, with the possibility of winning one of the grand prizes. Commemorative pins will also be needed for entry into the beer tent.

Cherry Golf Scramble, 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM. Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. Two-person, 18-hole scramble on Spruce Ru.

Kids Sand Sculpture Contest, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Senior Center Beach. Why not have a fun day on the beach during the cherry festival with competitions for all ages and groups.

Cherry Farmers Market at Festival Open Space, 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM

Cherry Idol Auditions, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Lay's Cherry Blast Stage, Open Space Park. Competition is broken into divisions of Adult (18 & up); Young Adult (15-17); Teen (12-14) and Youth (8-11). All participants will be required to sing a 60 second song of their choice, without any background music (acappella) for the preliminary auditions.

If chosen to move onto the final round, competitors must be prepared to perform a different song of their choice. The final round will be sung to background music. On Site Registration is available from 9:30am to 10am day of Cherry Idol Auditions.

Diaper Derby and Toddler Trot, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets. Fun-filled competitions of baby crawling and toddler trotting. Registration is from 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. The first race will get underway at 10:00 a.m. Kids 3 years and under.

DTE Energy Day, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Open Space Park. Learn what you can do to save energy and money! Games and prizes.

Open Space Park (Main Festival Grounds),10:00 AM - 11:00 PM Main festival grounds located on West Grand Traverse Bay in the Open Space Park.

Grab a slice of Grand Traverse Cherry Pie with ice cream (yummy!), grab a meal from a local restaurant booth, shop everything Cherry at the Cherry Farmer's Market, and snag some awesome cherry shirts, purses and souvenirs!

Watch buskers as they entertain, enjoy a lunch time music series at the Lay's Cherry Blast Stage, check out the Marina Drive attractions on your way to the famous Gibbyville. Stop into the Beer Tent for a beverage (make sure you have your Commemorative pin for entry)

Also there:

  • The Baby Comfort Station
  • First Aid Tent
  • Welcome Center
  • Box Office
  • Lost and Found 
  • Other Festival necessitates

Kids Club, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Clinch Park National Cherry Festival Kids' Club is a family friendly event centering on providing free activities for children ages 2 to 12.

Orchard Tours & More, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM. (Shuttle available-see below!) The National Cherry Festival and Michigan State University Extension invite you to their 100 acre research farm in the heart of "Cherry Country". Visit a productive orchard in beautiful Leelanau County, where fruit and festival come together at the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station operated by Michigan State University.

In addition to the guided orchard tours, there are exhibits and samples of the newest cherry products and technology inside the station. There are all sorts of "cherry" fun for the kids, including a 4-H petting zoo, kid’s crafts and activities, and many more! *Please note: The 4-H petting zoo will not be available on July 4th

The shuttle to Orchard Tour & More will depart every hour from 9:30 am to 11:30 am from Traverse City Tourism, Monday through Friday.

Souvenir Tent 10:00 AM - 10:30 PM Open Space Park

Ultimate Air Dogs, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Traverse City West End Park Beach Volleyball Courts on Grandview Parkway.

Casablanca, Classic Matinee, FREE, 10:30 AM, State Theatre 

Arnold Amusements Midway 11:00 AM Corner of Grandview Parkway at Union Street.  Ride the Ferris Wheel for a great view of the festival, city and beach! Lots of rides and games! Fee for tickets and wristbands.

Beer Tent 12:00 PM - 11:00 PM Open Space Park (near the marina) Must be 21 to enter the tent and have a commemorative pin.

Kids Chalk Art, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Open Space Park, Kids, ages 5 to 12, Create a picture or two with chalk. Chalk is provided. Free!

Kids Cherry Pie Eating Contest, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets. Age classifications from pre-school to 12 years old.

Cherry Idol Finals, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Lay's Cherry Blast Stage, Open Space Park, Cherry Idol finalists return to the Lay's Cherry Blast Stage to compete for the Cherry Idol title!

Meijer Festival of Races - Packet Pick Up & Registration, 3:00 PM - 8:00 PM. Traverse City Central High School, 231-947-4230. Learn more on the Meijer Festival of Races page.

Hole in One Contest, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Bay Meadows Family Golf Course. Hone your golf skills cause it's ON!

Adult Cherry Pie Eating Contest, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM, Lay's Cherry Blast Stage, Open Space Park. First one to finish their slice wins! Prizes awarded. Free! Registration will open 30 minutes prior to event at stage

Queen's Ball, 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM, Hagerty Center, Meet the four candidates competing to be the National Cherry Queen

Adult Cherry Pit Spit Contest, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Open Space Park

Euchre Tournament, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM, Traverse City Senior Center, No reservations necessary, come and enjoy an evening of cards. Must be 50 and older. Prizes!

Sunday, July 11, 2020 National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan


Sunday, July 11, 2020

Go for the Gold! Pin Program,  Open Space Park - , Take home a festival keepsake! Commemorative pins are available for $5, with the possibility of winning one of the grand prizes. Commemorative pins will also be needed for entry into the beer tent.

Meijer Festival of Races, Traverse City Central High School. Packet Pick Up & Registration, 5:30 AM - 7:00 AM, Traverse City Central High School. Learn more on the Meijer Festival of Races page.

Sara Hardy Farmers Market, 7:30 AM - 12:00 PM, Old Town Parking Deck. The Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market is an awesome spot to source locally grown agricultural products. There's lots of fresh produce, delicious baked goods, gorgeous flowers and plants.

Farmers Market Brunch, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Old Town Parking Deck. Come out to the Farmers Market Brunch during the hours of the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market.

Hole in One Contest, 9:30 AM, Bay Meadows Family Golf Course. Hone your golf skills cause it's ON!

Cherry Farmers Market at Festival Open Space, 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM.

Open Space Park (Main Festival Grounds),10:00 AM - 11:00 PM Main festival grounds located on West Grand Traverse Bay in the Open Space Park.

Grab a slice of Grand Traverse Cherry Pie with ice cream (yummy!), grab a meal from a local restaurant booth, shop everything Cherry at the Cherry Farmer's Market, and snag some awesome cherry shirts, purses and souvenirs!

Watch buskers as they entertain, enjoy a lunch time music series at the Lay's Cherry Blast Stage, check out the Marina Drive attractions on your way to the famous Gibbyville. Stop into the Beer Tent for a beverage (make sure you have your Commemorative pin for entry)

Also there:

  • The Baby Comfort Station
  • First Aid Tent
  • Welcome Center
  • Box Office
  • Lost and Found 
  • Other Festival necessitates


Kids Club, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Clinch Park National Cherry Festival Kids' Club is a family friendly event centering on providing free activities for children ages 2 to 12.

Opening Ceremonies 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM, Lay's Cherry Blast Stage, Open Space Park

Souvenir Tent 10:00 AM - 10:30 PM Open Space Park

Ultimate Air Dogs, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Traverse City West End Park Beach Volleyball Courts on Grandview Parkway.

Arnold Amusements Midway 11:00 AM Corner of Grandview Parkway at Union Street.  Ride the Ferris Wheel for a great view of the festival, city and beach! Lots of rides and games! Fee for tickets and wristbands.

DTE Energy Foundation Cherry Royale Parade, 11:15 AM - 1:00 PM. Front St to Union Street to 13th Street. Enjoy royalty, marching bands, Prince and Princess floats, clowns, specialty entries and much more!

Beer Tent 12:00 PM - 11:00 PM Open Space Park (near the marina) Must be 21 to enter the tent and have a commemorative pin.

Semi-Finalists Drawing - "Go for the Gold" Pin Program, 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM. Open Space Park. Drawings for the “Go for the Gold” Pin Program qualifiers will take place at 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm at the Pin Tent in the Open Space, with the selection of the ten finalists taking place at 6:00 pm.

"Go For The Gold" Pin Program Final Drawing, 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM. Lay's Cherry Blast Stage, Open Space Park. One lucky "Go For The Gold" Pin qualifier will win the Festival's Grand Prize. Pin finalists need not be present to win.

Festival Fireworks Finale, 10:30 PM. West Grand Traverse Bay. It's a Fireworks Finale in grand style over West Grand Traverse Bay closing out the National Cherry Festival! Fireworks can be viewed along the south end of West Grand Traverse Bay near the Festival Open Space Park.

Hotels Near the Action

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Don't miss the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City Michigan! We had an absolutely blast this year! Plus it's free! Get there early (by 9:30 a.m.) and you will have no problem parking in the parking structure downtown.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We sat on the beach and watched the beautiful boats, sampled the cherries at the Cherry Connection, enjoyed a gyro, wandered along the marina and explored the NASA exhibit. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There's plenty of shade trees to sit beneath as you enjoy your cherries, snacks and lunch from the numerous Cherry Festival vendors. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #cherries #traversecitytourism #traversecity #traversecitymi #traversecitymichigan #traversecitycherryfestival #cherryfestival #michiganfestivals #Michigan #puremichigan #michigantravel #greatlakesstate #michiganstate #travelingmichigan #michiganoverboard #michigan_wanderlust #greatlakesstateofmind #puremittenpride #lovemichigan #michiganders #exploremichigan #greatlakesstate #greatlakesstateofmind #greatlakeslocals #midwestmoment #michiganders #onlyinmichigan #michiganunsalted #puremichiganders

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Grab Your Traverse City National Cherry Festival Interactive Map HERE!


Reference the 2020 Cherry Festival Schedule while utilizing our handy-dandy interactive map!  

  • Be sure to call 231.947.4230 or visit the Cherry Festival Organization page for more in-depth information, to answer any questions, to register for events, buy tickets or make reservations. 

Things To Do in Charlevoix and Grand Haven before or after the Cherry Festival!

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