Michigan’s National Cherry Festival returns this year amid pandemic: Full schedule, info

Traverse City festival resumes after canceling 2020 festivities

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Michigan’s National Cherry Festival that brings fruit fans to Traverse City each year is returning this summer after canceling 2020 events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Traverse City cherry festival will take place on July 3-10 with both in-person and virtual festivities offered amid the pandemic. Officials say an entire pandemic safety plan is being crafted for the festival to help keep visitors and staff safe.

“The staff and volunteers have closely evaluated each event on the regular schedule to provide the community with events that take into consideration the health and safety of attendees and locals. Events you will find on this year’s calendar include virtual events (such as the Porch Parade and GT Pie Company’s Virtual Make & Bake), fitness events (such as Zumba, Yoga, Cherry Pie Bike Ride, Meijer Festival of Race presented by Cherry Bay Orchards) and events at the Open Space (such as the Food Court and Beer Tent),” the festival’s website reads. “In addition, the NCF is also working on relocating some other events to allow people to spread out and socially distance. These included the Arts & Crafts Show and the Old Town Car Show which will take place at the Grand Traverse Commons.”

Officials say there will not be an air show or concert series at the festival this year. Information regarding festival parades and fireworks will be announced at a later date.

The annual festival is normally held in late June into early July and includes music performances, family activities and -- best of all -- cherries. The 2020 National Cherry Festival was canceled in April of last year as the COVID pandemic overtook the nation.

Here’s the event lineup for the 2021 National Cherry Festival on July 3-10:

Friday, July 2

Old Town Classic Car Cruise

  • 5 p.m.
  • Turtle Creek Casino

Saturday, July 3

Go For The Gold! Pin Program

  • Ongoing festival event
  • Open Space Park

Very Cherry Porch Parade

  • Ongoing virtual event

Main festival

  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Official National Cherry Festival souvenir tent

  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Arnold’s Amusements Midway

  • 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Corner of Grandview Parkway at Union Street

Beer tent

  • 12 p.m to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Sunday, July 4

Go For The Gold! Pin Program

  • Ongoing festival event
  • Open Space Park

Very Cherry Porch Parade

  • Ongoing virtual event

Yoga by the Bay

  • 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  • Open Space Park

Arts & crafts fair

  • 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Grand Traverse Commons

Main festival

  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Official National Cherry Festival souvenir tent

  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Old Town Classic Car Show

  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Grand Traverse Commons

Arnold’s Amusements Midway

  • 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Corner of Grandview Parkway at Union Street

Beer tent

  • 12 p.m to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Family sand sculpture contest

  • 6 p.m.
  • Sunset Park Beach

Monday, July 5

Go For The Gold! Pin Program

  • Ongoing festival event
  • Open Space Park

Very Cherry Porch Parade

  • Ongoing virtual event

Cherry Pie Bike Ride

  • 9 a.m.
  • F & M Park, at Railroad and Washington streets

Main festival

  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Official National Cherry Festival souvenir tent

  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Arnold’s Amusements Midway

  • 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Corner of Grandview Parkway at Union Street

Beer tent

  • 12 p.m to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Tuesday, July 6

Go For The Gold! Pin Program

  • Ongoing festival event
  • Open Space Park

Very Cherry Porch Parade

  • Ongoing virtual event

Senior horseshoes

  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Senior Center

Main festival

  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Official National Cherry Festival souvenir tent

  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Arnold’s Amusements Midway

  • 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Corner of Grandview Parkway at Union Street

Beer tent

  • 12 p.m to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Wednesday, July 7

Go For The Gold! Pin Program

  • Ongoing festival event
  • Open Space Park

Very Cherry Porch Parade

  • Ongoing virtual event

Senior horseshoes

  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Senior Center

Senior shuffleboard

  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Senior Center

Main festival

  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Official National Cherry Festival souvenir tent

  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Arnold’s Amusements Midway

  • 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Corner of Grandview Parkway at Union Street

Beer tent

  • 12 p.m to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Thursday, July 8

Go For The Gold! Pin Program

  • Ongoing festival event
  • Open Space Park

Very Cherry Porch Parade

  • Ongoing virtual event

Senior horseshoes

  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Senior Center

Main festival

  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Official National Cherry Festival souvenir tent

  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Cherry Kids Fun Run

  • 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Grand Traverse Civic Center

Arnold’s Amusements Midway

  • 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Corner of Grandview Parkway at Union Street

Beer tent

  • 12 p.m to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Friday, July 9

Go For The Gold! Pin Program

  • Ongoing festival event
  • Open Space Park

Very Cherry Porch Parade

  • Ongoing virtual event

Cherry Golf Scramble

  • 8:30 a.m.
  • Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

Kids sand sculpture contest

  • 9 a.m.
  • Sunset Park Beach

Senior horseshoes

  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Senior Center

Senior shuffleboard

  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Senior Center

Main festival

  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Official National Cherry Festival souvenir tent

  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Arnold’s Amusements Midway

  • 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Corner of Grandview Parkway at Union Street

Beer tent

  • 12 p.m to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Cherries Got Talent finals

  • 2 p.m.
  • Beer tent

Saturday, July 10

Go For The Gold! Pin Program

  • Ongoing festival event
  • Open Space Park

Very Cherry Porch Parade

  • Ongoing virtual event

Main festival

  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Official National Cherry Festival souvenir tent

  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Arnold’s Amusements Midway

  • 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Corner of Grandview Parkway at Union Street

Beer tent

  • 12 p.m to 10 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Semi-finalist drawing for Go For The Gold! Pin Program

  • 3 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Go For The Gold! Pin Program final drawing

  • 7 p.m.
  • Open Space Park

Officials say event information will be updated prior to the festival, and new events may be added. The events listed above are as of April 13, 2021.

To see the 2021 National Cherry Festival calendar, visit their website right here.


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