National Cherry Festival underway in Traverse City

Annual Cherry Festival tightens security in wake of Boston Marathon bombings

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - The National Cherry Festival gets underway Saturday in Traverse City with some new events alongside the traditional pie eating and pit spitting contests -- and security will be tightened in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.

About 500,000 people are expected to attend the eight-day festival. Police Capt. Brian Heffner tells the Traverse City Record-Eagle that officers and explosive-detecting dogs will be on hand for parades and races. Festival director Trevor Tkach says there will be more security cameras and volunteers trained to look for anything suspicious.

The festival is designed to promote the Grand Traverse region's cherry industry and attractiveness as a tourist destination.

There will be two air shows on Saturday -- one in the afternoon and one at 10 p.m.

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