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Bridge Michigan
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National Cherry Festival expected to draw thousands, pump millions into economy

The gated entrance to The National Cherry Festival in Traverse City.
The National Cherry Festival begins Saturday in Traverse City. (Bridge photo by Lauren Gibbons)
  • Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to gather in Traverse City for the National Cherry Festival 
  • Michigan is the cherry capital of the world, producing over 70% of the country’s tart cherries 
  • Over 40,000 pounds of cherries will be consumed at the festival, according to organizers

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flock to Traverse City this weekend and throughout next week for the National Cherry Festival. The event starts Saturday and runs through the following Saturday, July 6.

The annual festival pumps millions of dollars into the local economy. A study by Grand Valley State University showed that 323,500 people — nearly 75% of them from outside Grand Traverse County — visited in 2022, spending $22 million.


Michigan, often called the cherry capital of the world, produces more tart cherries than any other state. More than 159 million pounds were produced here in 2022, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture


Over 40,000 pounds of cherries are expected to be consumed at the festival, according to organizers. Besides the usual sweet and tart cherries, visitors can buy cherry wine, juice and soda, cherry butter and chocolate-covered cherries.

Flowers at the National Cherry Festival
Festival organizers expect over 40,000 lbs of cherries will be consumed during the 8-day festival. (Bridge photo by Lauren Gibbons)

The festival will also include a number of free events, including two fireworks and air shows, two parades, amusement rides and cherry pie eating and pit-spitting competitions. 

Various artists are scheduled to perform during the eight-day festival including the Goo Goo Dolls, Bret Michaels, The Accidentals and Joshua Davis. Comedians Leanne Morgan and Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias will also perform. 

Activities are spread throughout the greater Traverse City area. The main festival grounds is in Open Space Park. Find ticket information here.

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