|National Cherry Festival|
|Begins||July 1, 2017|
|Ends||July 8, 2017|
|Location(s)||Traverse City, Michigan|
The National Cherry Festival is a festival in Traverse City, Michigan. It began in 1925 as the Blessing of the Blossoms Festival, which was held in early May to attract tourists to Northern Michigan to view the blooming cherry blossoms. In 1931 the Michigan Legislature renamed the festival to the National Cherry Festival, and moved the event to the summer. Since 2004, a May event coinciding with blooming of the cherry blossoms is also held again, as the Blossom Days Festival, in addition to what is now the better-known National Cherry Festival.
Every year more than 500,000 attendees enjoy the National Cherry Festival, which is now in its 90th year. Families can enjoy many kinds of activities from cherry pit spitting and pie eating contests, to the Grand Royale Parade in which the newly crowned Cherry Queen greets the crowds. There is also a Junior Royale parade for children and a Festival Airshow, including periodic visits from the Blue Angels. In addition, to the National Cherry Festival, there are a number of other cherry festivals celebrated around the United States.
Originally held in mid- to late July to coincide with the cherry harvest, the Festival was moved to early July to take advantage of the July 4th holiday.
On July 25, 1987, Cherry Festival participants earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for baking the world's largest cherry pie. The pie was 17 ft 6 in (5.33 m) in diameter, weighing 28,350 pounds. This replaced the pie baked nine years earlier in Charlevoix, Michigan. This record was held until July 14, 1990, when a pie weighing 37,740 lb 10 oz (17,118.9 kg), 20 feet (6.1 m) in diameter was baked and eaten by approximately 1500 people in Oliver, British Columbia.