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National Cherry Festival facts for kids

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National Cherry Festival
Begins July 3, 2021
Ends July 10, 2021
Location(s) Traverse City, Michigan
Inaugurated 1925
Most recent 2019

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 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 has completed 93 years. 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.

TraverseCity-MI-cherries
Cherries from Traverse City

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.

In 2017, Michigan's Greta Van Fleet performed with Shinedown. In '12, Pop Evil from Muskegon performed. In '14 Uncle Kracker performed with Smash Mouth. In '14, Tommy James & the Shondells performed. In '01, Chicago's Styx performed. In '16, Chicago's Cheap Trick performed. In '17, REO Speedwagon performed.

In 2020, Festival Officials announced on Thursday, April 16, 2020 that the 94th National Cherry Festival will be postponed until the following year; July 3rd - July 10th 2021. This postponement is in light of recent global health concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of announcement, the State of Michigan had 28,059 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 1,921 COVID-19 related deaths, 17 confirmed cases were in Grand Traverse County, Michigan and 3 deaths.

Previously, the only time the festival had been canceled was from 1942 through 1945 due to World War II.

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