Producing 70 to 75 percent of the tart cherries grown in the United States, Michigan famers harvest most for use in pies, preserves, jellies, juices, dried fruit and other products.
But come July and early August, the countryside around Traverse City is dottetd with stands, markets and U-pick signs offering ready-to-eat sweet, dark cherries. To celebrate, the National Cherry Festival serves up more than 150 family-fun events and flavorful activities for visitors to enjoy, from the nation's largest all-kids' parade and fireworks to outdoor concerts and midway rides: Take your pick! For complete details about the festival, visit http://www.cherryfestival.org/
In addition to the National Cherry Festival, the northern Michigan region is host to a number of festivals throughout the year. Click on one of the below festivals for more details.
Annual Empire Asparagus Festival
Recently listed as #9 in the World's Weirdest Festivals by MSN Travel, the Empire Asparagus Festival is one of a kind. Empire greets the arrival of asparagus season during this festival which includes games, pig roast, Kick Yer Ass-pararagus 5K Fun Run/Walk, wine and beer tasting tent with local food vendors and even an oral poetry contest awarding the best "Ode to Asparagus."
Visit http://www.empirechamber.com for complete details.
Annual Mesick Mushroom Festival
Mesick Michigan is the Mushroom Capital of the United States and the Mesick Mushroom Festival celebrates all things Mushroom with a host of events including, what else, mushroom hunting. Other festival events include a parade, carnival, 5k Run, car show, mud bog and the Blessing of the Jeeps.
Visit http://www.mesick-mushroomfest.org for complete details.
Interlochen Arts Festival
The Interlochen Arts Festival has been hosting amazing concert events for the past 50 years. The Festival incorporates both free and ticketed events in beautiful Northern Michigan settings.
Visit http://tickets.interlochen.org for complete details.
Traverse City Summer Concert Series
The Traverse City Summer Concert Series is held at the Northwestern Michigan Fairgrounds and features a concert each month in June, July and August. Each year brings big name musicians to an outdoor concert setting.
Visit http://concertseries2.cherrycityconsulting.com for complete details.
Blues, Brew and BBQ
This year begins a new National Cherry Festival kickoff event, Blues, Brews and BBQ at the Hagerty Center. You can watch the U.S. Navy Blue Angels soar over West Grand Traverse Bay while enjoying a BBQ spread, Michigan Microbrews and hard ciders. This will be the first time in four years that the Blue Angels have joined the National Cherry Festival.
Visit http://www.cherryfestival.org/2014-event-schedule/199 for complete details.
Traverse City Film Festival
The Traverse City Film Festival has grown to become one of the largest film festivals in the Midwest. In 2011, there were over 128,000 admissions to 156 screenings. The festival places a special emphasis on foreign films, American independents, documentaries and more.
The festival also presents classic movies free of charge on a giant, inflatable outdoor screen overlooking Grand Traverse Bay in the Open Space Park at dusk.
Visit http://www.traversecityfilmfest.org for complete details.
Great Lakes Equestrian Festival
The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival will take place July 1-26, 2015 at Flintfields Horse Park in (Williamsburg) Traverse City, Michigan. Stadium Jumping is excited to be the new competition management of Flintfields Horse Park and is looking forward to delivering world-class competition and continued success and growth to the events at FlintFields Horse Park. The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival will feature four weeks of exciting equestrian competition located in a fantastic tourist destination that caters to equestrian athletes and equine enthusiasts alike. Competitors and spectators will be able to enjoy all that Traverse City has to offer while attending this elite equestrian competition.
Visit http://www.stadiumjumping.com/#!michagan/c121p for complete details.
Traverse City Summer Microbrew and Music Festival
Summer fun continues through late August with the annual Summer Microbrew & Music Festival, hosted on the grounds of the historic Grand Traverse Commons. The festival combines craft beer from throughout the nation with local food, silent disco and more. Chart-topping country superstar Dierks Bentley headlined during the 2012 festival.
Visit http://www.porterhouseproductions.com for complete details.
Traverse City Wine and Art Festival
A popular festival that features tastings & full glass pours from more than 25 of the region's best wineries paired with local food favorites. The festival also includes a diverse set of musical performances and exhibition and sale of artworks by many of the region’s best painters, potters, weavers and other artists.
The event takes place at Traverse City’s most scenic venue: the wide tree-shaded lawn of the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Formerly a mental asylum scattered with castle-like buildings, the venue continues its transformation into the hub of Traverse City’s budding culinary scene.
Visit http://traversecitywinefestival.com for complete details.
Taste of Traverse City
Held over Labor Day Weekend the Taste of Traverse City is an epicurean festival focused on the unique food and beverage offerings of the Grand Traverse area.
The festival events include a tasting event at the Open Space, a Downtown Grub Crawl, a White House Dinner held at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa and a Best of the Brunch event at the Hagerty Center.
Visit http://www.tasteoftraversecity.com for complete details.
Above It All
Major Renovation takes Grand Traverse Resort and Spa's majestic Tower to new heights.
Enriched by a great mix of natural attributes, the Grand Traverse region fuels a passion to compete — and to stay on course, as long as you can.
Thirsty for adventure? From concocting innovative new cocktails to reimagining the classics, Aerie Restaurant & Lounge Manager Jillian Thaxton pairs the fine art of bartending with the enticing science of mixology.