Skip to Content

Traverse City Cherry Festival 2022: Event Schedule, Parking, Things to Do, Best Eating, MAP, Concerts

About the 2022 Traverse City Cherry Festival

2022 Guide to the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City MI

The Traverse City Cherry Festival is THE summer festival in northern Michigan.

It’s a celebration of northern Michigan’s favorite fruit crop – the cherry – on the beautiful shores of Grand Traverse Bay, and it’s hands-down one of my favorite Michigan events.

It’s eight days of celebrating everything cherry: cherry blossoms, cherry pies, even a national cherry queen. The annual event is part old-time country fair; part rockin’ beach party; part family-friendly carnival and full-on fun.

From classic car shows to the arts and crafts fair; from a sand sculpture contest on the beach to the Cherry Porch parade, National Cherry Festival week is one giant party in downtown Traverse City and the festival grounds. You’ll find lots of kid’s activities, too, like a Bubble Gum Blowing contest and cherry pieeating contests.

There are performances to watch, from the Ultimate Air Dogs to the Navy Blue Angels; from Jim Gaffigan to Boyz II Men and Collective Soul. And that’s just a small taste of the many activities planned for this fun Michigan festival.

Whether you take a day trip or a longer vacation, you’re going to want to put the Traverse City National Cherry Festival on your Michigan summer bucket list.

Read on for everything you need to know about this exciting summer festival in Traverse City Michigan, and scroll to the bottom for the map of event locations and parking, too!

Traverse City Cherry festival - national cherry festival

National Cherry Festival Events

Cherry Festival Events on Friday July 1, 2022

What: Old Town Classic Cruise
When: 5:00 PM
Where: Turtle Creek Casino

Do you own a classic car, truck or motorcycle and love warm weather blowing through your hair? Join us for a classic vehicle cruise! Classics to meet at Turtle Creek Casino on the Friday before Festival! Staging will begin at 5 pm and the cruise will leave at 6 pm

What: U.S. Coast Guard Open Ramp
When: 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Where: USCG Air Station Traverse City

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station is once again hosting the National Cherry Festival Airshow aerial demonstration teams. Come meet members of your local Coast Guard as well as the other demonstration teams participating in this year’s exciting Cherry Festival Airshow at this free event.

Ongoing Events Beginning Saturday, July 2

Please note these events will be held through the week of the fair unles otherwise noted.

What: Cherry Farm Markets
When: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM; July 02 – July 09, 2022
Where: Open Space Park
Enjoy products from Six Lugs, The Cherry Stop, Harbor View Lavender, Sleeping Bear Farms, GT Sauce, Woods Farms, Halo Dips and more local vendors.

What: Festival Open Space Park
When: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Where: Open Space Park
Here, you can have a slice of Grand Traverse Cherry Pie a la mode, enjoy lunch or dinner from a local restaurant, shop everything Cherry at the Cherry Farmer’s Market, get your Cherry Festival swag at the souvenir tent, grab a snack and much more.

Please note that the Baby Comfort Station, First Aid Tent, Lost and Found and other Festival necessities are located here as well.

What: Go For the Gold! Pin Program
When: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Where: Open Space Park
You can take home a festival keepsake with the possibility of winning one of the grand prizes. Commemorative pins will be available for $5. The commemorative pins will also be needed for entry into the beer tent.

What: Kids Club!
When: July 02 – July 09, 2022, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Where: Clinch Park
The Cherry Kids Club returns to the Festival Open Space in 2022, and you’ll find free activities for kids of all ages.

Traverse City Cherry festival - national cherry festival

More Ongoing Events at the Traverse City Cherry Festival

What: Official National Cherry Festival Souvenir Tent
When: July 02 – July 09, 2022, 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Where: Open Space Park
Get your Official National Cherry Festival Souvenirs here! You’ll find a wide variety of cherry-themed merch, including popular sauces and salsas from local cherry farmers.

What: Beer Tent
When: July 02 – July 09, 2022, 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Where: Open Space Park
Cool off with beer, wine, or other specialty cocktails. Festival-goers must be 21 to enter the tent and have a commemorative pin. Traverse City is home to amazing craft breweries and wineries. You might want to think about taking one of the many wine tours while you’re here!

What: Arnold’s Amusements Midway
When: July 2 – July 9, 2022 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Where: Corner of Grandview Parkway at Union Street
Visit Traverse City’s favorite amusement park and see the city from the top of the Ferris Wheel. Enjoy the thrill of fast-past rides! Please note there is a fee for tickets and wristbands

What: Consumers Energy Cherry Porch Parade
When: VIRTUAL
Where: VIRTUAL
Join the National Cherry Festival for Consumers Energy’s Very Cherry Porch Parade! Celebrate cherries by decorating your porch, window, or yard during National Cherry Festival Week.

Cherry pie at the Traverse City Cherry festival - national cherry festival

National Cherry Festival Events On Saturday, July 2

What: Opening Ceremonies
When: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM, July 02, 2022
Where: Open Space Park
Start the Festival off right! Hear a message for the National Cherry Queen and the National Cherry Festival President along with other prominent figures of the Grand Traverse Region.

What: Sara Hardy’s Farmers Market
When: 7:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Where: Old Town Parking Deck
One of the top farmer’s markets in the state! The Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market is THE best place to find locally grown agricultural products. Enjoy local products, baked goods flowers, and plants at one of Michigan’s finest farm markets!

What: Very Cherry Flying Pancake Breakfast
When: 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Where: Open Space Park
Support a good cause and enjoy a flipping good time as Chris Cake’s pancakes soar through the air in support of The Festival Foundation. Top your cakes with Herkner’s Cherry Topping & Out of the Woods Maple Syrup at this event.

What: Zumba By The Bay
When: 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Where: Open Space Park
Celebrate the kickoff to Cherry Festival with a 2-hour, high-energy exercise class led by Certified Strong by Zumba® & Zumba® Instructor, Angie Pierce along with other instructors from the Northern MI area.

What: Norte Kids Balance Bike Race
When: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Where: Norte Clubhouse
The balance bike race invites riders ages 2–5 to rip through Norte’s balance bike course at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center. Norte has helmets and bikes for racers, and families are encouraged to bring their own.

What: Two-Person Beach Volleyball
When: 9:00 AM
Where: West End Park Beach Volleyball Courts
Two-person tournament play on the beautiful beaches of West Grand Traverse Bay. Saturday’s tournament features Men’s and Women’s play, with 18 teams per division. Good luck to all the teams!

What: Flight Deck
When: 12:45 PM – 4:00 PM
Where: Open Space Park
Enjoy a picnic-style lunch and the best seat in the Festival as you view the National Cherry Festival Air Show over Grand Traverse Bay.

What: U.S. Navy Blue Angels Air Show
When: July 02 – July 03, 2022, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Where: Open Space Park
U.S. Navy Blue Angels will take to the skies opening weekend on July 2nd & 3rd.

What: Blues, Brews & BBQ
When: July 2- 3, 2022, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM – RUNS TWO DAYS
Where: Hagerty Center at Northwestern Michigan College Maritime Academy
Kick off the 96th National Cherry Festival with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, micro-brews, as well as the finest BBQ around! Watch the Blue Angels as they soar high over West Grand Traverse Bay, all while sipping on a cold brew and enjoying some savory BBQ! It will be an opening event that everyone will want to attend!

What: Bubble Gum Blowing Contest
When: 1 PM
Where: Kids Club
Classic National Cherry Festival takes place daily at 1:00 pm at the Kids Club.

What: Indigo View Airshow
When: July 02 – July 03, 2022, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Where: Hotel Indigo
Waterfront dining for the air show? Watch the airshow from the stunning Hotel Indigo rooftop, onf the prettiest hotels on the water. Overlooking the Grand Traverse West Bay, Hotel Indigo’s swank rooftop is where you will enjoy the magnificent airshow while indulging in the most scrumptious sips and bites that you will taste all summer. Menu to be announced. Two beverage tickets are included with your meal.

What: Sheryl Crow with special guest May Erlewine
When: 6:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Where: Bayside Music Stage

Cherries at the Traverse City Cherry festival - national cherry festival

Traverse City Events on July 3

What: Yoga by The Bay
When: 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Where: Open Space Park
Bring the whole family! New to yoga or a seasoned yogi all are welcome to this FREE event.

What: Arts & Crafts Fair
When: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Where: Grand Traverse Commons
This juried arts and crafts fair held in Traverse City features more than 100 artists from across the Midwest. Purchase unique, local, hand-crafted items and art at this unique festival.

What: Four Person Beach Volleyball Tournament
When: 9:00 AM
Where: Traverse City West End Park Beach Volleyball Courts on Grandview Parkway
Four-person tournament play on the beautiful beaches of West Grand Traverse Bay. Sunday’s tournament features Co-Ed Open (18 teams), Co-Ed Recreational (12 teams) and Open (6 teams) play.

What: Yoga By the Bay
When: 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Where: Open Space Park

What: Great American Picnic
When: 12:45 PM – 4:00 PM
Where: Hagerty Center at Northwestern Michigan College Maritime Academy
Join us for the ultimate Great American Picnic. Watch the Air Show and play old fashion picnic games while enjoying a cherry-inspired picnic lunch!

What: Kids Cherry Teddy Bear Tea
When: July 03, 2022, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Where: F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets
Calling all kids and teddy bear companions! Bring your favorite bear and blanket for a fun-filled afternoon in the park. Enjoy storytelling, making a teddy bear craft, and of course an afternoon tea party with other teddy bears and kids. Parents are welcome.

What: Dwight Yoakam on the Music Stage
When: July 3, 2022, 6:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Where: Bayside Music Stage

What: Family Sand Sculpture Contest
When: July 03, 2022, 6:00 PM
Where: Sunset Park Beach
A fun time on the beach with a sand sculpture competition for families, groups, and individuals ages 13 and up.

Michigan July 4 parades, events and celebrations

July 4th Events at the Traverse City Cherry Festival

What: Bubble Gum Blow
When: 1:00 PM
Where: Kids Club
This classic National Cherry Festival events returns daily to the Kids Club located in Clinch Park.

What: Orchard Tours & More
When: July 04 – July 08, 2022, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Where: Michigan State University Horticultural Research Station
Visit a 137-acre research farm in the heart of “Cherry Country.” There will be educational exhibits, samples of cherry products, and tours of the farm. Cherry fun for the kids includes a 4-H petting zoo and a 4H kids activity (No petting zoo on July 4th). The shuttle to Orchard Tours and More will depart every half hour from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM from Traverse City Tourism. Please note that this activity runs daily through July 8.

What: Kids Cherry Pie Eating Contest
When: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Where: F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets
The Kids Cherry Pie Eating Contest is a fun, family-favorite event that all children enjoy. Age classifications from pre-school to 12 years old.

What: Adult Cherry Pie Eating Contest
When: 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Where: Lay’s Cherry Blast Stage, Open Space Park

Feel like a kid again and dive into a slice of cherry pie! The first one to finish their slice wins! Prizes awarded. Free registration will open 30 minutes prior to event at stage, no fee required.

What: Collective Soul & TESLA
When: 6:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Where: Bayside Music Stage

What: 4th of July Fireworks Holiday Event
When: 10:30 PM
Where: Open Space Park

pet show at the Traverse City Cherry festival - national cherry festival

Festival Events on July 5

What: Cherry Pie Bike Ride
When: 9:00 AM
Where: F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets
A short, meandering, community ride designed for socializing and celebrating pie! This annual slow roll is an excellent way to explore Traverse City’s historic neighborhoods, with Traverse City’s youth bike organization, Norte, leading the way. Bonus: every rider receives a voucher for a free slice of pie from the Grand Traverse Pie Company.

What: Kids Pet Show
When: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where: F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets
One of the most popular kid’s events!! No Fee Required. Entries are open to “Live” pets, and kids 3 – 12 yrs. of age. Animals must be under control by the participant. Reserve your spot by registering online for one or more categories: Most Unusual Pet, Best Dressed Ensemble, Dressed for the Decades: 1930s, Most Creative Cherry-Theme, Most Patriotic Pet, and Most Royal Pet

What: Princess Tea
When: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where: Great Wolf Lodge
Dress in your favorite princess dress and enjoy tea with National Cherry Queen and her royal court! Tea and treats will be provided at Princess Tea’s new location: Great Wolf Lodge.

What: Cornhole Tournament
When: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Where: Beer Tent
Join the fun at the annual cornhole tournament brought to you by Cornhole America.

What: Cherry Industry Program and Awards
When: 2:30 PM
Where: Michigan State University Horticultural Research Station
Cherry industry information is presented in this special program, bringing industry leaders, Festival officials and the National Cherry Queen and her court together.

What: Nelly
When: 6:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Where: Bayside Music Stage

frankfort michigan travel guide

July 6 Events at the National Cherry Festival

What: Fun & Games for Special Cherry Kids
When: July 06, 2022 9:00 AM
Where: Open Space Park
A morning with games and festival activities with a focus on inclusion for children and individuals with physical and developmental disabilities. Games, Art Activities, Face Painting and visiting with Super Cherry and the Queen and Court. Amusement rides are made inclusive with slower speeds and help with loading and unloading hosted by the Arnold Family.

What: GT Butterfly Experience
When: July 06 – July 09, 2022, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Where: Clinch Park
You’ll find several species of North American butterflies on display including the Monarch, learn about its migration, and how you can help save butterflies in your own backyard. Visitors will experience a walk-through exhibit, with the opportunity to feed butterflies!

What: Kids Cherry Town Fun Night
When: 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Where: F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets
Kids, bring your family for a fun-filled evening of entertainment for all ages. Many performers, hands-on activities, food, and all-around enjoyment. No fee is required.

What: Festival Fashion Show
When: 4:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Where: Great Wolf Lodge
The Festival Fashion Show returns with a new location and time! Join the National Cherry Queen and her court as they and area models rock the runway in a show of the best fashion in Traverse City. Many local boutiques, regional shops, and national department stores participate in this fun, fashion event.

What: Adult Cherry Pie Eating Contest
When: 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Where: Lay’s Cherry Blast Stage, Open Space Park
Feel like a kid again and dive into a slice of cherry pie! The first one to finish their slice wins! Prizes awarded. Free registration will open 30 minutes prior to event at stage, no fee required.

What: Jim Gaffigan: The Fun Tour!
When: 6:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Where: Bayside Music Stage

tunnel of trees
Michigan’s Tunnel of Trees in Petoskey MI

July 7 National Cherry Festival Events

What: Cherry Pie Make & Bake
When: 10:00 AM
Where: Open Space Park
Kids from 2-12 years old learn to make a mini Cherry Crumb Pie (National Cherry Festival’s Signature Pie!) from the bakers at Grand Traverse Pie Company. Kids make the pie, we can bake the pie on-site or your little can take it home to bake it!

What: Ultimate Air Dogs
When: July 07 – July 09, 2022 – RUNS TWO DAYS
Where: Open Space Park
Twelve amazing shows over three days! The annual National Cherry Festival, Ultimate Air Dogs competition is always a huge success, featuring nearly one hundred “dog athletes” and their proud owner/trainers competing for advancement in the regional competition.

What: Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians Pow Wow
When: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Where: Bayside Music Stage

What: Cherry Mile
When: 5:30 PM
Where: Traverse City Central Track
Returning to the Traverse City Central High School Track! Watch your friends and family compete for the fastest mile time.

More July 7th Cherry Festival Events

What: 1964 The Tribute
When: 6:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Where: Bay Side Music Stage

What: Cherry Kids Fun Run
When: July 07, 2022, 6:00 PM
Where: Central Grade School
The Cherry Kids Fun Run celebrates our youngest generation with an encouraging multiple-mile Fun Run race. This year the Cherry Kids Fun Run returns to Consumers Energy Community Royale Parade route. Starting and ending at Central Grade Schools, kids will experience mile-out and back fun run!

What: Consumers Energy Community Royale Parade
When: July 07, 2022, 6:30 PM
Where: Front to Union to 7th Streets
Combining the heritage of the area while celebrating the junior royalty, comes the first-ever parade designed to encompass the community of the Grand Traverse Region: Consumers Energy Community Royale Parade.

15 Best Scenic drives in Michigan

Friday, July 8 Cherry Festival Events

What: Cherry Golf Scramble
When: July 08, 2022
Where: Grand Traverse Resort and Spa
Great golf at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, one of the Midwest’s top resorts. This is a two-person, 18-hole scramble on Spruce Run, the original Resort course. Shotgun start, 8:30 a.m. Prizes awarded.

What: Diaper Derby & Toddler Trot
When: July 08, 2022, 10:00 AM
Where: F & M Park at Railroad & Washington Streets
For our youngest Festival goers, fun-filled competitions of baby crawling and toddler trotting. Registration gets underway at 9 am and the first race will start at 10 am! Open to children 3 and under.

What: DTE Energy Day
When: July 08, 2022, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Where: Open Space Park
Join the DTE Energy Optimization team and learn what you can do to save energy and money! Play games and when prizes. All ages Welcome.

What: Kids Chalk Art
When:
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Where: Open Space Park
Kids, ages 5 to 12, come and bring your artistic ability to create a picture or two with chalk. Chalk is provided. No fee required.

What: Meijer Festival of Races
When: July 08 – July 09, 2022 – TWO DAYS
Where: Traverse City Central High School
Imagine…You’re lining up with thousands of runners just like you on a beautiful Traverse City morning. You enjoy the picturesque views of Grand Traverse Bay as you push yourself to beat last years’ time. You come to the final stretch downtown and you’re re-energized by thousands of cheering fans all the way to the finish line.

More July 8th Cherry Festival Events in Traverse City MI

What: Cherry Queen’s Coronation
When: 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Where: Hagerty Center at Northwestern Michigan College Maritime Academy
Meet the four candidates competing to be the Next National Cherry Queen, say farewell to the 2021/2022 Queen, and welcome in the 2022/2023 Queen.

What: ZZ Top Concert
When: 6:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Where: Bayside Music Stage
Discover the winners of the Go For the Gold. Winners need not be present to win.

best places to eat in glen arbor Mi

July 9 Events at the National Cherry Festival

What: DTE Energy Foundation Cherry Royale Parade
When: 11:15 AM – 1:00 PM
Where: Front St to Union Street to 13th Street
Join us in kicking off the National Cherry Festival’s final day with the DTE Energy Foundation Cherry Royale Parade! Enjoy royalty, marching bands, Prince and Princess floats, clowns, specialty entries and much more!

What: GT Butterfly Experience
When: July 06 – July 09, 2022, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Where: Clinch Park

You’ll find several species of North American butterflies on display including the Monarch, learn about its migration, and how you can help save butterflies in your own backyard. Visitors will experience a walk-through exhibit, with the opportunity to feed butterflies!

What: Go For The Gold Pin Program Drawing
When: 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Where: Lay’s Cherry Blast Stage, Open Space Park

What: Boyz II Men
When: 6:00 PM
Where: Bayside Music Stage

best restaurants in traverse city

Where to Eat

You’ll have not trouble finding food at the Cherry Festival. From vendors booths to beer and wine tents, you’ll be surrounded by options for food. If you’re looking for a restaurant, be sure and check out our locals guide to some of the best restaurants in Traverse City. Writer Natalie Hardy of travelovermiway.com is a long-time Traverse City resident and local foodie who shares her favorite spots for a bite!

traverse City Cherry Festival map

Parking at the Traverse City Cherry Festival

Although there are many places around Traverse City to park for the National cherry Festival, many of them reuire walking. You might also want to consider parking farther away from the festival and using the shuttle service. We usually get there early and park at the Cherry Lot at Northwestern Michigan College and take the shuttle service. More information on the shuttle locations is offered below.

Parking Options

  • Main Festival Grounds & Bayside Music Stage (Open Space Park): 106 W Grandview Parkway, Traverse City, MI 49684
    Parking is located throughout downtown Traverse City and is managed by the City of Traverse City. The City boasts several parking garages as well as street parking. The National Cherry Festival also offers free shuttle service in cooperation with Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA).
  • F&M Park: 716 E State St, Traverse City, MI 49686
    Street Parking is available. Biking to F&M Park is available on the TART Trail. This approximately an eight block walk from the Open Space Park and a four block walk from the Hardy Parking Garage.
  • Grand Traverse Commons: 1200 W Eleventh St, Traverse City, MI 49684
    Onsite parking is available. The Bata Bayline also has stops to this location.
  • Michigan State University Horticulture Research Station: 6686 S Center Hwy, Traverse City, MI 49684
    Shuttles are available for the Orchard Tour and More event held at this location and there is some limited parking.
  • Hagerty Center at Northwestern Michigan College: 715 E Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49686
    Limited parking is available.
  • Great Wolf Lodge: 3575 N U.S. 31 S, Traverse City, MI 49684
    Onsite parking is available.
  • Grand Traverse County Civic Center: 1213 W Civic Center Dr, Traverse City, MI 49686
    Parking is available.

Cherry Festival Shuttle Service

Bayline (operated by Bay Area Transportation Authority)

The Bayline will run from 7 am to 1 am during the National Cherry Festival every 12-15 minutes. The main pick up areas for the Bayline are Woodland Creek (East), Cherry Lot at Northwestern Michigan College (Central) and Meijer (West) Parking Lot adjacent to the Car Wash.

Orchard Tour & More Shuttle
The shuttle to Orchard Tour & More will depart every half hour from 9:30 am to 11:30 am from Traverse City Tourism, Monday through Friday.

When is the National Cherry Festival?

The National Cherry Festival is scheduled for July 2- July 9, 2022! Held in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan, the National Cherry festival is a summer highlight in beautiful northern Michigan.

Are You Going to Traverse City Cherry Festival?

We’d love to hear if youre planning on attending this annual fun festival. Use the comment section below to tell us your favorite things to do at the National Cherry Festival!

You Might Also Enjoy-

ultimate guide to glen arbor mi
sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore
suttons bay mi guide
Leland Mi Travel Guide ; Explore Michigan's Fishtown