Mary and Whitney Lyon of Island View Orchards run the longest continuous running cherry farm on the Old Mission Peninsula. The farm has been owned by the same family since 1878.
-The Lyon FamilyREAD MORE TALES
Phil & Patti Lyon were married on the parade route on July 11, 1992. The float, and idea to to marry a couple from the farming community, was carefully crafted by the Williams Brothers.READ MORE TALES
"The reason why I love to walk in 5K's is because I like walking more then being in my wheelchair. My experience from the festival and the race is great. I love walking with people around me who support me all the way. The two words I don't use are "can" or "can't". I just say. 'I WILL!'"
I have so many great memories of running the Festival of Races -- it's become a family tradition for me, my husband Joe, and our three children. We especially love running the 5K together.
-Heather Johnson Durocher
"With Michigan producing 75% of the U.S. supply of tart cherries on an annual basis, and about half of those cherries are produced in counties surrounding Traverse City, the National Cherry Festival is uniquely positioned to serve as an ambassador for the cherry industry."
-Phil Korson, President of the Cherry Marketing Institute
When Cindy Pleva became the National Cherry Queen in 1987, she wanted to do her part in selling more tart cherries so she enlisted the help from her father, Ray Pleva, a local butcher, to incorporate tart cherries into his meat products.
Ray Pleva and his cherry sausage making float, with polka music was the highlight of Cherry Festival parades for 26 years. Ray also had the privilege of being the Grand Marshal of the Cherry Royale Parade.
My experience as National Cherry queen was filled with passion for the cherry industry and the opportunity to serve my community. At the end of my year I had formed amazing friendships that have proved to be lifelong. I also felt so embraced by the cherry festival family, cherry industry, and community. I will be forever grateful!
-Sara Veliquette McGuire
For 50 years, Bob & Janet Underwood have been consumed by red tart cherries. Together they have planted, grown, harvested, processed, manufactured & marketed fruit and fruit products in the Cherry Capital of the World, in Traverse City, Michigan. They bought their first farm (203 acres) in 1963 on Old Mission Peninsula.
"Who knew when I was a Cherry Prince in 1984 at Oak Park Elementary that I would later become the Executive Director of The National Cherry Festival? I feel honored to be serving the festival so many years after getting the crown."
-Trevor Tkach, Executive Director of The National Cherry Festival
"After interning at The National Cherry Festival, I knew I wanted to move to Traverse City. I ended up seeking out a job here after my internship ended and later was hired full-time by the festival. Now, my mom is moving to Traverse City. The festival and this great city charmed us!"
-Michelle Elliott, Business Development Manager
The National Cherry Festival is more than a single summer celebration. We hold events all year long and are committed to pouring into our community.
“I find it amazing how the community of Traverse City comes together in promoting everything this beautiful area and festival has to offer."
2013 Cherry Queen
See how we support a strong and vibrant community.
See where you can make a difference.
The National Cherry Festival has over 150 events and activities and 85% are free for all! Kids can enjoy pit-spitting, pie-eating contests, turtle races and more without paying a penny.