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About Parades

National Cherry Festival Parade Committee

Made up of community volunteers who spend time throughout the year to bring you the best Parades possible, the Parade Committee is comprised of five teams, Logistics, Operations, Marketing/Information, Judging, and Recruitment. Assistant Directors and Captains oversee each team. We are a tight family of volunteers who strive to foster the best family entertainment possible through our three great parades.

Join Our Parade Family

We welcome you to join our family of Parades, learn more by clicking here.
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CONSUMERS ENERGY HERITAGE PARADE

Tuesday

Honoring the history of our community and the cherry industry this parade is truly a tribute to the community of northern Michigan. The Heritage Parade is back! The communities wanted the event to return to the National Cherry Festival. The Heritage Parade is sponsored by Consumers Energy and presented by Hagerty.

The Heritage Parade marching time is approximately 50 mins from start to finish.

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TOUCHSTONE ENERGY JUNIOR ROYALE PARADE

Thursday

Known as one of the largest children’s parade in Michigan, the Junior Royale Parade is highlighted with kid friendly floats, Junior Royalty, clowns, marching units and more. The Junior Royale Parade is sponsored by Touchstone Energy.

The Junior Royale Parade is approximately two-hours; marching time is approximately 35 minutes from start to finish.

Learn More

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DTE ENERGY CHERRY ROYALE PARADE

Saturday

The “grand daddy” of the Festival parades! Floats, Festival Royalty, and numerous marching units make up this three-hour parade. The Cherry Royale Parade is sponsored by DTE Energy.

Cherry Royale Parade marching time from start to finish is approximately 50 minutes.

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History Of Parades

The first parade of the National Cherry Festival took place in May of 1925. At this time, the festival was called "The Blessing of the Blossoms". Fifty-two floats made up the first Parade!

Over the years, we have had The Grand Floral Parade (now called the Cherry Royal Parade), the Children's Parade (now the Junior Royale Parade) and the Heritage Parade. And we have found memories of the parades that no longer grace our streets such as the Mummers Parade and the Balloon Parade. We continue to celebrate the heritage of parades and the joy they bring to families and community around us.


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Parade Memories & Milestones

National Cherry Festival Parades have hosted a myriad of accomplished Grand Marshals throughout its years. From those Nationally known (Minnie and Mickey Mouse, Willard Scott, Buddy Ebsen) and more to those with State and Area ties (Dan Majerle, Father Fred, Michigan Governors) we have welcomed many to our City and Festival.

However, one of the most memorable experience for the City of Traverse City and the National Cherry Festival was when sitting President Gerald R. Ford visited the festival and served as Grand Marshal in 1975. This let to a record parade attendance of over 300,000 people and 180 parade entries.
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Parade Route Map

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