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Cherry Pie Made By 480 Kids is a Treat at the National Cherry Festival

 Cherry pie is a very important part of the National Cherry Festival, and on Thursday more than 480 kids got to try their hand at baking them.

They had the help of the Grand Traverse Pie Company to do it.

“It’s just a fun tradition to do,” Baker Lilia Shook says.

Mix local cherries with a little sugar and flour, top it off with crumbles and a lot love and you have the annual Cherry Pie Make and Bake.

“I feel really proud of myself that I made a pie because usually when I bake it never turns out,” says baker Madison Shook.

Lilia says this was her first time.

“Cherry Festival is all about cherries, and really fun,” Lilia says. “Then we get to make a pie that’s cherry. That was my first time doing it by myself, and I just like doing it and I really like making pies.”

The event started 15 years ago, but because of family traditions like the Schook’s, it’s grown into something much more.

Mike Busley, with GTPC, says it’s something they do because the kids have fun.

“It’s really 10 or 15 minutes of work, but it’s so much fun to them and means so much, so if we can create something that means a lot to a kid so years later they have a positive memory of the festival, how can we not do that,” Mike says.

The event is free, but the Grand Traverse Pie Company puts it on with the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center, even giving them donations from the event.

“All of our volunteers today are from the Traverse Bay CAC to answer any questions parents have about keeping your child safe,” Mike says.

All the money raised from donations will not only go to the Traverse Bay Child Advocacy Center, but GTPC will also match that money.