Traverse City Commissioners Approve Agreement, Changes For National Cherry Festival

It might seem like National Cherry Festival just ended, but plans for next year are already underway.

The National Cherry Festival in Traverse City will draw tens of thousands of people June 30 to July 7 next year.

Every year organizers work to make improvements.

“It’s really all about transparency and making sure that everyone’s on the same page for two years out,” said Kat Paye, executive director for National Cherry Festival.

Monday night Traverse City commissioners approved a two year agreement for the National Cherry Festival.

“We have been meeting with them, essentially since January of this year, to get ready for this agreement,” said Benjamin Marentette, city clerk for Traverse City. “We’ve conducted debriefs, tracked the things that are brought up from year to year.”

With a little over nine months until the festival, changes and improvements are already being finalized.

“You’ll see some more trash recycling efforts, some more robust pieces there, then there will be some differences in maybe some park usage, we might change something from one park to another,” said Paye. “Very minor from the public stand point but big logistically to us.”

Of course some favorites will be brought back.

“The Band Classic was traditionally held at Thirlby Field on Friday night of festival and these were the bands that always came in and marched in our parades so they participate in a competition on Friday night,” said Paye. “We’re looking at changing that a little bit so it will be a very fun family oriented event, very low cost ticket, with all the money going back into the community.”

And another favorite, the Blue Angels, are set and ready to take to the sky.

It’s something some commissioners and locals had questions about but ultimately air shows are something out of their authority.

“Really the city commission and the city has no ability to tell the Blue Angels that they can’t fly in the air space,” said Marentette.

“Of course there’s a few other things that are up our sleeve but can’t be announced yet because it’s only September,” said Paye. “So we have a few more months of planning before we roll our schedule at around the middle to end of December.”

Categories: National Cherry Festival