The National Cherry Queen: A Tradition of Elegance & Pride for Traverse City

Ashley Schichtel and the four girls hoping to take home that crown Friday have been at almost every event throughout the National Cherry Festival.

And these girls truly bring something special to not only the festival but also our region.

“This is our 92nd National Cherry Festival. The very first Cherry Queen was crowned in 1925,” National Cherry Queen director Angela Sayler said.

It’s one of the longest traditions of the National Cherry Festival, each year one lucky girl gets to carry on the tradition, holding that special title.

“When I was young I really sought out looking up to someone in the community and the Cherry Queen was always someone that was just an elegant, well-spoken, educated young woman who really believed in our community and in our industry,” says National Cherry Queen Ashley Schictel.

And for the last year, Ashley Schichtel has been just that for hundreds of little girls.

“Yesterday we spent some time at Special Kids Day and that was just a blast getting the long big hugs, seeing the little kids freeze up and get excited,” Ashley said.

“The little girls looking, they see the tiara and the sash and they’re like ‘oh my gosh you look so pretty, but you’re also really nice,’ so it’s just really special to see even the little boys, I mean they’re just enamored with the princesses,” Angela said.

From the Princess Tea to the Cherry Pit Spit Contest, it’s no doubt a busy week for Ashley and her court.

But one with memories that last a lifetime.

“Usually I think the worst part of the day is having it end. You fall asleep at the end of the night and you’re like’ oh my gosh I feel like that was three days in one,’ you just want to slow the time down,” Ashley said.

Ashley will now be finishing her degree while being an ambassador for the Grand Valley Nursing Program, passing on that crown to one of the four girls Friday at the Queens Ball.

We will of course keep you updated on who that lucky girl is.


Categories: National Cherry Festival