Traverse City Businesses See Jump in Sales During National Cherry Festival

“We’ll probably see in the neighborhood of 10 percent higher during the Cherry Festival.”

The first weekend of the National Cherry Festival wrapped up Sunday.

Many businesses in Traverse City are already seeing the benefits.

The National Cherry Festival brings people from all over the country to Northern Michigan.

That means these next two weekends are the busiest time of the year for many local businesses.

The owner of Milk & Honey on Front Street says they keep scooping up business this week.

“The line will go to the door, outside and around the corner at night occasionally. For us, it’s typically the best week of the year because it is so child and friendly centric,” owner Joe Welsh said.

And Welsh says he has his largest staff ever to handle those long lines.

“We’ve got 30 people right now, so it’s a little bit of a trick training the new ones in between the time school gets out and cherry festival starts,” he said.

A popular brunch spot, The Towne Plaza, says team work and preparation are key.

“We have our prep room downstairs and then our prep cooks come in super early. Making twice the amount of food, just doing all the same things, but working twice as hard,” says on duty manager Carly Greilick.

And while the busy streets may keep some locals away, they can’t keep two sisters from tradition.

“I had a friend that went to school here and lived here and she’s like ‘I never want to go to that,’ but it’s like a tradition for us. We always come up here,” Courtney Lampert said.

A group of friends visiting say the crowds don’t bother them because they see a lot larger ones back home.

“This is nothing compared to Chicago. Seems like just way more laid back and a lot of fun, I would say, people don’t be afraid to come during cherry fest,” says Teresa Lippert.

Keep watching 9&10 News all week where we’ll be live from the National Cherry Festival.