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National Cherry Queen Allie Graziano Reflects on Her Reign

“It is definitely very bittersweet. There’s no other way to describe it.”

One year ago, Allie Graziano fulfilled a dream dating back to first grade as a Cherry Festival Princess for Millcreek Elementary School.

“It was in that moment my mom kind of whispered, you know, like one day you could be a National Cherry Queen,” said Graziano.

Fast forward to today, she fulfilled that dream and so much more.

“Now that I’m the cherry queen, it’s just kind of my goal to help inspire that next generation, inspire those next girls to want to run,” Graziano explained.

Throughout her year, she visited 50 classrooms in the area, and made over 100 appearances, definitely fulfilling her role as ambassador for the festival, this area and the cherry industry.

“It’s really just been being in my community,” said Graziano. “So many people make the cherry festival and the cherry industry what it is. And I truly would not have been able to build those connections or meet the people I would have met if it weren’t for this title.”

As she prepares to pass her crown to one of these lucky girls, she has one piece of advice for them.

“I would just say truly soak up every second you get,” Graziano said. “The year goes by so, so quickly. So just enjoy every second.”

Graziano graduated from Baker College in May, and she just accepted a position as a nurse in the NICU at Munson Healthcare in Traverse City. She crowns her successor Friday night.