This week is National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan. Over 500,000 people are expected to attend this popular event to experience the pie eating contest, the pit-spitting competition as well as tasting the many  creative recipes made with these favorite tart cherries. The festival has been part of the culture of this popular vacation destination since 1924. Traverse City is located at the southern end of Grand Traverse Bay 250 miles northwest of Detroit, and is known for its beautiful trails, cherry orchards, growing art scene, and culinary farm-to-market restaurants. Today, Michigan produces 70-75 percent of the cherries grown in the United States, most of the cherries grown around the Traverse City region.
In 1852, Peter Dougherty, a missionary and the first European settler in the area, planted the first cherry trees on the Old Mission Peninsula. To everyone’s surprise, the cherry trees thrived.  Apparently, the sandy soil as well as the nearby Lake Michigan tempering the Arctic wind in the winter and cooling the hot air in the summer provided the perfect growing environment for the trees.


These beautiful cherry  photos were taken by Amy Barickman, an entrepreneur, cherry enthusiast and annual attendee of the festival. She and her family vacation in the area for the month of July, enjoying the lake and all of the amenities.

You may not be able to attend the National Cherry Festival but you can enjoy the delicious cherries from this popular region.


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