What Is a Cherry Festival?

L. Whitaker

A cherry festival is a one-time or recurring themed event that takes place in a specific locale, featuring a variety of activities, entertainment, and food items related to cherries. In the United States, cherry festivals take place in regions ranging from California to Michigan. There are also internationally renowned cherry festivals in Australia, Canada, and China.

Rainier cherries.
Rainier cherries.

In Traverse City, Michigan, the National Cherry Festival has been an officially recognized annual event since 1931, when it was enacted by Michigan's state legislature. The historical development of this particular festival includes two U.S. presidents. In 1926, in conjunction with the city's "Blessing of the Blossoms" event, a Traverse City bakery presented Calvin Coolidge with a cherry pie that was 3 feet (0.9 m) in diameter. The opening ceremony of the 1930 festival, a three-day special event, was attended by President Herbert Hoover. Today, the National Cherry Festival features a variety of activities and events including parades, an air show, an art competition, and a volleyball tournament.

A cherry pie.
A cherry pie.

A four-day annual event in Beaumont, California, is known as the Beaumont Cherry Festival. Established in 1918, this local festival includes a car and motorcycle show, pancake breakfast, and a parade. Live music and other entertainment are also offered, in addition to food vendors and the display of arts and crafts for sale.

Cities and towns in countries throughout the world -- including the U.S., Australia and China -- have cherry festivals.
Cities and towns in countries throughout the world -- including the U.S., Australia and China -- have cherry festivals.

The Emmett Cherry Festival has been an annual occurrence in Emmett, Idaho, since the 1930s. Events related to this festival are enjoyed throughout the second week of June each year, including a golf tournament and street fair. It is said to be the Idaho region's oldest continuing festival.

St. Mark's Cherry Festival is an outdoor festival in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. This annual event offers shopping, games, and a silent auction as well as food vendors. Visitors can also take a historical tour of St. Mark's Church, which dates back to the 18th century.

The Canadian prairie town of Bruno, in Saskatchewan, is known for its weekend-long July festival celebrating the regional's dwarf sour cherry. Bruno Cherry Sunday features live music, a trade show, a pancake breakfast, and a pit spitting contest, among other activities. This festival has been an annual occurrence since 2004.

Australia's National Cherry Festival is held in Young, New South Wales, which is said to be the cherry capital of this country. This annual event takes place in December. One of its highlights is the Cherry Queen Ball. In China, the Dalian International Cherry Festival takes place annually in Jinzhou New District in the month of June.

Fruit festivals are popular celebrations in many locations worldwide. Strawberries, tomatoes, pears, peaches, blueberries, watermelons, and blackberries are among the types of fruit often found at the center of a regional or national fruit festival. Other foods used as the centerpiece of festival activities internationally can range from corn or asparagus to olives or mustard.

The town of Niagara Falls holds an annual cherry festival.
The town of Niagara Falls holds an annual cherry festival.

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Discussion Comments


Whether it's cherries or watermelons, I've always wanted to go to a fruit festival, as it all sounds very intriguing. However, honestly though, after a few days of it, I think it might get a bit tiresome. After all, most (if not all) activities are based around the food or item. However, since you're going into the festival knowing what to expect, I suppose that wouldn't be much of a big deal.


Being a resident of Illinois, I've never been a cherry festival before, let alone a fruit festival. However, after reading this article, it sounds very interesting, and it certainly has me intrigued. It's amazing how through the use of these festivals, not only do we get to learn more about the fruit itself, but the cultures they derived from. As you can tell from the article, these events are nothing new, as they're been occurring for years, meaning that it's pure tradition.

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