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.
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 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.
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.