Annual festival celebrates northern Michigan’s cherries

TRAVERSE CITY, MI (AP) – The National Cherry Festival gets underway Saturday in Traverse City, featuring music, aerial acrobatics and plenty of activities celebrating northern Michigan’s signature fruit.

The festival runs through July 11. Air shows over Grand Traverse Bay featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will be held Saturday and Sunday. Other holiday weekend events include a cherry pit spitting contest, a picnic and the Fourth of July fireworks display.

Throughout the festival, displays in a waterfront park will feature cherry pies, jams and other foods. Michigan is the nation’s top producer of tart cherries used in many food products.

There also will be an amusement midway, parades and races.

Among those performing in concert will be Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Foghat, the Charlie Daniels Band and “Weird Al” Yankovic.

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