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      The Cherry Connection allows festival goers to see another side of the cherry industry

      Festival goers are encouraged to visit the 100 acre orchard at the Northwest Michigan Horticultural research Station.

      Festival-goers can escape to an orchard in the heart of Cherry Country to learn more about the expansive cherry industry. The Northwest Michigan Horticultural Center is hosting "The Cherry Connection" this week.

      Visitors of the center get to enjoy orchard tours, exhibits, and samples of the newest cherry products. Other than coming to enjoy the free samples, visitors are encouraged to come and learn about the cherry industry and why Traverse City is such an ideal place to grow cherries.

      "There's really unique things about the region," said Duke Elsner a Michigan State University researcher. " The reason we grow cherries so well are our hills, sandy soils, and the lakes it's a very special area, it can't just be done anywhere in the world."

      The Cherry Connection lasts the rest of the week from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and shuttles are available from the open space in Traverse City.