88th National Cherry Festival ends in royale fashion
The National Cherry Festival is coming to an end and to kick off the final day Saturday was the Cherry Royale Parade marching through downtown Traverse City.
â??Itâ??s the spirit of Michigan, it's pure Michigan in the sense that people are having a good time and if you think about it, itâ??s really to celebrate a great agricultural product, cherries,â?? said Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. â??So itâ??s a great combination of all those events coming together in a wonderful way.â??
There were 140 different groups that marched, walked or floated through the parade, including the governor, our own UpNorthLive crew, and of course the newly crowned National Cherry Queen, Chelsea Lajko.
â??Itâ??s just a nice event, we look forward to every year,â?? said Traverse City native Steve McGregor. â??Weâ??re enjoying the parade and enjoying the festivities. Living up north, it's what it's all about.â??
The Cherry Festival Royal Parade is a tradition of the festival, they've had it every year since the festival began 88 years ago.
After the parade, festival-goers headed to the open space for the final Cherry Idol competition. 20 singers of all ages competed and even though each age category only crowned one winner, organizers say they just loved being on stage.
â??it is really fun, it is so awesome to see these 8, 9, 10-year-olds singing their hearts out,â?? said event organizer Toni Hernalsteen. â??Up to the adults, we've got elders getting up there and for a lot of them, this is their day, it's fantastic.â??
There was also a chance to catch the finals of the Ultimate Air Dog competition. It was the eventâ??s 8th year at Cherry Festival.
The crowd was wowed as dogs ran down a 40 foot dock and jumped in after their favorite toys.
The festival will wrap up Saturday with the fireworks finale over West Grand Traverse Bay at 10:30.