Thousands enjoy Cherry Festival kick-off events

Saturday afternoon, all eyes were on the sky as the first day of flying got underway.

The 87th annual National Cherry Festival is officially in full swing, and on Saturday thousands of people poured into Traverse City for the kick-off to the big week.

Folks, young and old, crowded the sidewalks of Downtown Traverse City, eager to see what the festival has to offer. The midway was crowded with people enjoying the carnival like atmosphere and it was the same scene on the other side of the street at the Open Space. Visitors were able to enjoy all things cherry, including popcorn, jellies, frozen cherry cokes, and good old fashioned fresh sweet cherries, just to name a few.

"Oh the cherries, oh I love coming up here," said Jerome Smalley from Gladwin. "There's such great food. We just went to a nice restaurant and had cherry French toast. It was very delicious."

And you can't talk about the Cherry Festival without talking about one of it's biggest staples and most popular attractions, the air show.

Saturday afternoon, all eyes were on the sky as the first day of flying got underway. This year, the National Cherry Festival Air Show was featuring team Aerodynamix, Matt Younkin and Younkin Airshows, Kevin Copeland, and Aeroshell.

A huge crowd of spectators lined up along West Grand Traverse Bay to see these impressive pilots perform their jaw dropping maneuvers.

"It's something I think that many people look forward to throughout the the year and it's not something that the average person gets to see everyday and in particular the fact that it's a free show," said Air Show Director, Steve Plamondon.

The second show is scheduled for Saturday at 10 p.m..