Volunteers cleanup 91st Annual Cherry Festival

Volunteers cleanup 91st Annual Cherry Festival

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU)-- It was all hands on deck at Traverse City’s Open Space Park on Sunday morning.

Nearly 100 volunteers and workers were tearing down what was once the 91st Annual National Cherry Festival.

“We put it up within a matter of four days and then the festival comes down within 24 hours,” said National Cherry Festival’s volunteer management inter, Lindsey Debski.
“We have been picking up trash, picking up the zip ties and the broken things around the ground, making the ground look pretty again. It's a big focus of today,” said National Cherry Festival’s Executive Director, Kat Paye.

Volunteers worked through the late night on Saturday and the early morning and afternoon on Sunday. Volunteers packed away everything from tables, chairs, cables and lighting.

“We have about three miles of extension cords for example that all has to be coiled back up and put into big cherry tanks. We take about four, 26 foot truckloads back to our warehouse, not to mention all of the vendors on the site with the Pepsi coolers and things like that. It's a lot,” said Paye. “We build a little city down here for the week.

Cherry festival organizers say that everything will be gone by Monday except for a few Pepsi coolers and trailers… but there will be a few volunteers throughout the week making sure every last piece of trash is picked up.

“It is a very fast process and it's kind of sad. we put in all of this hard work to put it up and then we all just lay it all back down,” said Debski.
“It's been an amazing week, but we all really tired too. We all understand that all good things must come to an end and we will see everyone again in another 51 weeks, I think. Back to doing it again in 2018,” said Paye.

According to Paye, this year’s National Cherry Festival was successful, but there are no official revenue or attendance numbers until at least August.