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Out and About at National Cherry Festival in Traverse City

Even though I’ve lived Up North all my life, this year was only my second time attending the
National Cherry Festival in Traverse City. I really enjoyed it when I went last year (my fiancé, Jeff, and I grabbed some sodas from the Cherry Republic and strolled around) and this year was no different. It’s a perfect day today with just a slight breeze rolling off the bay and just enough sunshine. I walked around the open space and drank in the cherry-red splendor. To the right of the entrance there was the train ride, mountain climbing, bungee jumping (I think!) and the welcome center—if you go down there be sure to stop at the welcome center and get a free coupon booklet. Today was Heroes’ Day, so there was also a stand set up where kids could send letters to a war hero, and author of When Your Number’s Up: Meritocracy Goes to War, Raymond S. Ross was there also with a special $5 price for his non-fiction novel. To the left there was the market place with plenty of food vendors, the souvenir shop and even the cherry farmers market featuring such things as Sheryl Umulis’ cherry vinaigrette sauce (think sweet-and-sour goodness). Also going on today is the Michigan Community Blood Center blood drive. Going on all week is the Habitat for Humanity display, in which you take an eight minute tour inside the Habitat for Humanity truck and hear heart wrenching stories of those in need, not to mention the free bag or tourist photo you receive at the end of the tour. But what really got me was the raffle for a 2009 Toyota car giveaway. Buy a cherry pin and you can be entered in a drawing to be held July 11 to win the shiny, new car below. Grab a cup of fresh cherries or a cherry soda from one of the many food vendors to enjoy while you amble down to the docks and take in the breathtaking view of the bay—what more could you want out of an Up North summer?

Here are some pics that I took today (Monday, July 6) at the National Cherry Festival, Traverse City

Sheryl Umulis and her awesome Cherry Vinaigrette sauce (she came up with the recipe)

Awesome garden art

Habitat for Humanity display

Delectable Cherry Farm Market

Blood drive (give it if you've got it!)

Rides and amusements

See those little feet in the background? I think this letter-writing booth was the best thing there was for kids today

I was so bummed that I didn't have any cash on me; this book sounded great. (To buy this book visit

The only restaurant mascot at the festival today (that I saw). Isn't it cute?

The sweet looking car you could win

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