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National Cherry Festival Air Show 2024

One of the best annual events of the Grand Traverse region

Dates: June 28–30, 2024

National Cherry Festival Air Show
National Cherry Festival Air Show
Thunderbirds and Lockheed Martin F-22 "Raptor" Demonstration Team

The National Cherry Festival Air Show is an eagerly anticipated event in Traverse City and the broader Northern Michigan region. Taking place on June 29-30 from 1 pm to 4 pm, with practice sessions on Friday, June 28, this air show is a highlight of the festival season. Held against the stunning backdrop of West Grand Traverse Bay, spectators can enjoy the aerial displays from the beaches and shorelines, particularly from locations like Clinch Park, offering prime views of the action. Additionally, the Airshow can be experienced with live commentary on 107.5 WCCW, adding depth and insight to the thrilling displays.

Aerial Demonstrations

At the heart of the National Cherry Festival Air Show are the spectacular aerial demonstrations featuring top-tier teams. The United States Navy Blue Angels are scheduled to grace the skies at 3 pm, showcasing their precision maneuvers and expertise. Joining them are other esteemed performers by military demonstration teams, including the A-10C Thunderbolt II Demo Team and the US Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City. Civilian aerobatic pilots like Michael Goulian and RJ Gritter will also dazzle the audience with their aerial skills, each bringing their unique flair to the event.

Open Ramp Event

For those interested in getting up close and personal with the aircraft and pilots, the US Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City hosts an Open Ramp event on Friday, June 28, from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm. This free event allows visitors to meet the pilots, explore the aircraft, and learn more about the participating teams. Furthermore, the Coast Guard will present search and rescue operations over the Great Lakes, providing insight into their vital missions.

Admission

One of the appealing aspects of the Air Show is its accessibility. The event is free for all attendees, offering a fantastic opportunity for families and aviation enthusiasts to enjoy an exhilarating day out without damage to their wallets.

Shuttle Services and Parking

Visitors to the National Cherry Festival Air Show can take advantage of convenient shuttle services. Parking is available at the Presbyterian Church on West Minster Road and the Northwest Ed Career Tech Center Parking Lot on Parsons Road. From these locations, shuttles will run every 20 minutes from 5 pm to 8:15 pm, ensuring smooth transportation to and from the event.

Cherry Festival Fun

While the focus is on the awe-inspiring aerial feats, the National Cherry Festival offers much more beyond the skies. Known for its abundant cherry production, the region celebrates its fruity bounty during the National Cherry Festival, an eight-day extravaganza filled with family-friendly activities and delicious cherry-themed treats. From cherry pies to cherry margaritas, visitors can indulge in a variety of culinary delights while enjoying live music concerts, carnival rides, and entertaining contests such as the cherry pie eating contest.

History and Prestige

The National Cherry Festival has a storied history dating back to 1925 when it first began. Over the years, it has evolved into a beloved tradition, attracting approximately 500,000 attendees annually. Notably, the festival has received accolades such as the Michigan Aeronautics Commission's Award of Excellence in 2013 and recognition as the United States Navy Blue Angels Civilian Show Site of the Year in 2018.

The National Cherry Festival Air Show offers a thrilling blend of aerial prowess, cherry-themed festivities, and community celebration, amidst the natural beauty of Traverse City.

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen