Summertime definitely marks the high point of Traverse City’s festival year! For more than 80 years, the National Cherry Festival has been our way of celebrating Traverse City’s status as America’s Cherry Capital. The eight-day summer festival offers over 130 events and attractions, including free air shows, concerts, two parades, daily kids events, food tastings, the Festival of Races, and (of course) Cherry Pie Eating and Pit Spitting competitions for every age.
But summer is also time for the Traverse City Film Festival, held here since 2005, featuring new releases, classic films, documentaries, and independent productions shown at locations across the city – especially the gorgeous State Theater and City Opera House downtown. Each evening, free family-friendly movies are shown on a huge inflatable screen at the Open Space overlooking Grand Traverse Bay. It’s also the season for the Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival, with over 200 types of craft beer, wines, ciders and meads paired with international music talents – and the Traverse City Wine & Art Festival, with tastings from the region's best wineries, paired with food created by local chefs, artworks by local painters, potters, weavers and other artists, and a diverse slate of musical performers.
That’s not all. There are lots of other summer festivals scattered around the area, from the Traverse Colantha Walker Dairy Festival to the Cedar Polka Fest.