Traverse City Record-Eagle

2013 National Cherry Festival

July 2, 2013

Locals learn to live with — and even enjoy — festivities

TRAVERSE CITY — An eight-day storm called the National Cherry Festival is blowing through Traverse City, propelled by 500,000 people, and Ray Klepper is happy to confront it head-on.

Every year the Union Street resident and his wife host the “Klepper Clapper Club” at their home, where boisterous attendees use wood blocks to cheer on weary, tail-end Cherry Royale Parade participants.

“We get into it,” Klepper said.

Other Traverse City residents tend to batten down the hatches and just try to survive the crowds, noise, parking problems and traffic jams. Elizabeth Whelan, president of the Boardman Neighborhood Association, is among the fest-weary.

"The joke is, if you lived here for a while you try to leave town if possible,” she said. “I think if you live here you realize it’s something you have to live with. No, it’s not anything I’m thrilled with.”


The Cherry Festival can wreak havoc on downtown traffic flow. Traverse City Police Capt. Brian Heffner said North Union Street will be closed throughout Cherry Festival and both Front and Union streets will be closed for parades on July 4 and 6. Officers will be on hand to direct vehicle and foot traffic, but some residents say out-of-towners unfamiliar with the city’s one-way streets and normal traffic flow cause problems aplenty.

Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold said even Old Mission Peninsula residents expect slower, tourist-infused traffic. Veteran area residents know how to plan accordingly.

"If you live up here, plan on driving about 35 mph into town,” he said. “Just be careful. People will stop in front of you. They’ll slow down because they see something on the side of the road or in the water.”

Rob Bacigalupi, Traverse City’s acting Downtown Development Authority director, said residents should consider alternative transportation options like walking, biking or carpooling. He said downtown bike racks can accommodate 240 bicycles.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Facebook Is Officially A Mobile Company 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter