Traverse City Record-Eagle

2013 National Cherry Festival

July 4, 2013

Cherry Royale Parade shortened

TRAVERSE CITY — Twenty fewer floats will roll through downtown during the Cherry Royale Parade this weekend, and the event leading into the last day of the National Cherry Festival should be shorter overall.

“That’s the plan,” said Jeff Needham, one of the directors. “Years ago it used to be almost three hours long. Getting it down to two hours ... we’re trying to make it more powerful to our production.”

An estimated 7,000 people will line downtown Saturday to see the parade kick off at 11:15 a.m. About 3,000 people will participate in the 140-float parade. Needham said organizers approach the event as a “theatrical production” to hold spectators’ interest because they recognize it can be a long day in the sun for families.

The parade will be announced from six locations along the route instead of the usual two spots.

“So it’s not just, ‘Oh, there goes a float.’ We’re going to give a little more story behind the pieces,” Needham said.

A team of Clydesdales will ride up from Tennessee, and there’s an addition this year of “unique entertainment that might take us back in time a little bit,” said Needham, who was careful not to spoil any surprises.

“I’d love people just to set up your chairs and be down there,” he said.

Spectators accustomed to staking out a spot 12 hours in advance for Thursday’s Junior Royale Parade are encouraged hold off this year until 4 p.m. -- two and a half hours before the parade begins -- to keep Front Street open for downtown shoppers.

“Typically they start early,” said Nick Lemcool, event director. “We started putting no parking cones up and people were setting up their chairs at 5 a.m.”

About 100 floats will follow the theme, “America’s Moments in History.”

“We have things like the moon landing, the discovery of America,Star Spangled Banner, the California Gold Rush,” Lemcool said. “It’s very kid-oriented.”

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director '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