Traverse City Record-Eagle

July 2, 2013

Coming Wednesday: Cherry queen camp is 'survival of fittest'

Traverse City Record-Eagle

— TRAVERSE CITY — The week leading up to the crowning of the National Cherry Queen is a bit like a reality TV show, with a handful of beautiful young women in close quarters all vying for a big, silver crown.

“This is survival of the fittest,” said Kay Relyea, long-time director of the queen's activities and a past festival president. “We really get to know each other very, very well.”

For a full week, the four queen candidates and current queen are under the constant watch of two chaperones who keep them on a strict schedule. They have to function without — gasp — their cellphones and computers. They don't go home at night, but stay at the Great Wolf Lodge, said Relyea.

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