Traverse City Record-Eagle

Our Views

June 24, 2014

Editorial: Cherries take a back seat at their namesake festival

It’s called the National Cherry Festival and it’s supposed to be about cherries and the cherry industry.

But some of the festival’s business partners — many of them smaller operations that focus on all kinds of locally made cherry products — are beginning to wonder where they fit into the larger picture.

The Cherry Festival just announced another round of fee hikes for vendors who sell cherry-related items (and all kinds of other offerings) and some are wincing.

Farm market vendors who sell exclusively cherry products will pay $2,000 for a booth at this year’s festival, an increase of almost 54 percent over 2013. Those selling non-cherry products will pay $3,000, 50 more than last year.

They aren’t the only ones paying more. Rates for vendors in the food court and beer tent also went up, but not as much. Corporate promotional partners’ rates are negotiated individually, but most of those also increased.

The reason for the latest round of hikes, according to Cherry Festival Executive Director Trevor Tkach, is to cover the cost of bigger entertainment acts, which are presented free to festival goers.

Tkach said bigger crowds drawn by those bigger-name acts should increase vendors’ profits and offset price increases.

That’s the theory. But theory doesn’t pay the bills.

Naturally Nutty owner Katie Kearney, who sells nut butters at the Cherry Festival’s farm market, saw a 50 percent hike in her fee.

“I was frustrated,” she said. “I feel like it makes it more difficult for a small local business to be able to afford a local festival.”

Six Lugs manager Daniel Umulis said the price increase will be too much for small local companies trying to break into the market.

Umulis paid $4,000 for two booths for his cherry dressings and preserves. Umulis said he can stomach the price increase unless bad weather hits.

Text Only

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director 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