It takes a community to bring the festival to life. Diane Dennis has volunteered for the National Cherry Festival for more than 35 years. She even served as the festival president in 1994. She has seen the festival change and grow over the years and started the Fun and Games for Special Kids day 30 years ago.
"There were only five children who came to the first event, but five years later there were more than 700," she said. She commended Arnold Amusements Midway for working with the festival planners to make the free event suitable for kids with special needs, including slowing the rides, lowering music volume, and dimming the lights so children with disabilities could more easily access the Midway.
"I love the fact that I can get out here and say how proud I am to live in Traverse City," she said about working for the festival. "I look forward to working with all the volunteers every year and hope to do it for a long time."