2014 National Cherry Festival: Land of the Free

“Keep calm and cherry on.”National Cherry ParadeTraverse City may not top Bucket List charts, Michigan Kid but Michigan leads the nation in the production of tart cherries, Spectators at Parade and Alan and I joined more than half a million happy tourists who came north Parade spectatorsto visit the 88th Annual National Cherry Festival in Traverse City this past week. Travese City Christian School  Back in 1987 Traverse City made it into the Guinness Book of World Records Cherry Pie Float for a 17′ 6″ pie weighing in at 28,350 pounds,Grand Traverse Pipes and Drums and residents affectionately refer to T.C. as the “Cherry Capital of the World.” Pioneer SugarHowever, much more than just pie-eating occurred during their 8-day fest, Blue Angels Bus including a fantastic airshow featuring the Blue Angels, Arnold Amusements all sorts of music, entertainment, an old-fashioned carnival, and tons of fun. Staging Area  The festival culminated in a 2-hour parade extravaganza Govenor Rick Synder led by Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder Rick Synder and Brian Calley and our lieutenant governor, Brian Calley (who just happens to be the youngest Ronald Reagan Quotelieutenant governor in the country at this time). National Cherry QueenChelsea Lajko, the National Cherry Festival Queen was there, Miss Charlevoix along with dozens of other lovely young ladies Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival who were queens of just about every festival in the state, Kalkaska National Trout Festival including the National Trout Festival, Galord Alpen FestThe Gaylord Alpenfest, National Asparagus Festival The National Asparagus Festival,Michigan Apple Queen and even the Michigan Apple Festival Queen! Character ParadeOf course, the parade was much more than just floating by Bellaire Float some of Michigan’s lovely young ladies! Old Lady. 104 Peg Simmons One of Michigan’s oldest ladies was there too: 104-year-old Peg Simmons! Teddy Roosevelt QuoteOne of the things I loved best about the parade was their patriotic spirit Honoring our Military and how they all stood up at attention as our military passed by. CDR Sean CrossCDR Sean Cross, commander of Air Station Traverse City Freedom is Never Free (one of the oldest air units in the Coast Guard) walked in the parade, American Legion along with representatives from many branches of the military. Marching Band at ParadeAh, and where would a parade be without the marching bands? Marching BandThere were excellent marching bands from both inside and outside Michigan. DSCN4415Some were more colorful than others, Michigan Tech Band but frankly,  despite all the clowning around and silliness, I thought the Scottsville Clown BandScottsville Clown Band was actually one of the most powerful and professional! Fred Hill Briefcase Drill TeamAnother fun touch was the Fred Hill Briefcase Drill Team on their “final tour.” MSU Mascot SpartyI am glad we can have so much good-natured fun celebrating life and freedom! Vintage TractorsAlan especially loved the parade of vintage tractors, including a N-9 just like his! Holy Angels Elementary SchoolI was especially touched by all the floats sponsored by elementary schools Interlocken Community Schoolthat were promoting learning as a path to moral integrityTrinity Lutheran Schooland faith as a means of finding the courage to overcome our fears. Commentators at National Cherry Festival ParadeThank you to everyone who made such a happy day possible for all of us to enjoy. University of Michigan FloatThank you to everyone who participated in this special July festival, Thank you, Armed Servicesand thank you to our armed services. North and South Korean Border “We are a land of the free because of the brave.”

“…As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:16-17)

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