Sunshine, carnival rides, parades and a whole lot of cherries. Those were the sights and sounds of the 93rd annual National Cherry Festival in Traverse City.
More than 500,000 people – including dozens of DTE volunteers – attended the festival from June 29 – July 6. The DTE Foundation is a key sponsor for this Michigan tradition, supporting the festival’s positive impact in the community and sponsoring DTE Energy Day at the festival where visitors could learn how to save money with energy efficiency.
“We (DTE Foundation) love to invest in communities and we love to invest in projects and programs that bring communities together,” said Lynette Dowler, DTE Foundation President. “The festival keeps growing and improving every year and we’re proud to support its efforts.”
Visitors of the festival were welcomed with beautiful weather and more than 150 events to take part in. From concerts and comedy shows to the festival’s mandatory cherry pie eating contests, there was fun to be had for all ages.
The DTE Foundation is also the title sponsor of the DTE Foundation Cherry Royale Parade. It’s one of the Midwest’s largest parades and occurs on the last day of each festival. The brand-new Foundation float, themed “Think Green” led the parade, which attracted more than 80,000 viewers.
The float was designed by Zander Connally, a Jefferson Middle School student from Monroe MI, who entered his design into DTE’s parade float design contest earlier this year. His design centers around a majestic cherry blossom tree, while also promoting key DTE Foundation priorities including transforming communities and protecting the environment through renewable energy and recycling.
“It has been an amazing experience from start to finish,” Zander said. “The excitement from when I first entered my design and my school rallying around me and voting every day, to seeing it be brought to life, it turned out way better than expected.”
As part of winning the contest, Zander and his stepdad were able to ride the float and observe the parade from a unique perspective resulting in an unforgettable experience.
To see more of the National Cherry Festival, view the photo gallery below: