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Locals Divided on Changes to Next Year’s National Cherry Festival Air Show

“We want to add something different to kind of the culture of the Cherry Festival.”

Seeing and hearing the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels makes for memorable National Cherry Festival Air Shows.

But next year, there is a change of plans.

There will still be an air show but in a different way.

Seeing the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds fly over Grand Traverse Bay is one of the highlights of National Cherry Festival.

And you will still have the chance to see the Blue Angels this year, but next year there will be some big changes.

You’ll get to experience a night show, with planes with LED lights.

“As soon as I hear the motors every year and hear those jets, I know it’s them and I feel like OK. It’s either the Blues or the Thunderbirds they’re back,” Katherine said.

The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds are the favorites for many as they put on shows ever year during National Cherry Festival.

“I love the air show. Every year my family are all fans. We show up in groups and mass, we have favorite spots that we watch it from, and it’s just something that we really look forward to,” Katherine said.

Every year, the festival puts in a request for Thunderbirds on the odd years and Blue Angels on the even years.

And then they have to choose the National Cherry Festival.

But the schedules didn’t coincide for 2019.

“In 2019 we are anticipating having a night show very similar to what we did in 2013 with planes in the air that have LEDs on them, so lights and of course maybe some pyro as well depending on the plane and the availability,” Kat Paye, executive director of the National Cherry Festival said.

The festival is still dedicated to putting on a great show no matter what.

“I’ll be honest, I don’t think that I will be interested in watching it. I know my friends really won’t come up for it. It’s nothing like an airshow with jets,” Andrew said.

“I think it’s great. I like new things, I like to see what they can do with it. I like the creativity and that’s the thing that really stands out, that’s what’s fun about Traverse City, everything’s kind of creative and new and artistic,” Jim said.

The festival has already put in a request for the Blue Angels to come in 2020 and will find out if they chose Traverse City in December.

But don’t forget they will be here in a couple weeks.

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