The Leelanau County Cherry Blossom Tour has been scheduled for Saturday, May 16 from 9:30 AM – 2 PM. The Tour is sponsored by the Leelanau Conservation District, Leelanau Conservancy and the Leelanau Enterprise, with several other organizations presenting a tour of orchards with a leisurely FREE bus ride for folks of all ages (wheelchair lifts are on every bus as well!).
Horticulturalists within the cherry industry have helped select this year’s optimum blossom-viewing date, which is some six days later than the 2008 tour.
Organizers have mapped out a new one-hour route for the 2009 tour that will again include two stops and begins and ends at the Eagles Ridge Conference Center in Peshawbestown.. Participants will be encouraged to exit buses for a first-hand experience at working cherry farms in the Omena area and in northern Suttons Bay Township. Cherry growers will be on hand to explain their work, and tour guides will offer explanations along the route of the history and importance of cherry farming for Leelanau County.
The one-hour route passes by stops at two working cherry farms in Suttons Bay and Leelanau townships. Guest appearances have been lined up for Patrick Niemsto and Chris Skellenger, original members of a Leelanau favorite, the Third Coast band.
An opening ceremony will kick off the day at 9:30 a.m., with the National Cherry Festival queen in attendance. A blossom blessing prayer will be offered. Also expected to be in attendance is the famed Dried Cherry Queen, always a crowd favorite in the Leland Fourth of July Parade. Buses will begin running at 10 a.m., with the last bus departing at 2 p.m.