freidrich tower, old mission peninsula, old mission, old mission michigan, peninsula township, old mission history, blessing of the blossoms, chateau grand traverse, old mission gazette
Freidrich Tower on the Old Mission Peninsula | Peck Photo
omp holiday gift guide, christmas, buy local, traverse city gift guide, northern michigan gift guide, old mission gazette, old mission peninsula store, ompstore, old mission peninsula, old mission, old mission michigan, pure michigan, old mission peninsula gift guide, old mission peninsula businesses

The annual Blessing of the Blossoms will take place on Sunday, May 20, at 1 p.m., with Father James from St. Joseph Catholic Church presiding. Chateau Chantal will host the non-denominational service, which actually harks back to the very beginnings of the National Cherry Festival.

Help Support Old Mission Gazette - Click Here

Complimentary cherry pie, refreshments and musical entertainment will be on hand after the half-hour service. Children are encouraged to participate with provided blossom branches as the blessing takes place for this year’s agricultural bounty on Old Mission Peninsula.

Blessing of the Blossoms
Chateau Chantal’s Bob Begin and Father James of St. Joseph Catholic Church at the 2016 Blessing of the Blossoms | Jane Boursaw Photo

The Blessing Ceremony and refreshments are offered free of charge to the public and do not require a WOMP (Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula) Blossom Day Event ticket.

Advertisements
walt and susan's old barn antiques, old mission peninsula, old mission peninsula antiques, old mission history, old mission gazette, susan feiger, walt feiger, peninsula township

However, should guests wish to participate in the special new release wine tasting at Chateau Chantal and the other eight Old Mission member wineries, they may purchase a “wine trail” ticket for the Saturday May 19 event at the WOMP website.

national cherry festival, abbey kaufman, national cherry queen, kat paye
National Cherry Queen Abbey Kaufman (r) with National Cherry Festival Executive Director Kat Paye at the 2017 Blessing of the Blossoms | Jane Boursaw Photo

The “Blessing of the Blossoms” dates back to 1910, when the residents of the Old Mission Peninsula created the ceremony to pray for a good cherry crop. Over the years, more orchards were planted and the ceremony grew as cherries became more important to the region’s economy. In 1925, the cherry growers partnered with Traverse City merchants to create the “Blessing of the Blossoms Festival” to promote the region and the cherry business.

For a number of years, the Freidrich Tower (across from what is now Chateau Grand Traverse) was the ceremony site. Mr. Freidrich built the observation tower, dressed it with garlands, and sought to wed tourism and faith in the Blessing ceremony.

The location moved to various locations around the Peninsula, including Bowers Harbor Park. In 1928, the “Blessing of the Blossoms” was renamed the Michigan Cherry Festival, which eventually evolved into the National Cherry Festival.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.