Blessing of the Blossoms is May 17 — Live from the Old Mission Peninsula

Annual rite of spring will be conducted virtually from the Traverse City area

Blessing of the Blossoms is a longstanding Old Mission Peninsula tradition. (Photos courtesy of Chateau Chantal)

St. Joseph’s parish on the Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City will host the annual Blessing of the Blossoms in a virtual event on Sunday, May 17, at 1 p.m.

According to a news release from Chateau Chantal, residents of the Old Mission Peninsula created the “blessing of the blossoms” ceremony to pray for a good cherry crop in 1910. 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. In 1928, the Blessing of the Blossoms was renamed the Michigan Cherry Festival, which evolved into the National Cherry Festival not long after.

This year’s service will be live streamed and feature musical performances, readings and blessings of this year’s crops — all with the hope of offering the renewal of budding blossoms and a revival of spirits during difficult times.

Following the live stream, viewers are invited to drive to Chateau Chantal, 15900 Rue de Vin, on the Od Mission Peninsula between 1:30 and 3 p.m. for complimentary Sara Lee cherry pie slices. They’ll be offered curbside while supplies last by volunteers wearing personal protection equipment.

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