BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Rides, pies, tunes and fire apparatus tours are on tap for this year’s Cherry Fest, slated for Thursday, June 10 through Saturday, June 12 at Whitehouse Park and throughout the downtown area.
“This is a more relaxed, come-enjoy-yourself Cherry Fest,” said Wendy Gehring, executive director of the Anthony Wayne Regional Chamber of Commerce, which is presenting the festival for the first time since 2019.
Celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Whitehouse Fire Department is the theme for this year’s festival. A dedication will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 11 at the Veterans Memorial Park. Retired fire personnel, equipment and displays will be set up around the small quarry shelter house from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 12. Whitehouse Fire Company will offer up its delicious chicken barbecue dinners throughout the day on Saturday.
Cherry Fest kicks off on Thursday, June 10 at 6:00 p.m. in two locations. At Whitehouse Park, rides are open from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. and the Cherry Fest pageants – including Little Miss Cherry Blossom (ages 6-9), Junior Miss Cherry Blossom (ages 10-13) and Miss Cherry Queen (ages 14-18) – will be held. Applications will be accepted through Friday, June 4.
At the Whitehouse American Legion, the Military Night festivities begin at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 10 and will include Carolyn Nagy, coordinator of Women Veterans Initiative (WVI), musical entertainment, 50/50 raffles and a silent auction to support WVI.
“Come out and support the veterans and enjoy the company,” Gehring said. “Dress to support your favorite branch of the military service – Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines or Coast Guard.”
Friday and Saturday are filled with entertainment for adults and children.
With a permit to sell beer and wine, the beer and wine tent will serve as the Blue Stage from 5:00 to 11:00 p.m. both evenings. Friday’s entertainment includes Latin guitar player Hector Mendoza from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and Sugar Daddy$ from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. Saturday’s lineup includes the Chris Shutters Duo from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and Distant Cousinz from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. A cover charge and wristbands are required for entrance.
The park pavilion will serve as the White Stage with free entertainment. Performing on Friday are Wes Waters on piano from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., Terry Baker and Charlie Oswanski from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. and classic folk band Bliss from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Saturday’s lineup includes Julie Theroux and John Barile from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., followed by EZ Pickenz from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Before enjoying an adult beverage, chicken dinner, kettle corn or treats from the many food trucks at the Cherry Fest, get out on a run. The Julie’s Fitness 5K will be held that Friday night. A wild 1K family walk/kids fun run, 5K run/walk and 10K run are slated to start at 6:00 p.m. Proceeds from the race will benefit Nature’s Nursery.
Saturday is Family Day, with the parade beginning on Oakbrook Drive at 1:00 p.m. The lineup will include the Marching Generals, Whitehouse Motors, twirlers, cyclists and local businesses and council members. Line the streets and watch out for flying candy!
On Saturday, the cherry pie-eating contest begins at 2:00 p.m. and a make-it and take-it booth sponsored by Bud Bauman will allow kids to hammer, nail and test out construction skills.
For the full lineup of events, visit http://www.awchamber.com/cherry-fest.html.