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The Polson Main Street Flathead Cherry Festival is chock-full of fun activities for the whole family from stem-tying to pie eating to pit spitting. Visit the Student Art Contest, shop our vendors, and enjoy our local hospitality.
Cherry Pie Eating Contest: Like Cherry Pie? Do you think you can eat more cherry pie at one sitting than anyone else? Come compete and show us your appetite. Contest time: children, TBA, adults, TBA in front of Jackie M's Footwear.
Cherry Pit Spitting: Your only time to spit on the streets of Polson without penalty. Let everyone see how far you can spit a cherry pit. Just show up to enter. Contest Time is TBA for children and TBA for adults, in front of The Cove Deli and Pizza.
Stem Tying Contest: Show your finger dexterity and ability to tie cherry stems. If you sew, tie flies, play piano, or have good 'fine motor' skills, you just might be the winner of this fun event! Just show up to enter. Contest Time is TBA in front of The Cove Deli and Pizza.
Cherry Cooking Contest: Do you make something truly extraordinary using Flathead Cherries? Bring your best effort to Jackie M's by TBA to be judged. (Please bring 4 samples and your recipe.)
Exhibits and Montana Made Items: Come see, eat, purchase, or sell an amazing assortment of everything from art, photos, and crafts to foods and treats. Visit our fine vendors and local businesses Saturday July 20 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday July 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you would like to rent an exhibit space to sell your creations check out our Vendor's Page and download the vendor application from the link on the right. More questions? Please call 406.686.1155 for details about booth size, cost, location, set up and dismantle times.
Cherries in Montana?
The Flathead Lake Region of Montana offers an ideal climate for cherry production. It is approximately 3000 feet above sea level with beautiful, sunny, warm days, and cool evenings. Montana's rocky, well drained soil and pristine, glacier fed water supply is well suited for cherry tree growth. Long warm days with plenty of sunshine helps develop outstanding fruit. Cool 40-50 degree evenings extend the growing season which allows fruit to mature over a longer period of time. These conditions contribute to the outstanding taste of Montana cherries.
If you drive from Bigfork to Polson you will pass many beautiful cherry orchards, with most orchards on the east shore. While Mother Nature and pollination can influence each year's crop volume, the Flathead area has produced as high as 7 million pounds, but the normal average is approximately 3-5 million pounds. While Montana's crop volume is low in comparison to states like Washington, Montana's cherry reputation has spread across the United States. Our cherries can be found in large grocery chains as far away as California, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and the southeast U.S.
Local folks (Montanans) have enjoyed Flathead cherries since before the 1930s. Many Montana families, and now others from around the U.S. and Canada, plan their vacations around visiting their favorite orchards.
Cherry trees were first introduced to Montana in 1866. In 1893 the Flathead Valley was found to be the best climate for growing sweet cherries. Montana's first train car load of Lambert variety cherries left the original packing plant in Kalispell in 1932. In 1935 a cherry grower's cooperative, now called the Flathead Lake Cherry Growers, Inc, was organized. Co-op cherries are locally hydro-cooled and sent overnight to a large packing company in Washington State. Today, there are over 120 growers in the Flathead dedicated to producing one the best tasting cherries available in the U.S.