Blessing of the Blossoms – Sunday, May 16th on Old Mission Peninsula

Join the four Old Mission Peninsula Pastors, Dr. Hogue, Rev. Rexroat, Pastors Ze and Shumar, and Gaylord Bishop Hurley on Sunday May 16th at 1:00pm at St. Joseph’s Church on Old Mission Peninsula (12675 Center Road) for the Blessing of the Blossoms ceremony.  Live attendance encouraged with full COVID protocols in place at St. Joseph’s.

Service will include journalist Mike Norton singing the classical Impossible Dream. Listen to his ‘dream’ again during COVID times…”To Fight The Unbeatable Foe.”

Then, drive north a quick mile and half to Chateau Chantal’s dining room for Sara Lee Bakery’s gift of fresh cherry pie and Chantal’s glass of wine, [no ‘wHining allowed please] with Bishop Hurley. Limited indoor capacity with no outdoor rain coverage.

In the meantime, Rev. Rexroat will be following the early 1910 tradition of traveling to each requesting orchard or vineyard for a personal blessing. Join us in person. Love to have you share this renewed tradition.

In 1910, the residents of the Old Mission Peninsula created the “blessing of the blossoms” 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. Friedrich built the observation tower, dressed it with garlands, and sought to wed tourism and faith in the Blessing ceremony.  The location moved to Center Rd and Old Mission on occasion, and on to Bowers Harbor Park where the temptation to float blossoms on the water proved irresistible.

In 1928, the Blessing of the Blossoms was renamed the Michigan Cherry Festival which shortly evolved into the National Cherry Festival.

Chateau Chantal is a unique development that combines a winery, vineyards, bed and breakfast, residence, six private home sites, and winding roads, all of which combine to create a “retreat into Northern Hospitality.”  The 75-acre site sits high atop a ridge 12 miles north of Traverse City, Michigan on the beautiful and historic Old Mission Peninsula.  Chateau Chantal crafts many styles of wine, allowing the grape to dictate the style. The location’s unparalleled views and outstanding staff play host to B&B activities, cooking classes, wine education opportunities, Lunch Tours, conferences and meetings, small weddings, and friendly regional wine events.