Cherry time in Montana's Flathead Lake area is one of the most exciting times of the year and Polson is where the cherry action is. Last year Polson's Annual Cherry Festival was a great success and this year's festival is sure to be even bigger, better and more exciting. The Cherry Festival is sponsored by the Polson Business Community and the Flathead Lake Cherry Growers, Inc with assistance from community organizations and businesses.
Family Fun Cherry Event
With Cherry related foods, displays of Montana made items for sale and games for kids (or adults who think they are kids), your family will have a most memorable time. Come spend the entire day in Polson.
Check out our Events page for more details.
See you on Main Street!
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.