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Friday, July 1, 2016
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Peter Garthe, Traverse City's Pin King

Peter Garthe, Traverse City's Pin King

By Beth Milligan

Over the last 26 years, Peter Garthe has become the public face of the National Cherry Festival. The longtime volunteer is the 23-time reigning champion in the festival’s annual commemorative pin sales program. The pins grant admission to festival areas like the beer tent. Buyers who find a rare gold one in their envelope are entered into a drawing that includes big-budget prizes like luxury car leases, airline tickets, and big-screen TVs.

After winning a gold pin himself in 1990, Garthe got hooked on the program and volunteered the following year. Just two years later, he notched his first sales win. “I won the championship that year and got airline tickets [as a prize],” Garthe says. “I gave them to my parents for their 50th anniversary so they could fly to San Francisco.” After that, Garthe says with a smile, “nobody could match me."

Since 1993, Garthe has pummeled pin sales records. His lifetime total now tops 204,000 pins sold; he alone typically accounts for nearly a third of the 20,000 pins sold each year. The $500 cash prize for the top seller is a helpful incentive, he says, but there’s a much bigger relationship between Garthe, the festival, and community residents at play. more

Today

Elk Rapids Farmers Market

8:00am Elk Rapids Farmers Market: Fridays, 8am-noon, Rotary Park. Over 40 local vendors offer fresh produce, plants & baked goods. www.elkrapidschamber.org more

Air Show Gala

1:15pm Air Show Gala: Watch the U.S. Navy Blue Angels from the top of the Park Place Hotel, TC. Includes a gourmet lunch. For tickets & info visit www.cherryfestival.org more

Happy Hour at Little Fleet + Film Screening

4:00pm Summer Happy Hour! Free Screening of the Line 5 adventure documentary Great Lakes, Bad Lines at The Little Fleet, TC. Live music by Dragon Wagon. 10% of all bar sales will be donated to FLOW. 448 E. Front St., TC

Cedar Polka Fest

5:00pm Cedar Polka Fest: June 30 – July 3, Tennis Court area, Cedar. Enjoy food, drink, & polka music & dancing. Today includes sidewalk chalk art in downtown Cedar at 10am. www.cedarpolkafest.com more

Ultimate Frisbee

6:00pm Ultimate Frisbee: Open-play pick up games at the Civic Center, TC. All levels welcome. Details: www.traversecityultimate.org more

Old Town Classic Car Cruise

6:00pm Old Town Classic Car Cruise: Meet at Turtle Creek Casino, Williamsburg with staging at 5pm & the cruise leaving at 6pm. 947-4230.

Free U.S. Coast Guard Open Ramp

6:00pm Free U.S. Coast Guard Open Ramp: See the National Cherry Festival’s Air Show Teams. U.S. Coast Guard Air Station, TC. www.cherryfestival.org more

“Return To Leelanau”

6:00pm “Return To Leelanau”: Watercolor paintings by Michael Lowery, whose work is based on Leelanau County icons. An artist’s reception will be held tonight from 6-8pm. Runs through July 7. 231-334-3179.
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