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Cherry Festival Lives On!

posted Jun 1, 2021, 4:30 PM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Jun 1, 2021, 5:17 PM ]

by Diana Pasquini, San Juan Ridge Family Resource Center

North San Juan has been the site of an annual Cherry Festival since 1895. Founded by prospector Christian Kientz in 1853, the town of North San Juan’s population grew quickly as men flocked to the area to work in adjacent hydraulic mining operations. The town’s population swelled to several thousand when a flume from mountain lakes ushered in an era of prosperity by providing water to the townsfolk and surrounding mines. Soon North San Juan became headquarters for water companies that supplied the mines, and water ran above the town in elevated flumes. The end of hydraulic mining in 1884 marked the beginning of a decline in population for the foothill mining town. Over the years three major fires swept through the town, destroying the homes and businesses in its path. Resilient then, as now, North San Juan has survived; and through boom or bust, fair weather or foul, the Cherry Festival has endured. The global pandemic may have put a damper on last year’s festivities, but things are looking up and the Cherry Festival is back!

This year’s Cherry Festival will be on June 5th, from 10 am to 6 pm. Although there will be no parade this year, there will still be plenty of fun. There will be music from bands playing throughout the day, as well as children’s games, tacos by Angie, and vendors, including Papa Crow’s Forge. Raffle tickets for a variety of prizes donated by local businesses and artisans will be available at 1 for $1 and 6 for $5.

Vendors can still reserve a spot by calling Sue Bauer at 292.9525. The Cherry Festival is North San Juan Community Center’s annual fundraiser. Every penny raised at this family friendly event goes to keeping the Community Center’s doors open and the lights on.

Also happening at the North San Juan Community Center this summer is the weekly Farmers Market. For more information on dates and times, as well as a Farmers Market vending site, call Avani at 480.993.6487.