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updated: 6/26/2013 4:13 PM

On the road: Celebrating cherries in Michigan

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  • A pie-eating contest is one of many events at the 86th National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Mich.

      A pie-eating contest is one of many events at the 86th National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Mich.
    Courtesy of John L. Russell

  • The Edelweiss Alphorns will perform during the Northwoods Heritage Event in Three Lakes, Wis. There also will be a Lumberjack Show and activities for the kids.

      The Edelweiss Alphorns will perform during the Northwoods Heritage Event in Three Lakes, Wis. There also will be a Lumberjack Show and activities for the kids.



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You've taken the architectural boat tour and perhaps a Segway jaunt on the lakefront, but active locals might want to consider one of the guided City Running Tours. The scheduled group runs offer three different 5K themed routes (Grant Park, Chicago River and Chicago Tragic Events) and personalized private runs include Tower to Tower (six miles), an architectural route through the heart of Chicago; City in a Garden (5.62 miles) theme around the Chicago park system; a 6.48 mile Run from the Tribune Tower to Wrigley Field; and Devil in the White City (8.1 miles) designed around the book of the same name.

Daily year round except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Scheduled group runs cost $25-$30 and a private tour is $75 for a run up to six miles, $5 for each additional mile and 10 percent off for each additional runner registered. or (877) 415-0058, ext. 12.

Good as gold

If you have time for just one city festival or fair this summer, make it the 56th Annual Gold Coast Art Fair in Chicago's Grant Park. There will be 350 local, national and international talents for a showcase of first-rate, one-of-a-kind art in painting, sculpture, jewelry, glass, woodwork, photography, clothing and mixed media with prices ranging from $25 to $25,000. There also will be free live art demonstrations, art activities for kids, food and live music.

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 29-30, at Butler Field, Grant Park, 400 E. Monroe St. Free admission. (847) 926-4300 or www.gcart

Movie music

The third annual Music Box Summer Music Film Festival brings the best new documentary and concert films available about performers and music. There will be five days and nights of great music movies, featuring everything from break dancing ("Wild Style") and Detroit punk ("A Band Called Death") to air guitar ("Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure") and the new documentary, "Ain't in It for My Health." See the new documentary "Downloaded," about the rise and fall of Napster, with director Alex Winter (co-star of "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure") also scheduled to appear.

Screening times vary Friday through Tuesday, June 28-July 2, at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. Single tickets cost $8-$15 and festival passes are $70. www.summer


Life is like a bowl of cherries

Traverse City, Mich., is gearing up for its National Cherry Festival, a tasty event held annually since 1926. Travel to the heart of the nation's tart cherry capital (Michigan grows 75 percent of the nation's crop) and cherry pick among 150 events -- most are free, including pie eating and cherry pit-spitting contests, arts and crafts fair, air show, culinary events, kids' festival, a cherry parade and a fireworks finale over Grand Traverse Bay. Ticketed events include concerts by Styx, Foreigner, Rusted Root and Edgar Winter.

Event times vary Saturday and Saturday, June 29 to July 6. (800) 968-3380 or www.

The descendants

German, Irish, Italian, Polish and northern Wisconsin heritages are all on board for the second annual Northwoods Heritage Fest in Three Lakes, Wis. Expect traditional foods, exhibits, dance, music, live entertainment, cultural history, Lumberjack Show and activities for children and families. In special pavilions, each nationality will showcase its heritage. Browse the craft show, partake in wine sampling and a cakewalk. A variety of live entertainment is scheduled including the Edelweiss Alphorns, Irish dancers and the Bi Dana Irish Quartet.

10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 29, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at Three Lakes Athletic Field in Three Lakes. Free admission, including a free shuttle from selected parking areas. www.three or (715) 546-3344.

Get a jump on the Fourth

How about a pre-Independence Day event that has all the pizazz and pop of the real thing? Lake Lawn Resort hosts a fireworks viewing celebration in accord with Delavan Township's annual fireworks display. Get an unobstructed view of the sparkle from Lake Lawn's nearly two miles of shoreline, open to both resort guests and visitors for the show. Concessions will be available.

Dusk Saturday, June 29. (800) 338-5253 or www.lake

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