Yellow Bay festival celebrates cherry blossoms


KALISPELL, Mont. - The annual Yellow Bay Cherry Blossom Festival kicked off Saturday on Flathead Lake.

The festival marks the beginning of the Flathead cherry growing season.

It's also a big fundraiser for the Yellow Bay Community Clubhouse.

As summer starts to show in western Montana, Montanans start looking forward to something that makes this time of year special: cherry season.

That's what organizer Barbara Hammons says the cherry blossom festival is all about.

"We celebrate the blossoms which it's very hard to time them with the festival. Most of the time they will bloom a little earlier than our festival but it is the start of our cherry season," Hammons said.

Katya Young has an orchard of her own in Yellow Bay, and enjoys painting in her free time.

"During the summer we're always busy with harvesting the cherries but during the winter this is my hobby. I just love bright colors and flowers that I dream about during winter," Young said.

Young and other local artists and vendors featured at the festival set up to support the Yellow Bay Community Clubhouse.

Funds raised from the Yellow Bay Cherry Blossom Festival go to help the up-keep of the Yellow Bay Community Clubhouse. The 70 year old building has some extra costs that it needs.

We're told the building is important to residents on the east shore of Flathead Lake.

Flathead Lake Cherry Grower meetings are held at the clubhouse along with many other special events year round.

Hammons says this fundraiser is important because the building brings the community together.

"It's a community. It's a very nice community here we all care about each other and it's a nice way to stay in touch with what's going on with our friends and make sure we're all ok," Hammons said.

Up next for cherries in the Flathead is the Polson Cherry Festival on July 19 and 20.