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National Cherry Festival revokes Grand Traverse Teens for Life’s approval to join in community parade this evening

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Parade Organizers Succumb to Political Pressure
from Pro-abortion Forces

Grand Rapids, MI – Last night, at approximately 10 p.m., the National Cherry Festival revoked approval for the Grand Traverse Area Teens for Life to march in this evening’s National Cherry Festival Parade, which is scheduled to take place today at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Traverse City.

The group has participated in the parade for several years, either as an independent entity or in collaboration with other like-minded organizations. While the organization has received approval to participate in the parade as a community organization, the parade organizer has indicated that she has received threats, including personal threats, which have prompted organizers to cancel the teens’ participation. The parade organizers have indicated that they contacted the local law enforcement authorities. The organizers have attributed the error to a “clerical error,” which permitted the teenagers to participate in the parade.

“We are dismayed that our next generation is being denied the opportunity to participate in the annual Cherry Festival Parade, all in the name of intimidation and harassment, and now a supposed clerical error,” stated Emily Hollabaugh, Director of Grand Traverse Area Right to Life. “Our students eagerly anticipate the opportunity to participate in the parade in a peaceful manner, just as every other group that has been approved to do so.” We are gratified by our students’ willingness to march openly in support of life, and we will continue to provide them with our unwavering support.

State Senator John Damoose, 37th District, Chairman of the Michigan Senate Prolife Caucus, stated, “The Community Royale Parade and the National Cherry Festival are intended to be enjoyable events.” The Traverse City Teens for Life were pleased to participate in the festivities. These young people invested considerable effort into planning for the parade, which included entertainment and the production of custom t-shirts. Subsequently, at the eleventh hour—more than five weeks after initial approval—the event was cancelled due to political pressure. Once again, the actions of adults have resulted in the disruption of the plans made for our children.

Right to Life of Michigan respectfully requests that the organizers of the parade honor their prior commitment and permit the teenagers to peacefully walk and advocate for a life ethic that exemplifies the best of our communities.


Chelsea Garcia is a political writer with a special interest in international relations and social issues. Events surrounding the war in Ukraine and the war in Israel are a major focus for political journalists. But as a former local reporter, she is also interested in national politics.

Chelsea Garcia studied media, communication and political science in Texas, USA, and learned the journalistic trade during an internship at a daily newspaper. In addition to her political writing, she is pursuing a master's degree in multimedia and writing at Texas.

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