Whole Foods Market is holding a first-ever Cherry Fest, a nationwide jubilee ripe with events – from friendly in-store competitions, sampling and a nationwide sale to recipe tips, online contests and giveaways – to spotlight this favorite summer fruit.

“There’s no better way to savor summer than with a bowl of fresh cherries, and you don’t have to visit the farm to find cherries at their best,” said Karen Christensen, global produce coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “At Whole Foods Market, we seek out the highest quality, sweetest cherries, and we pride ourselves on offering some of the largest fruit on the market, which means you get more fruit and less stone in each individual cherry.  We are so excited about sharing this summertime favorite with our shoppers that we decided to celebrate with Cherry Fest!”

Whole Foods Market is partnering with Intrepid Travel through July 14, to offer a chance to win a trip for two to the Pacific Northwest. The eight-day overland adventure, which will start on the beaches of Mendocino, Calif. and will wind north through Oregon’s Redwood National Park, around Mount St. Helens and atop Mount Rainier, ends in Seattle, with an optional trip to Wenatchee, Wash. a key cherry-growing region.

On June 18, Whole Foods Market kicked off Cherry Fest in stores by offering fresh cherries at a special price of just $1.99 per pound. The company will continue to showcase the delicious flavor, versatility and nutritional benefits of this wonderful fruit with interactive festivities in stores and online throughout June and July.

Find inspiration for incorporating this seasonal favorite into vibrant salsas, refreshing salads, sassy sangria coolers and more at: wholefoods.com/cherryfest/.

For videos and more information on cherry growers, varieties and nutritional information, and to learn how to win a crate full of cherries, visit the Whole Story blog at blog.wholefoodsmarket.com throughout June and July.