The 60th annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival is underway! This island is noted for it's large lilacs many of which resemble trees more than shrubs and some of which could approaching two hundred years old. During a visit in 1947, Naturalist Carl D. La Rue wrote that some of the lilacs could be 118 years old based on his observations. The lilacs obviously like the climate of Mackinac Island.
The Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau web site offers this bit of history about the festival. 'Celebrating Mackinac's lilac collection began in 1949 after a conversation with Evangilene “Ling” Horn and Nurse Stella King who encouraged the then teen and today's Mackinac Island Carriage Tours veterinarian Dr. Bill Chambers to have a parade on Lilac Sunday. The idea was to bring people to the Island to enjoy a great horse drawn parade amidst the lovely lilacs that fragrance the Island in June. What began as a one day event called the Mackinac Island Lilac Day has blossomed into a ten day festival.'
Every day features activities and events - from painting and music to walks and shows - you're sure to find something of interest. This will be my first visit to the island during the Lilac Festival and a check of the festival schedule
has several items of interest for me, including the Walk and Talk, Dog and Pony show, tour of the stables and naturally, the parade on Sunday, June 14th. This year's parade theme is 'The American Circus: 1793-1940'.
Look for Blog and Twitter (twitter.com/mackinac) updates during my visit June 11-16th.