What began as a simple conversation in the 1940s is now a fantastic ten day event with lots of family friendly activities and fun things to do. Evangilene “Ling” Horn and Nurse Stella King spoke with veterinarian Dr. Bill Chambers, when he was a teenager, about having a Mackinac Island parade on Lilac Sunday. Dr. Bill now is the attending veterinarian for the Mackinac Island Carriage Tours and a proud participant in the Lilac Festival.
The concept for the ten day festival was simply to invite people to the island to enjoy a great horse-drawn carriage parade amidst the lovely lilacs which bloom in June.
The Lilac Festival always begins with the coronation of the Lilac Queen in a twilight ceremony. The annual queen is chosen by local Mackinac Island school children each lilac season and receives her crown at Windermere Point or if the weather is not cooperating, at the Windermere Hotel. Throughout the week, there are music concerts, lilac walks and tours, a 10K run, a dog and pony show, and more! The signature event is the Lilac Festival Grand Parade, with floats pulled by horse-drawn carriages! Mackinac Island's Lilac Festival is a wonderful way to welcome summer!