Annual Lilac Festival on Mackinac Island

Every June, Mackinac Island, Michigan, bursts into a spectacular array of colors and fragrances as it hosts the annual Lilac Festival. This ten-day celebration, dedicated to the island's beloved lilacs, draws visitors from all over the world to experience the unique charm and natural beauty of this historic island. From parades and garden tours to family-friendly activities and live music, the Lilac Festival offers something for everyone.

History of the Lilac Festival

The Lilac Festival began in 1949 and was founded by local residents eager to share the island's magnificent lilac blooms with the world. Over the years, it has grown into one of Mackinac Island’s most anticipated events, celebrating not only the lilacs but also the island's rich history and community spirit. The festival is a tribute to the lilacs planted by early settlers, which have thrived in the island’s unique climate.  

Festival Highlights

Lilac Parade

The centerpiece of the festival is the grand Lilac Parade, featuring beautifully decorated floats, marching bands, and local organizations. The parade is a vibrant display of creativity and community pride, with lilacs adorning every float and costume.

Garden Tours

Garden enthusiasts will delight in the guided garden tours that showcase some of the island's most stunning private and public gardens. These tours provide a rare opportunity to explore the lush landscapes and learn about the history and care of Mackinac's lilacs.

10K Run & Walk

For those who enjoy a bit of exercise amidst the festivities, the Lilac Festival 10K Run & Walk offers a scenic route through the island's picturesque streets and trails. Participants of all ages and abilities can join in this fun and healthy event.

Concerts and Entertainment

Live music and entertainment are a staple of the festival, with performances ranging from local bands to nationally recognized artists. Enjoy a variety of genres as you soak in the festive atmosphere and beautiful surroundings.


Family-Friendly Activities

The Lilac Festival is a family-friendly event, with plenty of activities to keep children entertained. From face painting and crafts to pony rides and puppet shows, there's no shortage of fun for the little ones.

Exploring Mackinac Island

While the Lilac Festival is a major draw, Mackinac Island offers many attractions to explore. Known for its ban on motor vehicles, the island provides a peaceful retreat where visitors can explore by bike, horse-drawn carriage, or on foot. Historic sites, charming shops, and delicious local cuisine add to the island's appeal.

The Lilac Festival on Mackinac Island is a celebration of natural beauty, history, and community. It’s an event that captures the essence of this unique island and offers an unforgettable experience for all who attend. Whether you’re a longtime admirer of lilacs or a first-time visitor, the festival promises a delightful and memorable escape.