Mackinac Island Lilac Festival is Bringing Jaw-Dropping Blooms, Horse-Drawn Parade & Walking Tours

Mackinac Island Lilac Festival : Lilacs with horses in background

The Sweet Aroma of Lilacs Will Envelope You at the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival

Michigan summer up north officially kicks off when the lilacs start blooming on Mackinac Island

Experience ten days of everything lilac at the 76th annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival at one of Michigan’s most famed vacation destinations.

The event runs June 7 – 16, 2024 and festivities include a horse-drawn grand parade, a 10K run / walk, the coronation of the Lilac Festival Queen, walking tours and live music.

Mackinac Island Lilac Festival : Lilacs with bridge and ferry in background

More things to look forward to:

Where to See the Lilacs 

The lilacs are of course the big draw for the Lilac fest, one of the top Michigan festivals. 

Their sweet aroma greets visitors the moment they arrive on the island.

Lilacs cover Mackinac Island, but the best place to see them is Marquette Park. 

Be sure to check out the twisted lilac trunks along the boardwalk from Windermere Point to Mackinac Island Public School.

The lilacs are typically in bloom from mid-May through mid-June. 

Mackinac Island Lilac Festival : lilacs

Favorite Mackinac Island Lilac Festival Events

Queen’s Coronation

Marquette Park, 7200 Huron St, Mackinac Island, MI 49757

The Mackinac Island Lilac Festival begins with the coronation of the Lilac Queen, Lilac Festival Princess and introduction of the Queen’s Court. 

The Lilac Queen is selected by the students and classmates at Mackinac Island’s Public School.

It honors the student who has dedicated their time to their classmates plus community events throughout the year. 

Mackinac Island Lilac Festival Queen Coronation

The coronation of the Lilac Queen begins at 5 PM on Friday, June 9, 2023 in Marquette Park. 

Horse-Drawn Parade

Begins at Mission Point Resort, 1 Lake Shore Dr, Mackinac Island, MI 49757

The Mackinac Island Lilac Festival ends with the big parade on Sunday, June 18, 2023. 

This parade is truly unique. Since cars aren’t allowed on the island, it’s horse drawn. 

Mackinac Island Lilac Festival Parade Float

Festival-goers line the streets beginning at 3 PM for the 4:00 start time.

The parade begins at Mission Point Resort and follows M-185 to Main Street and ends at Windermere Point.

Lilac-Themed Events

As you’d expect, there are plenty of lilac-centric events throughout the festival.

Jeff Young, known as “The Lilac Man,” has been leading events on Mackinac Island for over 15 years. His events include free walking tours, planting classes and lilac-themed lectures.

Mackinac Island Lilac Festival : tour docent
Jeff Young, “The Lilac Man”

The primary lilac event is the docent-led walking tours. These free tours occur throughout the festival and explore different areas of the island. 

Festival-goers can also attend free lilac planting seminars or a lilac resin jewelry workshop ($55).

More Mackinac Island Lilac Festival Highlights

Things kick into high gear on Saturday, June 10, 2023 with the 10K run (adults’ and kids’ versions) along with walking tours throughout the day. 

People love to grab a cold drink, hang out by the lilacs, and cheer on the racers

Mackinac Island Lilac Festival : Lilac festival 10K

There’s complimentary admission to art museums plus the opportunity to sign up to fire the cannon at the fort. 

The Mackinac Island Lilac Festival Parade wraps up the festival on Sunday, June 18, 2023. 

Lilac Festival Dates & Times

Friday, June 9, 2023: 12 PM – 8 PM 

Saturday, June 10, 2023: 9 AM – Dusk 

Sunday, June 11, 2023: 10 AM – 4:30 PM

Monday, June 12, 2023: 10 AM – 5:30 PM

Tuesday, June 13, 2023: 10 AM – 7:30 PM

Wednesday, June 14, 2023: 10 AM – 7 PM

Thursday, June 15, 2023: 10 AM – 8 PM 

Friday, June 16, 2023: 9 AM – 8 PM

Saturday, June 17, 2023: 9 AM – 7:30 PM 

Sunday, June 18, 2023: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Note: The end time above is when the final event of the day begins.

2021 Mackinac Island Lilac Festival Recap


Marquette Park, 7200 Huron St, Mackinac Island, MI 49757, and throughout the island.

Download the full Mackinac Island Lilac Festival schedule here.

Mackinac Island Lilac Festival 2023 logo

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