GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As we get closer to summer, people throughout the state will be flocking to one of our most popular tourist spots, Mackinac Island.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of a popular event on the island, the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival.
“The festival started in 1949 and we are celebrating 75 years of the festival this year so we’re very excited. The lilacs on Mackinac Island are amazing,” Steph Castelein, Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau, said.
There are over 250 species of lilacs and more than 300 lilacs plants all over the island. Some of the lilacs are over 200 years old and are the tallest and largest in the entire Midwest.
“The lilacs smell incredible when they’re in bloom. It’s usually a little bit more delayed than the rest of Michigan. Ours are just budding right now. They’re going to be blooming soon,” Castelein said.
The festival runs from June 9 to 18 and features free guided walking tours, planting sessions, a 10K run/walk, bounce houses on the weekend and concerts. Restaurants on the island are offering lilac-themed food and beverages.
Preservation of the lilacs continues to be an important initiative on Mackinac Island. Castelein says the island has partnered with MSU Extension to study the plants and help preserve them. They’re looking at tagging and naming the lilac plants as well.
For more information on the festival, click here.