Due to the unfolding global health crisis caused by COVID-19, select events scheduled as part of the 72nd Annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival, to be hosted June 5-14, 2020, have been canceled. Mackinac Island Tourism Executive Director Tim Hygh shared the announcement on behalf of the events’ organizers and hosts.
“The Mackinac Island Lilac Festival is one of the marquee events the island has the pleasure of hosting each year, and we look forward to making the most of this year’s celebration despite the circumstances,” said Hygh. “These decisions are difficult, but prudent. We prioritize the health and safety of the island’s residents, staff and guests, which reflects our commitment to each of our stakeholders, as well as the island’s traditions and tourism industry.”
The headlining events that have been canceled include the Lilac Festival Grand Parade and Mackinac Island Dog and Pony Show, as these events require large gatherings of people, which would violate the important social distancing guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While select events have been canceled, Mackinac Island Tourism is thrilled to host guests for a number of fan favorite events to occur as scheduled, including the Lilac Festival Poster Competition and annual Lilac Queen Coronation. Additionally, the planning committee is developing several virtual events for fans from around the world to take part in the 72nd Annual Lilac Festival.
“Our goal is to bring everything but the sweet smell of the lilac blooms into the homes of fans and Mackinac Island supporters celebrating remotely,” added Hygh. “It really is a remarkable time on the island, and we’re going to do everything we can to recreate this experience virtually.”
Celebrating Mackinac Island’s lilacs began in 1949. The original goal was to bring people to the island to enjoy a horse-drawn parade amidst the lilacs that fragrance the island in June. This one-day event, originally referred to as Mackinac Island Lilac Day, has since blossomed into a 10-day festival featuring more than 300 varieties of lilacs, drawing visitors from around the country.
The annual Lilac Festival is one of many ways visitors can enjoy the unique beauty of Mackinac Island. Often referred to as the “Crown Jewel of Michigan,” Mackinac Island plays host to family reunions, milestone birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, school groups, historical tours, meetings, conventions and more.
Mackinac Island Tourism has launched an online hub outlining the operational changes resulting from the COVID-19 global health crisis. Individuals can find more information on our 2020 Season Updates page.
About Mackinac Island Tourism
Mackinac Island Tourism represents the collective interests of members of the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau and the Mackinac Island Convention & Visitors Bureau. The organization’s mission is to promote the interests of the island’s extensive hospitality and entertainment business. As the stewards of this national gem, Mackinac Island Tourism preserves the island’s natural beauty and attractions alike for visitors from around Michigan, the United States and the world.
Mackinac Island has been lauded with numerous awards from the nation’s top travel authorities, including its designation as a Top 10 U.S. Island by TripAdvisor and USA Today.
For more information about Mackinac Island, visit mackinacisland.org.
To learn more about Mackinac Island Tourism’s response to and operational changes resulting from COVID-19, visit mackinacisland.org/travel-advisory.