Mackinac State Historic Parks is hosting an array of events on Mackinac Island and in Mackinaw City from August 3 through August 10 as a continuation of its 125th anniversary celebration. These free events include island history programs, a stargazing night, a hidden history program at Colonial Michilimackinac, and more!
“Despite the fact that a number of events have been cancelled this year, we are pleased to offer these opportunities to residents and guests to help us celebrate the 125th anniversary of Mackinac State Historic Parks,” said MSHP Director, Phil Porter.
The full week of events starts off on Monday, August 3 with the program Island History Series: Moviemaking at Mackinac, presented by MSHP Deputy Director, Steve Brisson. He will be discussing movies made on Mackinac Island, like This Time for Keeps and Somewhere in Time. This event will be held in the Station 256 Conference Room above the historic Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center.
The following evening, August 4, Fort Mackinac will host Movies in the Fort showing the family classic Finding Nemo. The movie starts at dusk (roughly 9:30 p.m.).
In Mackinaw City, on August 6, Colonial Michilimackinac will host Hidden Histories: Marriage and the British Army, at 7:30 p.m. This program will explore the complexities of love, marriage, and long distance relationships in the British military of the 18th century. The secondary entrance for the fort will be used for this event, off Straits Avenue.
Back in the Station 256 Conference Room on Mackinac Island on Friday, August 7, MSHP Curator of Archaeology Dr. Lynn Evans will be presenting Island History Series: Archaeology on Mackinac Island, which will explore the archaeological history of Mackinac Island. There have been numerous archaeological excavations happening around Mackinac Island since the 1960s, including sites on Custer Road, Wawashkamo Golf Club and Fort Mackinac. This program, along with Moviemaking at Mackinac, are presented by the Mackinac Island Community Foundation.
The weekend continues with the War of 1812 Battlefield Bike Ride on Saturday, August 8 led by Interpretation Coordinator David Harkleroad. On this guided bike ride, participants will learn more about the War of 1812 and the battle of Mackinac Island as they cycle to the 1814 battlefield on Mackinac Island. Participants will meet at the Avenue of Flags at Fort Mackinac.
Visitors in the Straits area will have choices at dusk. In Mackinaw City, Finding Nemo will be shown in Michilimackinac State Park for Movies by the Bridge. The show begins at dusk.
S’more… Meteors! will be a fun event for all ages, highlighting the Perseids meteor shower, one of the biggest celestial events of the year. During this event, visitors will watch meteors, learn about constellations, and enjoy s’mores at Fort Holmes. To participate in the solar light-guided hike up to Fort Holmes with Park Ranger Justin Wright, meet at the Fort Mackinac Avenue of Flags at 9:30 p.m.
Finishing out the week, the Guided Botanical Trail Hike will be hosted by Jack Barnwell, the architect of the Mackinac Island Botanical Trail. This will occur on Monday, August 10, and all who wish to participate should meet at the trail head of the Arch Rock Bicycle Trail.
Other events are mixed in through the week as well, including nature programs at British Landing, a virtual Artist-in-Residence workshop, and events in Marquette Park presented by the Mackinac Arts Council.
All events will abide by the CDC Covid-19 guidelines and Michigan regulations.
“We’re comfortable that these events provide safe social distancing venues,” Porter said. “These are fun, interactive ways to learn more about different elements of Mackinac history.”
For more information and a full list of Mackinac Parks events, please visit mackinacparks.com or call (231) 436-4100.
Mackinac State Historic Parks, a family of living history museums and parks in northern Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac, is an agency within the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Its sites—which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums—include Fort Mackinac, the Biddle House, The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum, Historic Downtown Mackinac, and Mackinac Island State Park on Mackinac Island, and Colonial Michilimackinac, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park and Michilimackinac State Park in Mackinaw City. Mackinac State Historic Parks is governed by the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, established in 1895 to protect, preserve and present the parks’ rich historic and natural resources for the education and recreation of future generations. Visitor information is available at (231) 436-4100 or on the web at www.mackinacparks.com.