Fort Fright Canceled for the 2020 Season

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Mackinac State Historic Parks has decided to cancel its popular “Fort Fright” event, scheduled for October 9-10, at Colonial Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City.

A number of factors went into making this decision:

  • Restrictions on sizes of gatherings. Fort Fright attracts more than 1,500 people per night.
  • Being able to maintain proper social distancing and being able to enforce mask requirements in a darkened environment.
  • Limited availability of indoor spaces. Popular attractions such as the Haunted House, Frolic at the Commanding Officers’ Home, and stories at the Guard House, among others, would have be canceled or severely altered.
  • Limits on food and beverage offerings.
  • Limited staff availability.

“This was a difficult decision for us. Fort Fright has grown into one of our most popular and most attended events, and it is a staff favorite to put on each year,” said Steve Brisson, Mackinac State Historic Parks Deputy Director. “As a matter of public safety, as well as the safety of our staff, we feel this is the right decision. We look forward to hosting this event in 2021.”

In addition to canceling Fort Fright, Mackinac State Historic Parks has also canceled “A Colonial Christmas,” a new event set to debut December 12. It is hoped that this new event will debut in 2021.

Fort Fright is drawn from a book called Were-Wolves and Will-o-the-Wisps: French Tales of Mackinac Retold by Dirk Gringhuis. The collection of short stores, published by Mackinac State Historic Parks, is based on French-Canadian folktales brought to the Mackinac Straits area by the voyageurs during the height of the French fur trade. It is available at all Mackinac State Historic Parks museum stores.

More information can be found on or by calling (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