Did you appreciate history when you were younger? Loving and exploring all things Mackinac has made me a history buff and as we know, Mackinac Island is rich with history. Did you know that the Lilac Festival originated in 1949 and is proudly celebrating its 66th year? People in America started planting lilacs during the Victorian Age and Mackinac Islanders soon found that the island’s climate was perfect (we agree) and a healthy location for the common lilac to grow to a larger size and longer life than in most gardens in the U.S.
Some Mackinac Island lilac trees are original Victorian plantings, dated at more than 150 years old and were brought to the island during the Colonial era. The Lilac Festival is always scheduled for the week that Mackinac Island lilacs are in full bloom with beautiful white and purple flowers flooding the air with their beautiful aroma and are a sight to behold. On Mackinac, we love this time of year.
In 1991, Lilac Tree Suites & Spa opened its doors and we recently celebrated our 24th opening weekend. We’re proud that our name honors Mackinac’s beautiful lilacs. It’s our way of keeping the lilac name fresh in people’s hearts and minds and having lilacs in our lobby makes it even more special.
The Lilac Festival is a 10 – day celebration, the first and largest summer event on the island going on from June 5th – 14th withplenty of activities for everyone. Take your family to one of the biggest events, A Taste of Mackinac, celebrating its 28th year! Your palette will be thrilled as you’ll be enjoying culinary favorites, personally served by the chefs from the Island’s restaurants on the lawn of the Harbour View Inn. What makes it even better is that you’ll be surrounded by some of the Island’s oldest lilacs and will be the perfect combo of sight, smell and taste.
If you decide to run in the Lilac Festival 10 K, you can soothe your muscles at The Lilac Tree Suites & Spa with a therapeutic spa treatment, and treat your feet to something new, a beer pedicure! Beer does wonders foryour skin because the enzymes and hops soften skin and helps exfoliate your feet. Plus, with alcohol in it, it’s a natural antiseptic. Your body and feet will say, “thank you!” If your preference is to watch the 10K, we have the best view when you’re in one of our suites as the racers trek down Main Street. The Lilac Festival Grand Parade is a sight to behold and again, our suites offer the best view in town. Sit down outside on your private patio and watch the parade go by.
The Lilac Festival will also have numerous concerts, sailing tours of our beautiful harbor, boat cruises under the Mackinac Bridge, horse drawn carriage tours, and the coronation of the Lilac Festival Queen and Court. If you’ve never been to Mackinac Island for the Lilac Festival, now’s your chance.
You’ve heard the expression that history repeats itself, which means if you’ve been here before, it’s time to visit us again! If not, you’ll remember your first time forever. We still have some sweet “suites available so give us a call to make your reservations for your great get-away at the Lilac Tree Suites & Spa for the Lilac Festival or any time after.
We’ll be waiting for you and have a suite with your name on it. Sweet!
George Piliouras for The Lilac Voice