In the dictionary, the word community is described as “a group sharing common characteristics or interests of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage. Many times it is perceived as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists.”It’s as if the dictionary used the Mackinac Island Community for their description.
The Mackinac Island Community is made up of a special type of people. People who enjoy being on the Island with all of the joy that it offers and where the expression “we are family” rings very true, especially this time of year. The Mackinac Island Christmas Bazaar is a big Christmas celebration that takes place every year in the beginning of December and we’re looking forward to it more than ever, this year. We all know that being onMackinac Island is like stepping back in time and the Christmas Bazaar brings that to light because it feels like a time in the past when people got together at gatherings,markets and festivals to share the goods that they made by hand. The old town hall is the gathering place and that’s where the entire island shows up to sell their handmade crafts, eat great, home-cooked meals and where they auction off their unique, Mackinac Island items.
This year, the Mackinac Island Christmas Bazaar will be held on December 5 through the 7th. While it’s a great community gathering where friends and families meet, eat together, and shop for bargains for three days,the ultimate goal is raising much needed money for the Mackinac Island Medical Center, as well as St. Anne’s Catholic Church, Little Stone Church, Trinity Episcopal Church and the Mackinac Island Bible Church.
The fun and excitement starts on Friday, December 4, right before the Christmas Bazaar. The Mackinac Island community will enjoy time caroling in town and then everyone gathers around the Christmas tree on Main Street. In true Mackinac Island community spirit, a local child is picked to turn on the lights around 5:00 pm on the Christmas tree sending out a warm, radiant glow to the cheers of the crowd.
After the Christmas tree is lit, the rummage sale then opens so people can get first choices on great buys in the Mackinac Island Fire hall. Plus, there’s no better way to warm hearts and fill bellies on a cold Mackinac night than with hot cocoa and cookies which will be served. The fun continues on Saturday at the Community Hall and Fire Hall with doors opening at 11:00 a.m. Lunch will be served in the Community Hall at 11:30 and throughout the day for anyone who wants to shop on a full stomach. We also heard from one of his elves, that Santa will be arriving at 1:30 p.m. and the live auction begins at 2:00 p.m.
The Community Hall and Fire Hall will open again at 11:00 on Sunday. Sunday’s lunch will be a delicious, mouth watering Prime Rib Dinner that starts at 12:00 p.m. Plus, round 2 of the live auction will start at 2:00 p.m. There will be lots going on and all of the day’s activities will be done by 6:00 p.m. The final day, Monday, doors open at 11:00 with lunch at 11:30 a.m. All raffles will be drawn between 2:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. And remember that throughout the entire weekend, all raffle tickets will be available for sale in the Community Hall.
This wonderful Christmas Bazaar by the Mackinac Island Community is a living testimony and a true reflection of our close-knit island community. I’m sure,as fellow Mackinac lovers, that you and your families are part of the fabric in your local communities.So this year, in the spirit of Christmas and the Holidays, find a way to give back to help others in need.
By doing that, you’ll demonstrate what true community is all about. Always remember, giving back is always in style.
Until next time……
George Piliouras for The Lilac Tree Suites & Spa