Mackinac Island Festivals and Events

Mackinac Island is home to three fabulous Northern Michigan festivals each summer, as well as numerous annual sports events—most notably foot and boat races. These Northern Michigan events are special in their own right, but the backdrop of Mackinac Island makes them incredible.  From boating to honoring the island’s favorite food, there’s a Mackinac Island festival or event that will make your Northern Michigan vacation to the island all the better.

Mackinac Island Festivals

Lilac Festival

The Lilac Festival is one of the first and largest summer festivals to happen on the Island. The festival attracts thousands of visitors each year to the beautiful island for the numerous festival events. Watch the coronation of the Lilac Festival Queen, learn about equestrian culture, go wine tasting, or view a pony show.

Click to Learn More About the Lilac Festival

Experience the Lilac Festival through video:

Festival of the Horse

On Mackinac Island, the horse is the king of transportation. The Festival of the Horse honors the magnificent animal with a line-up of events celebrating it’s history on the Island. Take a carriage ride through downtown Mackinac, or watch a professional horse demonstration. The festival will showcase over 18 different breeds of horses that call Mackinac Island home.

Click for the Full List of Event at the Festival of the Horse

Fudge Festival

Home to the best fudge in America, the Mackinac island Fudge Festival celebrates the delicious and creamy treat with a weekend of sweet events. Watch a demonstration on the art of fudge making. Or attend a dinner filled with fine foods that are meant to compliment the dreamy historic treat. The perfect festival for any vacationer, but especially those with a sweet tooth.

Click for More Information on the Fudge Festival

Mackinac Island Sporting Events

Foot Races

  1. The Lilac 10k: This race coincides with the Lilac Festival.
  2. Mackinac Eight Mile: The eight-mile run walk also has a kids fun run.
  3. Great Turtle Trail-Run: Choose between the 5.7-mile trail run or the half-marathon run.

Learn More and Register for the Above Races at

Mackinac Island Boat Races

Head up to Mackinac to catch one of these boat races this summer:

  1. Mackinac Island 4th of July Race: Sponsored by the Pink Pony, this family fun race invites all sailboats to join them.
  2. Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac: A 333-mile voyage from Chicago to Mackinac Island.
  3. Round the Island Race: The race is open to all sailboats in the Chicago Mac Race and all boats in the Mackinac area.
  4. Bells Beer Bayview to Mackinac Race: Bayview Yacht Club hosts this spectacular fresh water sailing event. Hosting over 250 yachts that will race from Port Huron to Mackinac Island, this historic event is filled with the excitement of the challenge.
  5. Mission Point Mac to Mac Regatta: Race from the Mackinac Island Harbor to the Mackinac Bridge and back.
  6. Horns Bar Labor Day Regatta: The free race takes participants on the round the island course.

Read about the Race to Mackinac here, or find the best places along Lake Michigan to watch the race.

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