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America’s Longest-Running, Free Memorial Day Historical Program Continues in Mackinaw City (May 26-28)—
Since 1962, the Memorial Pageant Weekend has entertained families in what remains the longest-running, free Memorial Day historical program in the United States. This year’s festivities run Saturday, May 26 through Monday, May 28. There is no admission charge for the historical reenactment pageant or related events.
Costumed reenactors bring to life the June 2, 1763 battle between the French, British and Native Americans which helped shape the history not only of this region but of the entire state of Michigan, the Midwest and America. More than 400 cast members bring history to life during scheduled performances throughout the weekend at Colonial Michilimackinac, set along the shores of the Straits of Mackinac—where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron converge.
Honoring local veterans, specifically those who were casualties of war, the annual Mackinaw Memorial Parade, steps off on Saturday, May 26 at 1pm from Conkling Heritage Park, near the Municipal Marina. More than 100 combined floats, bands, clowns, queens, reenactors and other entertainers from around the Great Lakes region follow a route that travels down Huron Avenue to Central Avenue to Nicolet Street at Colonial Michilmackinac.
Fireworks are planned at dusk that evening, at Conkling Heritage Park on South Huron Avenue along the shores of Lake Huron.
On Monday, May 28, a brief and informal Memorial Day observance, paying tribute to the soldiers who served at Fort Mackinac, takes place on Mackinac Island. Soldiers assembles at 8:30am at Fort Mackinac, march to the Post Cemetery, perform a short ceremony and salute, and then return to the fort. Ferry service from Mackinaw City to Mackinac Island is available at 7:30am from both Shepler’s Ferry and Star Line Ferry.
A Memorial Day Service is also planned at 10am on Monday at Conkling Heritage Park in Mackinaw City.
For lodging reservations for Memorial weekend, or throughout the summer season, visit MackinawCity.com/stay/.