Celebrating Mackinac’s lilac collection began in 1949. The idea was to bring people to the Island to enjoy a great horse drawn parade amidst the lovely lilacs that fragrance the Island in June. What began as a one day event called the Mackinac Island Lilac Day has blossomed into a ten-day festival.
The festival was started when Evangilene Horn and nurse Stella King encouraged the then teen, and today’s Mackinac Island Carriage Tours veterinarian, Dr. Bill Chambers to have a parade on Lilac Sunday. It was originally just the one day event called the Mackinac Island Lilac Day, but over the years has expanded into today’s 10-day event.