2006-06-10 / Top News

57th Lilac Festival Celebrates Island's Floral Extravagance

By Bernie Nguyen

(From left) eighth grade students Jessica Ganzeroort, Carly DeLeuw, and Catherine Liptrot take a break by Fort Mackinac during their day trip to enjoy the lilacs and explore the Island. They are from Excel Charter Academy in Grand Rapids. (From left) eighth grade students Jessica Ganzeroort, Carly DeLeuw, and Catherine Liptrot take a break by Fort Mackinac during their day trip to enjoy the lilacs and explore the Island. They are from Excel Charter Academy in Grand Rapids. Lilacs are one of Mackinac Island's most noticeable and fragrant spring features, and they are the focus of the annual Lilac Festival, a 10-day celebration that includes special events, tours, and a festive parade through town. The festival this year is from June 9 to June 18.

The opening ceremony will begin at 4:30 p.m. Friday, June 9, at Marquette Park with a concert by Alex Graham and Grand Hotel Orchestra, followed by the crowning of this year's Lilac Queen and Princess by Mayor Margaret Doud.

Teenagers will celebrate later at the Queen's Rave Graffiti Party at the Lilac Tree Hotel. Attendees are encouraged to wear paintable clothing.

The Lilac Festival 10k run/walk begins at Windermere Point Saturday, June 10, at 9:30 a.m. Younger walkers may attend the Lil' Lilac 1/4 mile run/walk, which takes place at 11 a.m.

The Mackinac Island Public Library will host its annual book sale from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Most books are either donated or weeded from the library's collection. Magazines will be sold for 50, videos and audiobooks for $2, and books from 50 for children's paperbacks to $2 for adult hardcovers. The library will also offer back issues of the Town Crier from 2002 to 2004.

The Farmington Community Band will celebrate its 40th anniversary Saturday with a free afternoon concert at Windermere

Point. Later in the evening, dancers can kick up their heels at the country line dance with the Western Michigan Bootscooters on Market Street.

The Lilac Festival Golf Tournament will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 12, on the Jewel at Grand Hotel. The registration will take place at Grand Pro Shop.

Later on, the Straits of Mackinac Blues Cruise will leave at 7:30 p.m. from the Arnold Line dock with the Eddie King Band and is being catered by Goodfellows.

Free tours of the Governor's Summer Residence will begin Wednesday, June 14, at 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Later that day, the historic Inns Tour with Dan Seely will take place at 1 p.m. and will meet at the Windermere Hotel. At 7:30 p.m., Art of Entertaining, a popular event from last year, will return this year and will be at the Murray Hotel. This year, the topics will be Decorating the Cookie and Victorian Posies, with Le Cordon Bleu pastry chef Kim Sperl from Bella e Dolce and Weber's Floral and Gift designer Jay Porcaro.

Thursday, June 15, brings a special food event to the lawn of the Harbour View Inn. ATaste of Mackinac will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Later, the Feast of Epona Party and Silent Auction will take place at Seabiscuit and Grog Cafe from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., sponsored by the Mackinac Island Community Foundation.

A new event will take place from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Lilac Tree Hotel & Spa, which will feature Texas Hold 'em and blackjack, with dealers provided by Bay Mills Casino.

On Friday, June 16, the 4-H Club will hold a lemonade fundraiser and stable tour at Mission Hill Stable, with a Blessing of the Horses at 5 p.m.

Kid's Day at Fort Mackinac on Saturday, June 17, will require admission to the Fort and runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. At 1 p.m., the Epona and Barkus parade will be held on the Boardwalk, followed by the Dog and Pony Show and the Barkitecture Auction at Windermere Point from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Later on, an ice cream social with the Barrington Children's Choir will be held on the promenade deck at Mission Point Resort from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and a Hayride provided by Mackinac Island Carriage Tours will take place at 7:30 p.m.

The final day of Lilac Festival, Sunday, June 18, begins with a Father's Day Brunch at the Pink Pony and celebrates with high spirits at the Great

Turtle Toys Great Kite Ascension, which takes place from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Windermere Point. The Lilac Festival free concert series will be held in two parts, with a Barrington Children's Choir concert at Mission Church at noon and a parade bands overture at Marquette Park at 1 p.m.

The celebration culminates with the Lilac Festival Grand Parade. Larry and Terri Smith will bring their Country Road Haflingers and the Ladd-mariel Haflingers will also be present.

Six Belgians will also be marching in the parade, brought by Brian and Ashley DeLoof, who are returning to the Island

for the first time in 10 years. Jann Normington, with the Michigan Horsedrawn Vehicle Association, will also be bringing four new single hitches and a pony. Stabling is provided by Carriage Tours, the Horsemen's Association, and West Bluff cottager Maeve Croghan.

The theme for the parade will be the book, "Loon Feather," by Iola Fuller, who lived on the Island in the 1930s.

Don "Duck" Andress will lead the parade, as he has done for 35 years, and will be followed by his brother, Carl Andress, John Perault, Tony Miron, and Heather Bazinau.

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