2009-02-14 / Top News

Festival of Horse Is Newest Island Event for 2009

A new event that will combine already established events celebrating Mackinac Island's horse culture was announced by Mackinac Horsemen's Association this winter. The Festival of the Horse will be held this summer from July 23 to July 25.

The new festival aims to attract tourists to Mackinac Island specifically to boost the local economy and fundraising efforts, said Leanne Brodeur of the association.

"We wanted to combine some of our fundraising events together to really make the festival a 'destination event,' attracting tourists here for the event itself," said Mrs. Brodeur.

Starting Thursday evening, July 23, the 11th annual Horses, Hoofbeats and Hors d'oeurves Party and Live Auction will begin the festival weekend.

On Friday, July 24, spectators will enjoy an antique carriage and driving demonstration by local coachmen and, later that evening, a parade of antique carriages. Teams and single horses with a variety of classic carriages will be paraded through town.

Saturday afternoon will begin with the annual Breeds of Mackinac Show and Guest Equine Entertainment, where many breeds of horses stabled on the Island will be highlighted, along with a guest equestrian entertainer.

The festival will close with an Old Fashioned Barn Raising Party Saturday evening. It will include food and live entertainment.

Throughout the weekend, visitors will also enjoy horse culture lectures, hay rides, historic stable tours, and can visit local horses at the 4-H Mission Stable.

Members of the youth 4-H Club will also be handing out children's pamphlets with horse puzzles, crossword puzzles, dotto dot, word search, and drawing mazes with a coloring picture. The pamphlets will also include facts and information about Mackinac Island horses and the Mackinac Community Stable Fund.

All proceeds from the festival's events go toward the Mackinac Community Stable Fund.

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