Probably the latest lilac festival on the calendar is the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival. It’s set for June 7 through 16, 2013, in northern Michigan.
According to local lore, celebrating Mackinac’s lilac collection began in 1949 after a conversation between Evangilene “Ling” Horn and Stella King, who encouraged Bill Chambers to stage a parade on what would be called Lilac Sunday. Fast forward a few decades, and what began as a one-day event has blossomed into a ten day festival.
Highlights include concerts, a parade, wine tastings and (most appropriately) several “Walks and Talks” about lilacs. Of special interest is a lilac plant sale of all sorts of varieties, plus a chance to buy cloned Mackinac Island Lilacs — cultivated from one of the oldest lilacs on Mackinac from the garden of the home William Backhouse Astor lived in during the early 19th century (yes, the fur trade Astors).
(Photo courtesy of Mackinac Island Lilac Festival)