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72nd Annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival cancels some events amid coronavirus

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DETROIT – Select events for the 72nd Annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival have the met the fate of many other events in Michigan.

Due to COVID-19, select events scheduled as part of the 72nd Annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival, to be hosted June 5-14, 2020, have been canceled. Mackinac Island Tourism Executive Director Tim Hygh shared the announcement on behalf of the events’ organizers and hosts.

“The Mackinac Island Lilac Festival is one of the marquee events the island has the pleasure of hosting each year, and we look forward to making the most of this year’s celebration despite the circumstances,” said Hygh. “These decisions are difficult, but prudent. We prioritize the health and safety of the island’s residents, staff and guests, which reflects our commitment to each of our stakeholders, as well as the island’s traditions and tourism industry.”

The headlining events that have been canceled include the Lilac Festival Grand Parade and Mackinac Island Dog and Pony Show, as these events require large gatherings of people, which would violate the important social distancing guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While select events have been canceled, Mackinac Island Tourism reports a number of community-based events will remain, including the annual Lilac Queen Coronation. The annual Lilac Festival Poster contest will take place as scheduled to continue the tradition of the winning poster being sold in island stores. Additionally, the planning committee is developing several virtual events for fans from around the world to take part in the 72nd Annual Lilac Festival.

“Our goal is to bring everything but the sweet smell of the lilac blooms into the homes of fans and Mackinac Island supporters celebrating remotely,” added Hygh. “It really is a remarkable time on the island, and we’re going to do everything we can to recreate this experience virtually.”

Mackinac Island Tourism has launched an online hub outlining the operational changes resulting from the COVID-19 global health crisis. Individuals can find more information on the 2020 Season Updates page.


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