"The lilac is one of the enduring symbols of Mackinac Island. First planted here by French missionaries in the 1600's, the oldest living lilacs on American soil are on Mackinac Island. some of the older lilac shrubs have grown to treelike proportions over the years. Each spring,m the trees fill the Island air with sweet fragrance and dazzle with their rich shades of purple, lavender, and white.
Since 1949, Mackinac Island has celebrated the arrival of summer with the annual Lilac Festival in June, when hundreds of lilac trees are in full flower. Stella King, a well-loved citizen of the Island, created quite a stir that year when she rode through town in her carriage decorated with lilacs.
Amid this lush atmosphere, is it any surprise that romance is rampant on the Island? Couples get married every day and every place on Mackinac Island ~ in quaint churches, on rocks by the water, on lookout points over the highest bluffs, on Victorian croquet lawns, by the apple orchard, in gazebos, and on boats. And the weddings are no longer just in the summer. Spring and fall are popular times, too, and others are discovering the quiet solitude of winter. Later, these same couples return to celebrate wedding anniversaries and recapture the romance of the island.
The residents of Mackinac Island welcome nearly a million guests each year. The Island's leisurely pace and scenic beauty draw and endless parade of visitors ~ some familiar, some new. Old traditions are cherished, yet new ones are formed at the same time. And Mackinac Island memories continue to be born, year after year, stretching into the future and circling back into the past."
~ Mackinac Island Memories (Len Trankina)
* Note: For more information regarding this beautiful festival, visit ~
FRENCH ALMOND CAKE
~ In honor of the French for gracing Mackinac Island with revered lilacs, here is Julia Child's lovely recipe.
1/4 pound soft butter
3/4 cup blanched almonds, pulverized in blender with 1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp rum, kirsch, or vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup sifted cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
- Grease and flour a 8 1/2-inch baking pan.
- Cream butter and sugar together in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition. Add baking powder and flavorings. Gently fold in flour, one tablespoon at a time.
- Fold batter into pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar when cool. Serve with the freshest fruit of the season.