Memorial Day is fast approaching, but there is still time to plan a Pure Michigan experience around the long weekend. As we remember our servicemen and women, Memorial Day is also a time to spend with family and friends – eating good food, catching a ball game or attending one of the many parades in communities across the state.
Take advantage of the many weekend packages available over the holiday weekend. Bay View Terrace Inn in Petoskey is offering a free dinner for two when you stay three nights. Feast on fresh-caught planked Whitefish as you enjoy the Victorian setting and beautiful views.
Memorial Day kicks off the summer rodeo season at Double JJ Resort in Rothbury. The lakes are still warming up, but you can still enjoy the water at the Gold Rush Waterpark. Best of all, if you book any overnight package for Friday and Saturday night, you can stay Sunday night for free.
Nothing says romance like Mackinac Island. Visit this island and be transported back to a simpler time, where horse-drawn carriages replace cars and simple pleasures are all you need. Harbour View Inn is offering a May couples package that includes accommodations, round trip ferry tickets, dinner at the Yankee Rebel and a pound of fudge.
Golfers will not want to miss Garland Lodge and Resort’s spring golf package,which includes 72 holes of golf on Garland’s four championship courses. With 3,000 acres of golf courses, trails and the largest log lodge this side of the Mississippi River Garland offers a perfect retreat this Memorial Day.
Celebrating Our Heritage
As people gather together to celebrate the state’s diverse history and heritages over Memorial Day weekend, there are a wide variety of activities that bring together entertainment and education.
Coldwater celebrates Civil War Days May 25-27, complete with living history re-enactors with a new location at Heritage Park. The Henry Ford in Dearborn holds its Civil War Remembrance Weekend at Greenfield Village May 26-28. For three days more than 450 military re-enactors create an authentic Civil War encampment for an observance filled with parades, artillery demonstrations and heartfelt 19th-century music.
Break out the kilts for the Alma Highland Festival Games May 26-27. With more than 50 clans participating, this is the largest Midwest festival celebrating Scottish heritage. The festival features old-world competitions – including dance competitions and athletic events – and the popular border collie exhibition.
Knights and jesters arrive in Marshall during the Mayfaire Renaissance Festival May 26-28. Enter an enchanted woodland and be transported back in time. Watch live sword fights and feast on turkey legs – no utensils required. Participants and visitors alike are encouraged to dress up for this fun faire.
The French, British and Native Americans may not have all got along in their own time, but at the Feast of the St. Claire in Port Huron May 26-27 more than 650 re-enactors come together on the waterfront to recreate the sights, sounds, smells and flavors of Michigan from the period of 1750-1840.
On Memorial Day weekend the sounds of drumming, friendship, music and dance, and cultural demonstrations will fill the grounds of the Museum of Ojibwa Culture during the Native American Festival in St. Ignace. Demonstrations in Black Ash basket making, quill work and fire-keeping will all be part of the celebration of one of the state’s oldest cultures.
This year marks the 90th anniversary of the famed Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden in Ann Arbor – the largest collection of peonies in North America. The Peony Festival will celebrate the occasion through June 5 and staff will provide guided tours through the collection twice a day while the vibrant flowers are in bloom. Admission into Nichols Arboretum is free.
Birders will flock to the Keweenaw Migratory Bird Festival in Copper Harbor through the end of May to experience superb birding opportunities, bird walks, programs and fun for the whole family. One of the highlights is Brockway Mountain, also known as “Hawk Highway” where as many as 17 species of raptors have been observed in migration. Mid-May is also a good time to spot warblers, songbirds and the flycatchers in the area.