Just Your Typical Labor Day Weekend on Mackinac Island 9/4/2012

We have a Mystery Spot winner!  She is Fran from Florida!  Please see end of this post for the answer!

It was a spectacular Labor Day weekend on Mackinac Island, and I don’t think even one more event could have been packed into those three days.  I’ll get to all that in a moment, but first I have to tell you that knowing Labor Day heralds the end of summer makes my heart a little sad.  Even though we have another two months before we leave and head south, I know – from past experience – those eight weeks will flash by in a whirlwind of last minute visitors, leaves changing colors, seasonal sales in all the shops, less crowded streets, and the slow decline in the warm temps we’ve enjoyed this year. 

But, you know, there’s only one thing to do when your time on the Island is getting shorter and shorter . . . . . . GET OUT AND ENJOY BEING HERE!  I hope I can make these next few weeks of blog posts so exciting and colorful you’ll just have to jump in your vehicle and drive up (or down) to experience fall on Mackinac for yourself.  If there’s no way you can do that this year, maybe reading these words and looking through the photos will help you imagine being here – the next best thing!

So hang on!  Summer is over, Fall is peeking around the corner, and we’re going to have tons of fun between now and the first week in November (our “go” date to hit I-75 South).

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Labor Day Weekend

Streets downtown this weekend were packed with families enjoying one more little get-away before schools started on Tuesday (every school in Michigan opens the day after Labor Day).

Jill snapped this shot downtown on Sunday afternoon. It looked like the typical summer day on Mackinac Island this year – crazy crowded!

Same street – Labor Day, after check-out time at all the hotels.

Beginning on Friday, the Grand Hotel presented its annual Labor Day Jazz Weekend.  And believe me – nobody knows how to throw a party like the Grand!

The Tea Garden became Party Central during the day on Saturday and Sunday. Each morning the grounds would look like this . . . .

. . . and by noon – with live concerts by jazz musicians and cookouts providing the food – the party would be in full swing!

And – because it’s the Grand – by Monday afternoon there was no evidence at all that there had even been a party!  I would not have wanted to be on THAT clean-up crew!

Saturday began with the annual last official formal ride of the season.  These ladies and gentlemen – in formal riding attire – met at 9 a.m. on the East Bluff to begin their ride, which took them throughout the island, downtown, and to the West Bluff.

There were 18 participants this year, and as they rode around the corner at Pontiac Trail, they made a beautiful entrance onto West Bluff Road.

Following tradition, the group stopped at one of the homes on the West Bluff, where the residents awaited them with Mint Juleps for the riders . . .

. . . and special, home-made treats for the horses.

There were black horses . . .

. . . and gray horses . . .

. . . and colors in-between . . .

. . . and I believe the horses were having almost as much fun as their riders!

Here’s to this wonderful season of horses on Mackinac!

On Saturday at noon, the most important event of the weekend happened for Ted . . . . . . the first University of Georgia football game!  I think everyone who reads this blog probably knows by now that if Ted was not able to watch his beloved “Dawgs” up here in Michigan, we would either be going home at the end of August or I would be spending two months up here by myself.

You know you are a VIP at the Pink Pony when they dedicate one TV set just for you to watch the Georgia game. Ted (I was there two minutes) was the only one watching, but he was a happy man – even more so because Georgia WON. Go Dawgs! Woof! Woof!

The crowning event of the weekend is the Labor Day Bridge Walk. Even before the sun rises, thousands of people converge in St. Ignace from the Island and from all over Michigan and other nearby states.  Two lanes of the bridge are closed to vehicle traffic, and for several hours people and cars move together for the five-mile walk across the Straits of Mackinac to Mackinaw City.  Ted and several friends made the walk again this year – that makes four times for Ted!

Starting out.  Up ahead – WAY up ahead – is the first tower of the bridge.

Such a happy group!

At this point, they were definitely going UP!

It’s a long way down when you reach the top!

Safely back on solid ground in Mackinaw City . . .

. . . with thousands following behind!

At lunch on Tuesday, Ted and I walked down to the Mackinac Island Public School for the annual First Day of School picnic.  I love this tradition, where the community comes together to support the Island children and to encourage them to continue their education.

Students, teachers, moms, dads, and Island residents crowded around tables set up outside . . . .

. . . and we found Dave Wasso, Superintendent and Athletic Director, manning the grill and serving up some mighty tasty burgers and hot dogs.  Great food, great fellowship, and what a way to start the school year!

Photographs from Readers

Pam Schuch – Wauseon, Ohio.  This photo is from Pam’s trip in October, 2007.  Pam loves walking, biking, and exploring the interior of the Island.  She says, “Downtown is nice, but people should explore the State Park, which is tranquil and beautiful.”  Pam loves everything about the Island – even the cemeteries.

Jill Sawatzki – Mackinac Island and Lansing.  Jill snapped this photo during the weekend of Christmas Bazaar in 2009.  A huge snowstorm blanketed the Island with inches and inches of snow on the first day of the Bazaar weekend.

Sarah Fredricks – Phoenix, Arizona. This photo is from Sarah’s trip last year. It’s the “0” mile marker in front of the Mackinac Island Marina.

Jane Haviland – Portage, MI. – from Jane’s Fall trip to the Island two years ago.  She biked  M-185 and loves the house that sits alone around this curve.  She says when she first saw it years ago, no one lived there.  She called it the “Egg House” because there seemed to be what looked like stacks of egg cartons on the table she could see through the big front window.  She loves that now it looks so lovingly cared for and the flowers and garden are beautiful.

Mystery Spot Contest

The object of the Mystery Spot is to be the first to identify where the object is located. When you think you have the answer, email me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com. I’ll check my email several times a day, and as soon as we have a winner, I’ll post the winner’s name at the top of this blog so you can stop guessing (you may have to refresh your page for this to show up). Is there a prize for the winner?  Yes there is; but the prize is secret, and the only ones who will know what it is are the winners. To be fair, I’m asking residents of Mackinac Island to please NOT guess. This is just for readers who don’t live here . . . but would like to! And the Mystery Spot is   . . . .

Again, please email your answers to me at brendasumnerhorton@hotmail.com.  PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER IN THE “COMMENTS” SECTION OF THE BLOG.  Remember, I’ll post the winner at the top of this blog as soon as someone gives the correct answer.

Mystery Spot Answer

This one was TOO easy, and there were lots of correct answers! It’s the bell atop the Mackinac Island Public School.

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14 thoughts on “Just Your Typical Labor Day Weekend on Mackinac Island 9/4/2012

  1. One of these days…I’m gonna do that bridge walk with Ted…enjoy the jazz festival…see that last formal ride…and walk with you back home while Bud watches football with Ted! 🙂

  2. awesome pics! Go Dawgs! My Wolverines didn’t fair as well..but as a wise man said..”to be the best you have to play the best”. If we’re gonna lose, let it be to the reigning Nat’l Champ! 🙂 GO BLUE Ted!

  3. Love the pictures. Hard to believe the summer is already over. Seems that I was reading in your Lake Blackshear blog that you were getting ready to come to Mackinac and here it is, you have 2 months left on the Island.

    Wish I was there.

  4. Enjoying your blog this morning with my coffee. Looking forward to enjoying the fall colors up there in a few weeks. I am bringing my friends who haven’t been there in more than a decade. 🙂

  5. I love the photo Pam took of the gated archway to the cemetery. So tranquil looking. It won’t be long now before the snow starts to fly on the island. Michigan’s wonderful change of seasons, that’s what I love most here. Enjoy your last weeks there.

  6. The formal horse ride looks really nice. When I was on the island in June, I rented a horse at Cindy’s Riding Stable and it was so fun. I haven’t been on a horse since I was a kid and now that I am 45, I still remember the love of riding a horse. I would highly recommend it!

    I love the winter picture by Jill with the bicycles in the snow. It reminds me of my trips that I have done in January for the past 3 years to the island. It is such a quiet and magical place during the winter.

  7. Hi Bree!
    This is Kris Montee, the mystery author who is writing a book set on the island. We met last summer when I was up there with my dog and husband. My book is done and I am working on the acknowledgement page. I want to include you but have lost your contact info. Can you please email me so we can get in touch? kristymontee@aol.com
    Best,
    Kris

  8. on the picture “Here’s to another season”, how did you get the Mac Bridge on the left side in the pic, it couldn’t have been taken on West Bluff

    • Arlene, the bridge extends from the horse’s right hip outward to the right. What you might be thinking is the bridge on the left is the extension of Lisa’s riding crop.

  9. The house is lived in. It’s owner, who has lived on the island virtually his entire life, collects golf balls. He discovered egg boxes (with their carton-like inserts) were a great way to store his collection.

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