Hi Chippewa followers,
We recently celebrated another spectacular Lilac Festival with plenty of activities, great visitors, plus it was filled with rich Lilac history. If you missed the Lilac Festival, make sure you come in July, there’s always lots going on. Mackinac is proud of its history and boats have played a huge role. Mackinac Island’s first summer visitors were Great Lakes Native Americans and they came by boat- specifically, birch bark canoes.
In July of 1812, British soldiers travelled by boat and landed on the shores of Mackinac. Then, they dragged two cannons to the highest point on the Island, where Fort Holmes is today, the Americans surrendered and the rest is history. In the spirit of boats on Mackinac, this July 5th is the Pink Pony 4th of July Sailboat Race sponsored by our very own Pink Pony and Chippewa Hotel. It’s open to all sailboats and is a fun, family event with no entry fee. We’re hosting a party and awards ceremony at the Mackinac Island Yacht Club right after the race and everyone wins with a special plaque awarded to all boats!
Next up on the boat venue is the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac celebrating its 107th year. This is known as the world’s longest freshwater sailing event and recognized as one of the most prestigious sailing events in the world. This year there are 324 sailboats participating, leaving Chicago on July 11th and making the long 333 mile voyage to Mackinac Island on July 14th. There will more than 3,000 racers from all over the world and this year there will be 42 first-timer boats. Impressive!
This is followed by another historical great race. Bell’s Beer Bayview to Mackinac Race which started in 1925, now celebrating its 91st year! In its 1st race, there were only 9 boats and they were met by fierce winds allowing only 3 to finish. The Bayview Yacht Club (Detroit) hosts this annual event and attracts sailors from around the globe and today, proudly hosts more than 250 racing yachts. It starts in Port Huron on July 18th and ends on July 20th on Mackinac Island. Another great race to Mackinac!
But wait, there’s more! Bayview Yacht Club joins forces with the Chicago Yacht Club to host the “Super Mackinac” Race, also in July. This spectacular fresh water event will start in the waters of Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago on July 11th taking the voyage following the traditional course to Mackinac Island before heading east past Bois Blanc Island and then heading south along the Michigan shoreline of Lake Huron to finish offshore the Port Huron Yacht Club! This race totals 568 miles, truly an amazing boat voyage!
All of these exciting boat races will bring a true test of boats and crews alike and no doubt will bring tons of excitement for all of the people on Mackinac as we welcome them in. Many of you will visit Mackinac in July for the great boat races. Many will come to take some well-deserved time to unwind, enjoy history, relax and eat great meals. Our very own Pink Pony has great breakfasts, lunches and dinners specially prepared for you by our Pink Pony chefs and was recently named Most Iconic Bar in Michigan by Thrillist. Whether it’s our Chippewa Broiled Whitefish, Michigan Maple Bourbon Stripped Steak, Mackinac Surf & Turf, the Classic Pony Burger or countless other Island favorites, you’ll be fully satisfied, guaranteed. Also, you can sit on our patio and take in a spectacular view of the water, check out the colorful boats and chow down in style. Then, sit back, relax and wet your whistle and enjoy one of Pink Pony’s 24 Michigan craft beers. Sound like Yachts and Yachts of fun? You bet!
July means Yachts and Yachts of Boat Races to Mackinac! Come and celebrate our nation’s Independence this July 4th, the great boat races or any of the July events going on. If you already made your reservations, we’re looking forward to seeing you soon! If not, contact us now to make your reservations for your great summer get-away on Mackinac Island and we’ll be waiting for you. So will your perfect room!
We’re looking forward to your return!
George Piliouras for The Chippewa Hotel