Fudge is Mackinac Island’s claim to fame, and fudge lovers can experience two days of events and special tastings dedicated to this sugary treat.
So, are you a fudgie? You are if you place fudge above every other sweet goodie in the universe. In the world of fudge, there’s one destination that reigns supreme: Mackinac Island in Michigan. With such a sweet reputation, it seems only fitting that this soft, rich candy would be honored with a festival. Fudge is, after all, the island’s claim to fame. The Mackinac Island Fudge Festival is scheduled to take place Friday-Sunday, August 21-23, 2015.
Mackinac Island Fudge Festival Daily Events
The recipe for success is still sugar, milk, butter and flavoring. But you can always fudge it. Stop in to the Pink Pony and have them pour you an icy glass of Mackinac Island Fudge Stout. Made by the Arbor Brewing Company, this dry stout with a roasted flavor is made with real fudge. Enjoy a cool one every day of the festival.
Tour Haldimand Bay onboard the Ugly Anne. This wooden lobster boat will take you through the Straits of Mackinac and under the Mackinac Bridge. Reservations are suggested. Enjoy it all three days of the festival (weather permitting).
As the name implies, Fudge on the Rocks is an adult beverage. Bartenders all over the island create drinks using genuine Mackinac Island Fudge. Stop by places like the Grand Hotel’s Gate House, Hotel Iroquois’ Carriage House or Seabiscuit Café & Grog during festival days.
Friday Events—August 21
There are no cars allowed on Mackinac Island, so Dining Under the Influence of Fudge is never an offense. Stop by Mary’s Bistro for an amazing dinner prepared using Ryba’s fudge.
Friday is film night and you can watch a feature selected by the Mackinac Arts Council at the Center for the Arts (Mission Point Theatre).
Saturday Events—August 22
On Saturday morning you can saddle up and gallop down Main Street with Lars, the incredible Fresian Horse. You’ll be delivering Golden Tickets to select fudge shops with Ryba’s Fudge Loompahs. This event takes place 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Loompahs have delivered the Golden Tickets. Now it’s your turn to find them hidden inside select fudge shops and the Tourism Bureau on Main Street. The Winning Golden Tickets are good for a two-night stay for four travelers at the Mackinac Island Carriage Tour plus tickets to the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory.
Need a good laugh? Then be sure to catch Stuart’s comedy act. Nothing’s off limits with this guy, even his observations about fudge. Satisfy your sweet tooth and funny bone the same time.
Sunday Events—August 23
For a truly sweet experience, take part in a Sugar Relay on beautiful Windermere Point. Teams of four with members 15 years younger will hoist and carry 25-pound bags of sugar in a race across the finish line. Participants on teams for those 16 years and older will compete with 50-pound bags of sugar in tow. First to cross the finish line wins. Sorry, second place is not the sweet spot.
Forget slow and steady—during the Great Turtle Slow Ride, it’s last place that wins the bicycle race. Bring your own bike and pedal your way to last place. There will be three racing divisions including children, adults and tandem. The race begins at 1 p.m.
It’s Fun-Day Fudge Day and that means the first 100 kids to stop by Windemere Point receive half-pound box of fudge.
Getting to Mackinac Island
Remember, cars are not allowed on the island. So how do you get to there? You board a ferry in Mackinaw City or St. Ignace. An hour later, you’re ready to take part in the Mackinac Island Fudge Festival. The island is home to more than 15 fudge shops. So eat it up and drink it down during a vacation getaway to Michigan’s lower peninsula.