The Lilac Parade on Mackinac Island will not be the same anymore.

Mackinac Island and the state of Michigan are mourning the loss of a true local icon. According to the Detroit Free Press...

Don (the Duck) Andress, who led the island's annual Lilac Festival Parade since its inception in 1972, died of cancer on Sunday, he was 82.

You may ask why was Don (the duck) Andress so important to our state and precious island, besides leading the lilac parade. Well, he was a proud U.S veteran and  Native American who was a direct descendant of Chief Mackinac, along with a long linage of notable figures on the island.

When Mr. Andress was not leading the Lilac Festival Parade he was a carpenter for the Grand Hotel  and a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

The Mayor of Mackinac Island, Margaret Doud only had wonderful things to say about Don...

"Don was a man of many talents, He was a great carpenter. He loved to play golf. He has a walking stick that was inducted into the Smithsonian museum in Washington, D.C."

Carving walking sticks was a passion of Don's and a family tradition that goes back to the 1600's. That was just one of the many passions that Don pursued through his lifetime.

The island will hold a memorial service for Don Andress and we will all miss him at the parade!

BONUS VIDEO

Dana and Heather Tug of War at Kalamazoo Growlers

Bonus Video

Mackinac Island, Lilac Festival Parade