Mackinac Island Fudge Festival a Feast of Flavors and Fun Activities

When Gerald R. Ford came to Mackinac Island as president in 1975, one of the things on his to-do list was, of course, to sample the world-famous Mackinac Island fudge. Chocolate reigns as the most popular fudge flavor, yet the president went with vanilla pecan.

Which flavor of fudge would you choose? Maybe a visit during the Mackinac Island Fudge Festival can help you decide.

Fudge is ever-present on Mackinac Island, from spring to fall and in the offseason when many people order Mackinac Island fudge online. But fudge really takes center stage each August during the annual Fudge Festival.

A creamy loaf of Mackinac Island fudge topped with butterscotch chips and cut into slices

What is the Mackinac Island Fudge Festival?

The fudge festival features lots of fudge tasting along with fudge-making demonstrations so you can see up close how Mackinac Island’s famous treat gets made. Plus, there are appearances by the Michigan Sugar Queen, an outdoor movie at Fort Mackinac and other activities such as scavenger hunts, family games and fudge-Olympics.

Here is what’s on tap for this year’s Mackinac Island Fudge Festival.

A Mackinac Island fudgemaker and two children peer through the counter display of fudge during the Mackinac Island Fudge Festival

Why celebrate Mackinac Island fudge

What’s there to celebrate and love about Mackinac Island fudge? Let’s count the ways…


  • Those stores make 10,000 pounds of fudge each day. That’s a ton of fudge. Five tons, actually!


  • Mackinac Island imports 10 tons of butter per year to support all the fudge-making and 10 tons of sugar per week during peak season!

Of course, the best reason to celebrate Mackinac Island fudge is that it tastes so sweet! So, come on up during the Fudge Festival and join the fun.

The Michigan Sugar Queen uses a wooden paddle to spread molten fudge on a marble slab as a crowd watches on Mackinac Island

The history of Mackinac Island fudgeInfographic with facts about Mackinac Island fudge including how many fudge shops are on the island and how much fudge gets made

To understand why there’s so much fudge, here’s the backstory on why Mackinac Island fudge is such a big deal. The gist of it is that people on vacation like to enjoy a sweet or two. And that has been true since Victorian travelers popularized Mackinac Island as a vacation destination way back in the 1800s.

Nowadays, indulging in the creamy decadence of fudge is just part of the Mackinac Island experience. In addition to chocolate, other favorite flavors include chocolate caramel, chocolate peanut butter, turtle and butter pecan, according to The Original Murdick’s Fudge, which opened Mackinac Island’s first candy store back in the 1880s. And there are many, many more flavors – cherry fudge, pumpkin fudge, cranberry fudge…the list goes on. Each flavor has its own unique color and taste that will bring joy to your mouth!

Come to Mackinac Island and taste some free samples of Mackinac Island fudge to see for yourself why there’s such a fuss over fudge. In the meantime, here are a few more fun facts about world-famous Mackinac Island fudge:

  • On Mackinac Island, a favorite pastime is to watch the fudge being made. For generations, fudge shops have made a public show of pouring a piping hot liquid mix of ingredients onto marble slabs and then working it into solid fudge as it cools.


  • Don’t think you’re hungry for fudge? Ryba’s Fudge pioneered the brilliant practice of using fans to waft the irresistible scent of fudge into the street and many Mackinac Island fudge shops still do it today. Mackinac Island fudge shops still do it today.



How to get free fudge on Mackinac Island

Order Mackinac Island fudge online

How Mackinac Island became fudge capital of the world

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