The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, August 24, 2018

Holiday events and activities mark Labor's day in Michigan

By The Building Tradesman

The annual celebration of American labor takes place this year on Monday, Sept. 3. Various communities around Michigan have labor day parades, picnics, entertainment and other events scheduled to mark the holiday. 

Following is some of what's going on:

Detroit: For building trades union members and their supporters, a line of march on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3, will proceed as usual, east along Michigan Avenue toward Washington Boulevard downtown. The building trades will line up before the parade, as usual, along Trumbull Ave. south of Michigan Ave. The parade will start at 9 a.m. 

The Detroit parade lineup is as follows: Plumbers 98 (125th anniversary), the other United Association of Pipe Trades, IBEW, Painters/Glaziers, Cement Masons/Plasterers, Heat and Frost Insulators, Roofers, Elevator Constructors, Sheet Metal Workers, Boilermakers, Laborers, Iron Workers, Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Carpenters/Millwrights, Teamsters, Operating Engineers.

Grand Rapids: This is the ninth year for the West Michigan Labor Fest, which will be held at Ah-Nab-Awen Park near the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum, off of Pearl St., one block east of U.S. 131. The day’s events will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Labor Day around the “Spirit of Solidarity” monument in the park.

Activities include free admission to the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum, live music, food vendors and a beer tent, kids’ activities, labor displays and an American-made car and motorcycle show. 

Ishpeming: The Marquette-Alger Community Labor Council and the U.P. Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, are hosting the 29th Annual Labor Day Festival in coalition with union affiliates, partners, and allies.

The event will be held in Ishpeming on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3. The festival will begin at 11 a.m. with a parade along Euclid Street, Main Street, Division Street and Lakeshore Drive. The theme is “Working Together, Leading the Way.” After, there will be a picnic and rally from noon to 4 p.m. at the Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum (Marquette Range Iron Mining Heritage Theme Park) and the Lake Bancroft Park on Lakeshore Drive and Euclid Streets.

Marq Tran will be providing transportation to and from Ishpeming from both the Marquette (old JC Penney Mall parking lot) and Negaunee (Lakeview School parking lot). The scheduled times are as follows: JC Penney (9 a.m. and 10 a.m.); Lakeview School (9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.); Cliffs Shaft (12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m.)

Parking will be available at the Cliff Shaft and the Ishpeming Elks Club. A picnic lunch will be available for $6.  The picnic and rally will include live music, speeches from candidates, union officials and children’s activities. In addition, The Cliff Shaft volunteers will once again be providing free tours (donations will be accepted and are encouraged!) from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. for those that are interested in visiting the Museum.

The Monroe/Lenawee Central Labor Council is sponsoring a Labor Day parade and festival on Saturday, Sept. 1 in downtown Monroe. This event resumed in 2014, picking up on a Labor Day Parade tradition that had ended in the 1960s. It now is held on the Saturday before Labor Day, through the collaboration of the Monroe/Lenawee County AFL-CIO Central Labor Council and its affiliate unions. The parade steps off at noon from the corner of Jones Avenue and Monroe Street. A festival will take place downtown. There will be a beer tent and vendors; Nash Icon 98.3 will host an open-air concert until 10 p.m. The Labor History Museum at the Philip Murray Building, 41 W. Front St., will be open for tours. 

Muskegon: The West Michigan United Labor Day Parade will start at 11 a.m. Participants must be in the staging area, at 4th Street and Clay Ave., by 10 a.m.  Parking for parade participants will be available at Heritage Landing.

The parade will start at 11 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 3, and will end approximately around 12:30 pm. The parade starts at the intersection of 4th St. and Clay Ave. It will progress down Clay Ave. past Hackley Park to Jefferson St. (turning left) and heading towards Western Ave. Organizers are planning a post-parade celebration at Hackley Park, including lunch, refreshments, cotton candy, face painting, bounce houses and arts and crafts.  

Rock: The 75th annual Rock Lions Labor Day Celebration will take place on Saturday, Sept. 1 with the parade at 11 a.m. 

Following the parade, there will be activities for all ages. Attractions include music, mechanical bull, bounce houses, petting zoo, kids tractor pulls, bean bag tournament, bingo, cowpie bingo, flea market, paintball, pasties, burgers, brats, and beer at the Rock Lions Clubhouse grounds. M-35, Rock, MI. The event is sponsored by the Rock Lions, a non-profit service organization that provides funding for charitable organizations and local needs.

St. Ignace: The annual five-mile walk over the Mackinac Bridge begins at about 7 a.m. on Labor Day - and it's on a new path, sort of. In February, concerns about security and making sure everyone gets a chance to walk prompted the Mackinac Bridge Authority to implement a new policy which means that 2018 Annual Bridge Walk walkers will start from whichever end of the bridge they arrive at, St. Ignace or Mackinaw City, walking to the midpoint of the bridge before turning back. Walkers will be able to start anytime between 7 a.m. and noon and walk as much of the bridge as they’re able before the bridge reopens to traffic.

The authority said those walkers who wish to continue across the entire bridge can do so if they begin the walk early enough. If they do choose to walk the full length of the bridge they will need to walk back across the bridge – for a 10-mile hike round trip – or make their own transportation arrangements to get back to the side they started from after the bridge reopens to public traffic. The center two lanes will remain open to emergency vehicles.

“We take very seriously the safety of all walkers and the busing issues during last year’s walk that prevented many people from participating as they’d planned,” said MBA Board Chairman William Gnodtke. “It’s not a given that this event will continue forever, and while this is a big change, the Authority felt it is the best way to address those concerns and keep this 60-year tradition going.”