The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mark your calendar: celebrate Labor Day

By The Building Tradesman

Communities around Michigan have embraced the original intent of Labor Day as more than a holiday that marks the end of summer.

Peter J. McGuire, one of the men credited as a “father” of Labor Day, wrote of the holiday:

“No festival of martial glory or warrior’s renown is this; no pageant pomp of war-like conquest, no glory of fratricidal strife attend this day. It is dedicated to peace, civilization and the triumphs of industry. It is a demonstration of fraternity and the harbinger of a better age – a more chivalrous time, when labor shall be best honored and well rewarded.”

In that spirit, Labor Day events are scheduled around Michigan on Monday, Sept. 5. Make plans to celebrate Labor’s Day in your area.

Detroit: For the building trades, a line of march on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5, will proceed as usual east along Michigan Avenue towards Campus Martius downtown. The building trades will line up before the parade, as usual, along Trumbull Avenue south of Michigan Avenue. The parade will start at 9 a.m. The theme: “Labor and Community: We are one.”

At press time, it was announced that President Obama would make a speech in Detroit on Labor Day. Watch local news for more details.

Paraders will be led by Heat and Frost Insulators Local 25 and Elevator Constructors Local 36, which are both celebrating 100-year anniversaries this year.

Following is the parade lineup along Trumbull, with the lead unions closest to Michigan Ave.:

  • Heat and Frost Insulators
  • Elevator Constructors
  • Cement Masons/Plasterers
  • Painters/Glaziers
  • Iron Workers
  • Boilermakers
  • IBEW
  • Bricklayers & Allied Crafts
  • Sheet Metal Workers
  • Laborers
  • Roofers
  • Carpenters
  • United Association of Pipe Trades
  • Operating Engineers
  • Teamsters

Grand Rapids: For the third year the Grand Rapids Labor Fest will be held at Ah-Nab-Awen Park near the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum, off of Pearl Street, 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 antique American-made car and motorcycle show.

Ishpeming: The 21st annual Labor Day festival will be held on Sept. 5, with a parade starting at 11 a.m. The parade starts and ends at the Cliff’s Shaft Museum and goes from Euclid to Main to Division and then comes back to the museum via Lakeshore Drive. A picnic will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Events are sponsored by the Marquette County Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

Muskegon: The West Michigan United Labor Day Parade will start at 11 a.m. The staging area will be at the end of Clay Ave. Parking for parade participants will take place at Heritage Landing. The parade will end at Seventh St. and Western Ave. A solidarity luncheon for union parade participants will take place afterward at Heritage Landing. Food tickets are $3.75 each.

St. Ignace: The annual five-mile walk over the Mackinac Bridge begins at 7 a.m. on Labor Day. The walk starts in St. Ignace, and shuttle buses ($5) are available for the return trip from Mackinaw City. The Labor Day Bridge walk brings more than 70,000 people to the area.