With the sun setting on another summer, Labor Day is making its annual melancholy appearance on the calendar. There’s still time to support each other and the institution of organized labor, with numerous Labor Day weekend events going on around Michigan. Here is some of what’s going on:
Detroit: For the building trades, a line of march on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 1, will proceed as usual east along Michigan Avenue toward Campus Martius 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. with the lineup as follows:
- U.A. Pipe Trades (Local 636 100-year anniversary)
- I.B.E.W 100 Yr. Anniversary
- Sheet Metal Workers
- Bricklayers & Allied Crafts
- Iron Workers
- Heat & Frost Insulators
- Cement Mason/Plasterers
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 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 antique American-made car and motorcycle show.
Ishpeming: The Marquette Alger Community Labor Council, AFL-CIO and the U.P. Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO are sponsoring the 25th Annual (Silver Anniversary) Labor Day Festival.
The event will be held on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 1 beginning at 11:00 a.m. with a parade along Euclid Street, Main Street, Division Street and Lakeshore Drive. Total parade length is 1.1 miles. After the parade 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 (JC Penney Mall parking lot) and Negaunee (Lakeview School parking lot). More details can be found at www.mqtlabor.org.
The Monroe/Lenawee Central Labor Council is spearheading an effort to revive the Labor Day Parade this year in downtown Monroe. A parade will be held on Saturday, Aug. 30 at 10 am. Monroe Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Local 671 says it is looking for union members to march or ride in the parade to help educate the public and celebrate the labor movement. Apprentices, journeymen, and retirees will be welcome.
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, with a new route this year, will end across from the CIO Hall on Western. A solidarity luncheon for union parade participants will take place afterward at Heritage Landing. There will also be activities for kids.
Southwest Michigan: A cookout will take place on Labor Day, Sept. 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the St. Augustine Cathedral parking lot, 542 W. Michigan Ave. in Kalamazoo. The event is sponsored by the Southwest Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council, which says “anyone and everyone” is invited. Attendees are only asked to bring non-perishable food items for donation to local food banks, “for those in need on OUR day and every day.”
St. Ignace: The annual five-mile walk over the Mackinac Bridge begins at about 7 a.m. on Labor Day. Walkers are allowed to start until 11 a.m. The walk starts in St. Ignace, and shuttle buses ($5) are available for the return trip from Mackinaw City. The Mackinac Bridge Authority strongly advises walkers to arrange for their own transportation to the starting point because of the increasing demand on the buses. The Labor Day Bridge walk brings more than 70,000 people to the area.