With summer still here but the end in sight, celebrating Labor Day becomes the next major date on the calendar. More than a barbecue or a final trip to the cottage, Labor Day is also a unique celebration of the contributions of working men and women - and localities around Michigan offer numerous events to express your support. Here 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. 7, 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. under the theme, We Are Family: Community, Faith, Labor.
The parade lineup is as follows, with the positions of local unions chosen randomly: Boilermakers 169 (120-year anniversary) Iron Workers 25 Cement Masons/Plasterers 514 Roofers 149 Elevator Constructors 36 Heat and Frost Insulators 25 Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers 2 IBEW Local 58 United Association (Locals 98, 636 and 704) Painters DC 1M and Allied Trades Sheet Metal Workers Locals 80 and 292 Michigan Regional Carpenters Council Teamsters Operating Engineers Local 324
Grand Rapids: This is the sixth year for the Grand Rapids 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 Labor Day Festival will be held in Ishpeming on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7. The festival will begin with a parade at 11 am, along Euclid Street, Main Street, Division Street and Lakeshore Drive. A picnic and rally from noon to 4 p.m. will be at the Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum (Marquette Range Iron Mining Heritage Theme Park) and the Lake Bancroft Park on Lakeshore Drive and Euclid Streets.
The theme for this year is “Unions Strengthen America.” Local unions will be marching and entering floats in the parade that reflect this theme. 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).
The Monroe/Lenawee Central Labor Council is sponsoring a Labor Day parade on Saturday, Sept. 5, in conjunction with the 9th Annual River Raisin Labor Day BBQ Festival, with food and live music.
The parade assembly of floats will take place at 9 a.m. for judging, and all other parade participants are asked to arrived at 11 a.m. The parade will kickoff at noon. It will start at Jones Avenue and proceed west and north onto Monroe Street, and end at St. Mary’s Park (corner of Monroe/Elm).
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 end at the CIO hall on Western Ave. Organizers are planning a free post-parade celebration following the parade, including pizza, refreshments, cotton candy, face painting, bounce houses and arts-n-crafts.
Southwest Michigan: A cookout will take place on Labor Day, Sept. 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes, 901 Portage St, Kalamazoo, MI 49001. 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 58th 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 attracts up to 65,000 people to the Mighty Mac.