The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, August 18, 2017

On deck: Labor Day events and activities around Michigan

By The Building Tradesman



The annual celebration of American labor takes place this year on Monday, Sept. 4. 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. 4, 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. 

Grand Rapids: This is the eighth 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 28th Annual Labor Day Festival in coalition with union affiliates, partners and allies.

The event will be held in Ishpeming on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4. The Festival will begin at 11 a.m. with a parade along Euclid Street, Main Street, Division Street and Lakeshore Drive. 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. 2 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, proceeding on Monroe Street to St. Mary's Park where the festival takes place. 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 starts at the intersection of 4th street and Western Avenue. It will progress down Western Avenue to Jefferson Street (turning right) and head towards Clay Avenue. The march will continue down Clay 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 Rock Lions Labor Day Celebration will start with a parade at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2. There will be activities and games for the whole family; lots of food and drink; and all-day music.

St. Ignace: The 60th annual five-mile walk over the Mackinac Bridge begins at about 7 a.m. on Labor Day. Walkers are allowed to start the approximately 90-minute walk until 10 a.m. The walk starts in St. Ignace, and shuttle buses will be available back and forth to 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. 

Each year, between 30,000 and 60,000 people from several states and countries come to the Mackinac Bridge for the walk, which has taken place since 1958, the year after the bridge opened to traffic.

Citing safety and security recommendations by the Michigan State Police  and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Mackinac Bridge Authority will close the bridge to most vehicle traffic, except buses and emergency vehicles, during the bridge walk. All other vehicle traffic will be stopped from 6:30 a.m. to noon while walkers are on the bridge.