Labor Day festivities planned

Many local members of unions showed their solidarity during the Ishpeming Labor Day Parade in 2017, incuding members of the Michigan Nurses Association. (Journal file photo)

ISHPEMING — As communities around the country prepare to celebrate Labor Day, local officials are gearing up for the 28th Annual Labor Day Festival in Ishpeming on Monday.

Local labor unions and community members are encouraged to participate in the Marquette-Alger Community Labor Councils and the U.P. Labor Federation sponsored event.

“This festival may be sponsored by the union,” event planning committee member Rich Helgren said, “But we need to put it in the proper context. Labor Day is not about unions as much as it is about a person who labors — someone who picks up a pail every day and goes to work to earn a living. Labor Day is about family and community.”

The event will begin at 11 a.m. with a parade, which is themed “Working Together. Leading the Way.” It will follow its traditional 1.1 mile route traversing from Euclid Street to Main Street then heading west on Division Street to Lakeshore Boulevard before returning to its starting point on Euclid Street.

This year’s parade marshall will be IBEW Local member Erin Lakenen. Participants can line up starting at 9 a.m. on Euclid Street near Lake Bancroft Park, parade order will be drawn out of a hat.

A picnic and rally at Lake Bancroft Park will be held immediately following the parade featuring food and beverage; live music; speeches from union, community and political leaders; a bounce house and face painting for the kids, Helgren said.

Free tours of the Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum will also be offered during the event, Helgren said.

“We really want to give credit to Cliffs Shaft, they do a lot for us out there,” Helgren said.

He said the event could not go on without the help of dozens of dedicated volunteers and the continued support of City of Ishpeming officials and residents.

“I really need to give them a shout out, the city has been more than accommodating for us to do this,” Helgren said. “Public works makes sure everything is ready for us to do this event. They have done a lot for us out there.”

Festival participants can choose from a pasty or two hot dogs and chips for $6, beer and other refreshments will also be available.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.