Local unions celebrate Labor Day

ISHPEMING – For the past 24 years, union members and their families and friends have gathered together to celebrate unions have done for workers during the annual Ishpeming Labor Day Parade and Festival.

“We’re planning on camping in Van Riper tonight,” said Rita Riley and her husband Mark Riley of Ohio.

“Someone told us about the parade and party afterwards so instead of freezing at the campsite, we came to freeze here!” Mark Riley joked.

Even if the weather changed drastically during the holiday weekend, hundreds of people still came to wave, grab candy, eat a warm lunch, listen to music and relax on their day of rest at the Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum and the Lake Bancroft Park on Monday.

“The attendance is down this year most likely due to the weather, but the atmosphere of everyone is upbeat and happy nonetheless,” said Mike Thibault, president of the Marquette County Labor Council. “It’s been another great year and I look forward to many more. These people deserve it.”

Local Unions competed for the best float reflecting this year’s theme – “Labor: Still Going Strong.”

After the parade, many gathered to enjoy a lunch and listen to the Fast Eddies Blues Band and speeches from elected officials and candidates. The Cliff Shaft Museum also provided free tours.

Jenna Thompson can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243.