MARQUETTE - The 23rd Annual Labor Day Festival in Ishpeming was a big success, despite some heavy rain that caused a short break in the festivities, said an organizer of the event.
"The parade went good," parade Chairman Russ Williams said. "It seemed like a record turnout."
The parade and other events, including a picnic at Lake Bancroft Park, were sponsored by The Marquette County Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
The carpenters union float makes its way through Ishpeming during the 23rd Annual Labor Day Festival. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
State Rep. Steve Lindberg, D-Marquette, speaks following the parade at the Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum. Many union and community members came out for the festival, which was sponsored by the Marquette County Labor Council on Monday. In addition to the parade, the event included a picnic at Lake Bancroft Park, free tours of the museum and speeches by local politicians. The labor council’s float was chosen as the top entry in the parade. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
Williams said more than 1,000 people were in attendance, and 800 pasties and about 700 hot dogs were served during the picnic, which ran from noon to 4 p.m.
The festival also featured talks by local politicians, including Scott Dianda, the Democratic candidate running for the 110th District seat in the Michigan House against incumbent Matt Huuki, R-Atlantic Mine; Marquette Mayor John Kivela, the Democratic candidate running against Republican Jack Hubbard for the 109th Michigan House District seat held by Steve Lindberg, D-Marquette, who cannot seek re-election because of term limits; and Gary McDowell, the Democratic candidate running against incumbent Dan Benishek, R- Crystal Falls, for the U.S. House.
The parade boasted a large number of floats this year, with several unions represented, including the United Steelworkers, which is in the middle of negotiating a new contract with Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.
"I think it was a good year," Williams said. "I think it would have been a great year if the weather had held out a little bit more."
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.