United Way of the Lakeshore has coordinated with area labor unions to put on the 19th annual Labor Day Parade starting at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 1 in downtown Muskegon.
MUSKEGON, MI – One of the state’s few Labor Day parades is returning for another year in the Muskegon area.
United Way of the Lakeshore has coordinated with area labor unions to put on the 19th annual Labor Day Parade starting at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 1 in downtown Muskegon. A post parade celebration is scheduled in front of CIO Hall, located at 390 W. Western Ave., with activities geared toward fostering a fun, family weekend.
The parade route starts at the corner of Fourth Street and Clay Avenue, travels down Clay before turning left on Jefferson Street to Western Avenue and taking Western Avenue until it again reaches Fourth Street.
Jana Routt, AFL-CIO Labor Liaison for United Way of the Lakeshore, is anticipating 500-700 people comprised of at least 30 labor groups for the area attending, some with as many as 100 members each.
Routt said the parade’s focus is different from past years, as she hopes it’s a vehicle for community outreach for the local labor unions.
“The hope for this year is to engage the community with the working families,” she said. “We want the community to know that they’re welcome to join us. We want to work together and we want to represent the good in the community.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894 in legislation signed by President Grover Cleveland. The holiday, which started as a response to the infamous Pullman Strike of 1894, has evolved into an American celebration of workers and labor unions while also serving as the marker as the start of the school year.
For Routt, Muskegon’s Labor Day Parade is an opportunity to celebrate the area’s rich labor heritage while also appreciating the work currently being done by labor unions in the greater Muskegon area.
“The main focus is community engagement,” she said. “It’s a moment for us to reflect on the hard work our ancestors put forth for our future for us to have jobs, for us to be able to make a wish that’s sustainable for our families and to be able to have a negotiable relationship with our employers so we have security in the workplace.”
For more information or to learn more about United Way of the Lakeshore, visit unitedwaylakeshore.org.