Ishpeming celebrates Labor Day with parade and festival

ISHPEMING - Often times when we think of Labor Day we think of parades and barbecues. But it's also a time of reflecting on the impact American workers have had on our country.

For 28 years running, the city of Ishpeming has held an annual Labor Day Festival. An event highlighted by its entertainment and food, it also features members of the many local unions.

"It's a good comradery between all trades," said Tim Miller, Boilermaker Local 169. "There's a lot of times where we'll have arguments on a job between trades but out here everyone is good friends. Everybody is here for the same reason and does the same job. It might not be the specific same job but they're out there doing the same job."

For those in attendance, they may have noticed a few familiar faces. State Representative Scott Dianda and 109 District Seat Democratic candidate Sara Cambensy were helping serve beverages.

With them was Ken Summers who is running as a democratic candidate for the 110 District Seat in next year's election.

"We're here to support organized labor in the community," said Summers. "They've done a lot of things over the past 100 years that now we take for granted that is part of the whole United States. We have a weekend, an eight hour workday, pensions, healthcare; we didn't have those things so when they fought for their members to have those things that tide rose all the way up and covered us all across the country."

For a holiday that recognizes labor, Miller says employment in the trades field is much needed.

"You basically just try to get the word out there that trades people are out there and that's a job people should go and learn instead of just trying to go to college," said Miller. "I mean, what's the percentage of college kids that don't go to work today? So trades are out there and we'd just like to let them know that it's a viable option. Let them know that hey, we're proud to be."