Since1882 the first Monday of September has been recognized as a time to salute Americas workers with festivals, cookouts and parades on “a day off for the working man.” With school starting after the Monday, September 7 holiday, the long Labor Day Weekend is an ideal time to squeeze in some last-minute summertime fun. An estimated 1.4 million Michiganians will travel during the 2009 Labor Day holiday, according to a recent AAA survey. Michigan, the Great Lake State, offers ample opportunities to celebrate the end of summer.
Labor Day via Wikipedia
The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City. In the aftermath of the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the US military and US Marshals during the 1894 Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with Labor as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. Cleveland was also concerned that aligning a US labor holiday with existing international May Day celebrations would stir up negative emotions linked to the Haymarket Affair. All 50 U.S. states have made Labor Day a state holiday.
Stuff to Do, Places to Go
August 28 – September 7
Michigan State Fair Detroit
The Nation’s Oldest State Fair was officially first held in 1849, only twelve years after Michigan attained statehood. At the onset it was customary, in fact, for the fair to be held one year in one city, the next year in another, and there was always a hot contest to be the city selected. The Michigan State Fair settled down at the present fairgrounds in 1905. The 2009 Michigan State Fair will be held August 28th – September 7th.
Popular attractions include the FREE Concerts under the stars in the Band Shell, daily parades, competitions, horse shows, agricultural displays, arts & crafts, racing pigs, rabbits & poultry, dairy exhibits, carnival midway rides & games and the world’s largest stove.
August 22 – October 4
Michigan Renaissance Festival Holly
Festival is held on weekends and Labor Day, rain or shine. “visitors may also partake in games of skill or enjoy non-stop entertainment where belly dancers, sword swallowers, musicians, comedians and sword fighters provide merriment for all ages. The Festival is best known for it’s awe-inspiring full-contact armored jousting tournaments where gallant knights defend their honor until the last man is standing!”
September 3 – 7
Michigan Peach Festival Romeo
If you are looking for something fun for the whole family, there is no better place to be on Labor Day Weekend! Bring your family & friends to the Michigan Peach Festival in the beautiful Village of Romeo. There’s something fun for everyone!
September 4 – 7
Hamtramck Labor Day Festival Hamtramck
Hamtramck Festival has more than 500,000 annual visitors, live music on two stages, carnival rides, Polish Day Parade, samplings of ethnic food, cultural dancers, children’s activities, more.
September 4 – 7
Detroit International Jazz Fest Detroit
For 30 years, the Detroit International Jazz Festival (DJF) has attracted visitors and locals to an end-of-summer ritual on Labor Day Weekend that celebrates one of America’s most important art forms. The festival boasts five stages and 100 acts over four days in a city with a rich musical legacy. Sprawling over several city blocks in downtown Detroit â€“ from Hart Plaza to Campus Martius â€“ the festival also offers educational activities, giant puppets, fireworks, rare opportunities to meet the artists and much more. And it’s all FREE!
September 4 – 7
Arts, Beats & Eats Pontiac
Arts, Beats & Eats is excited to add to its name, mission and purpose in 2009. We are now Arts, Beats & Eats – Festival of Hope and we are excited to announce new changes and partners for the 2009 festival.
Arts, Beats & Eats will still feature The HealthPlus Art Fair, one of the top art shows in the US, incredible food, more than 125 bands on six stages, and dynamic and interactive fun for the kids.
September 4 – 6
Logging Fest Newaygo
The Logging Fest takes place over Labor Day Weekend. Newaygo was built around the logging industry, and we are celebrating our logging heritage. Highlights of the Logging Fest include the Chainsaw Sculpture Competition and Auction, Lumberjack’s Competition and Fireman’s Water Battle. The Arts & Crafts Show in Brooks Park is host to exhibitors from all over the country displaying their arts and crafts. The local merchants have sidewalk sales. The event also includes kids activities and games, and on Sunday a parade route goes through downtown Newaygo.
September 5 – 6
Marquette Area Blues Fest Marquette
The Marquette Area Blues Society has announced the headline performers for the 2009 Marquette Area Blues Fest. The festival, now in it’s 6th year, will once again be held at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in downtown Marquette over Labor Day Weekend. The dates are Saturday, September 5 and Sunday, September 6, 2009. Featured performers on Saturday include Blue Bass entertainment recording artists Biscuit Miller & the Mix, VizzTone recording artist Gina Sicilia and Chikan Howse Records recording artist James “SUPER CHIKAN” Johnson.
On Sunday, the featured performers are Michigan’s very own “The King of the Party Blues” Maurice Davis, Shanachie Entertainment recording artist Curtis Salgado and Blind Pig recording artists Smokin’ Joe Kubek and B’nois King. Also on the bill for the weekend will be the finest in local and regional blues performers. The music will begin both days at 1-pm with gates opening at noon. Be sure to take in the food and merchandise vendors as well as the workshops offered during the weekend to make it a complete blues experience!
Labor Day Bridge Walk Mackinaw City
The Labor Day Bridge walk, recognized as “the world’s greatest walking event”, brings over 70,000 people to the area. Buses are available for transportation to the north end of the bridge. Participants walk from the north side to the south. At the finish line you are awarded a certificate of completion.
More Labor Day Getaway Resources
Stretch Your Labor Day Holiday with Michigan Fairs and Festivals from PureMichigan.org
Labor Day Getaways from the West Michigan Tourist Association
MDOT Halts Most Work for the Labor Day Weekend from MDOT (54 work zones will be active so check it out to plan your route)
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Calendar of Events – All the happenings are listed here
Thinking of doing some camping then check out this cool ‘Campground Search‘ from the DNR
If you are not hitting the road then take a virtual Labor Day tour of Michigan courtesy of our Absolute Michigan Flickr pool