Unions have scheduled several picnics and other events to celebrate Labor Day, but none will be bigger than the annual festivities in Cloquet, which this year will honor the late labor leader Bob Oswold. Unions also will be showcased in activities at the Minnesota State Fair.
Cloquet is hosting its 90th Labor Day celebration “with a great deal of sadness due to the recent death of our long time president Bob Oswold,” said Mike Kuitu, president of the Carlton County Central Body and chair of the celebration.
“Bob poured his heart and soul into this celebration for over 15 years and his passing leaves a great void in the celebration. Nonetheless, Bob would have wanted nothing more than for the celebration to go on and flourish for years to come and that is what we plan to do.”
In addition to serving as central body president, Oswold was a member and officer of the Paperworkers Union, later to become part of the Steelworkers, and a vice president of the Minnesota AFL-CIO. For 36 years, he worked as a machine tender at the Potlatch Corp. plant in Cloquet.
The Cloquet celebration will include a parade, car show and picnic, but no fireworks this year “due to increasing costs and the current economic conditions impacting contributions,” Kuiti said.
|Tom Oswold (center) at last year’s Labor Day with other planning committee members (from left) Mike Berthiaume, Tom Beltt, Danny Swanson and Kevin Toboleski.
Photos courtesy of Tom Beltt
Here is the schedule of Minnesota Labor Day events:
Sunday, Sept. 6
Iron Range Labor Day Celebration, Noon–5 p.m., Olcott Park, Virginia
Monday, Sept. 7, Labor Day
• Cloquet Labor Day Parade, 11 a.m., starting at 18th Street and Cloquet Avenue and ending at 8th Street and Cloquet Avenue.
• St. Cloud Labor Day Picnic, Noon-4 p.m., Riverside Park
• Duluth Labor Day Picnic, Noon-4 p.m., Bayfront Park
• Cloquet Labor Day Celebration, Noon-5 p.m., Veterans Park. It will include a free picnic lunch at the Cloquet Labor Temple and a free mini-carnival with games and rides. The Bob Oswold Memorial Labor Day Classic Car Show will begin immediately following the parade and run until 3 p.m. on Avenue C between 12th & 14th Streets. Buttons will be sold for $1 to help defray the cost of the celebration.
• Brainerd Area Labor Day Picnic, Noon-4 p.m., Baxter City Park
• Congressman Keith Ellison Labor Day Picnic, 1-3 p.m., Boom Island Park, Minneapolis
• St. Paul Regional Labor Federation will take part in the Minnesota State Fair parade at 2 p.m. Those interested in marching should contact Lynne Larkin-Wright at 651-222-3787 ext 16.
• Also at the AFL-CIO Labor Pavilion at the Minnesota State Fair, the Twin Cities Labor Chorus will perform at noon and the Dixieland Trio, union musicians, will perform from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
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