Workers to celebrate Labor Day across the state

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Workers across Minnesota will celebrate Labor Day with picnics and other events, including the 87th annual celebration in Cloquet and the 118th picnic in Duluth. The St. Paul Labor Day Picnic, however, has been cancelled.

The St. Paul Trades & Labor Assembly, saying it had lost money on its picnic in recent years, voted Aug. 9 to call off the 2006 event. According to the St. Paul Union Advocate, Assembly President Shar Knutson said the organization hopes to resume the popular picnic next year.

Events are planned in Cloquet, Duluth, St. Cloud and Virginia on and before Labor Day:

Cloquet
The Carlton County Central Labor Body will hold its 87th Annual Cloquet Labor Day Celebration Thursday, Aug. 31, through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4.

The celebration begins with a carnival to be held in Dunlap Island Park. The carnival will be open from 4 p.m. to about 11 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and from noon to about 11 p.m. Saturday through Monday and will feature a midway produced by Rogers Brothers Funland Shows. At the gate, carnival goers may purchase $15 wristbands for unlimited rides during specified timeblocks.

A softball tournament will be held at Pinehurst Park on Saturday and Sunday starting at 8 a.m. each day. For more information call Steve Martin at 218-879-3094.

There will be no retiree banquet on Sunday afternoon. The planning committee said it made the difficult decision to cancel the traditional event because of declining attendance and fundraising shortfalls. Organizers said they will revisit the decision in the future if possible.

On Sunday, a fireworks display will be held at Veteran’s Park beginning at 9 p.m. This marks a change from previous years, when the fireworks were on Labor Day. In case of rain or fog, the display will be held at 9 p.m. Monday.

The celebration continues on Labor Day starting at 11 a.m. with the annual parade. The route, along Cloquet Avenue, starts at 18th St. and ends at 8th St. The parade will feature marching bands, floats, and many community and area organizations. To enter a unit in the parade or for more information, call the Cloquet Fire Hall at 218-879-6514.

The festivities conclude on Monday with a free picnic lunch to be held immediately following the parade in the upstairs hall of the Cloquet Labor Temple. The lunch is free and open to the public.

A new event this year will be a Car Show, sponsored by the Nifty Fifty Car Club. The car show will be next to the Labor Temple building on Ave. C between 12th & 14th Streets. The show will begin immediately following the parade on Monday and will conclude at about 3 p.m.

Labor Day buttons will be available at many of the events for the cost of $1. Button sales help defray the cost of the many events, so please help by buying a button!

For more information about the celebration or its events, call Carlton County Central Labor Body president and chair of the Labor Day Celebration Bob Oswold at 218-879-9242, or Labor Day Celebration publicity chair Tom Beltt at 218-879-7148.

Duluth
The Duluth AFL-CIO Central Labor Body’s Labor Day Picnic has been a tradition nearly as long as Labor Day itself, which dates back to 1882. This year will mark the 118th Labor Day observance in Duluth as far as can be ascertained, according to the Duluth Labor World newspaper.

The picnic will be held at Bayfront Festival Park on the Lake Superior waterfront from noon to 4 p.m. The site affords accessible parking and restroom facilities and room for growth in the future, organizers said.

Every year a host of elected officials attend the picnic. For more information, to volunteer or donate to the picnic, contact Picnic Chair Yvonne Harvey, 218-728-1779.

Iron Range Picnic
The Iron Range Labor Assembly will hold its “Day Before Labor Day Picnic” on Sunday, Sept. 3, from noon to 5 p.m. at Olcott Park in Virginia.

The event will feature entertainment for children, refreshments and a raffle drawing. Prizes include a union-made Weber grill and union-made leather jacket.

For more information on the Iron Range picnic, contact Gerry Knaeble, 218-741-0508.

St. Cloud
Union-made products also will be featured at the picnic sponsored by the Central Minnesota Trades & Labor Assembly. Among the more than 60 prizes to be given away include an 8′ x 10′ storage shed constructed by members of the Building Trades and a 20-cubic-foot Frigidaire freezer.

The event will be held Monday, Labor Day, from noon to 4 p.m. at Riverside Park, near the St. Cloud State University campus. Also featured will be live music, food and visits by elected officials and candidates, including U.S. Senate candidate Amy Klobuchar and House of Representatives Sixth District candidate Patty Wetterling.

Assembly President Lewis Neuman expects about 1,000 union members, family and friends to attend. “We anticipate it will be bigger than we’ve had in the past.”

Tickets are $2 for one person and $5 for a family and will be available at the picnic, he said.

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