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Ontonagon hosts 64th annual Labor Day parade

Ontonagon typically throws the largest festival in the UP, but this year’s event was much different than the rest.
Cars in Ontonagon Labor Day parade
Cars in Ontonagon Labor Day parade(WLUC)
Published: Sep. 6, 2020 at 6:47 PM EDT
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ONTONAGON, Mich. (WLUC) - Around 40 vehicles and floats gathered at Ontonagon Area Schools parking lot this afternoon for its annual Labor Day celebration.

Margo Anderson, a co-chairman of the Labor Day Festival planning committee, said they had many participants come together last minute.

“Fourteen classic cars, two youth floats, we had a large commercial float called ‘Spreading the Cheer,’ we even had a live chicken in our parade today.”

According to Anderson, Ontonagon typically throws the largest festival in the UP, but this year’s event was much different than the rest.

“This year in April we decided there’s no safe way to throw a public festival. So, we decided to change the route, and we brought the parade to the people,” she said.

In order to follow safety guidelines, residence lined the streets in their yards, making the parade over two miles long.

“We have the longest parade route in history at 2.3 miles. So, we gave everyone an opportunity to spread out, stay safe, and not have any crowds,” Anderson said.

Destiny Pestka, who is also being honored as a class of 2020 graduate, said the community is excited that they still get to celebrate is some way.

“With everything that’s going on, we haven’t really had our usual Labor Day festival that we normally have, and the parade has always been a big thing so I’m pretty sure everyone in the community is pretty excited that we still do get to have a part of this.”

And the tradition didn’t end with the parade. Ontonagon had its annual firework show over Lake Superior and a raffle.

“We had hundreds of visitors and spectators in their cars staying safe. No crowds but enjoying a phenomenal show. We even had special effects come up off the river,” Anderson said.

The parade featured first responders, politicians, veterans, musicians, and community members.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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