The Last Hurrah of Summer and How to Honor Labor Day in Muskegon County
For many, Labor Day weekend heralds the “end of summer”. Thank goodness for the longer weekend. We can try to squeeze in all the places we wanted to go and things we wanted to see. Where better to check off that list than here in Muskegon County? We are home to 26 miles of pristine Lake Michigan shoreline, 23 inland lakes, 400 miles of river, and over 60 miles of natural and paved trails. If you had outdoor adventures or cultural experiences on your list…we got you covered. And, if you are looking a way to honor the contributions and achievements of West Michigan workers? We have a couple great suggestions!
Labor Day Downtown Walking Tour
Stroll through beautiful Downtown Muskegon to view 3 murals that honor the city’s industrial labor force and heritage:
- “Muskegon Springs Ahead” – Honoring Muskegon’s spring industry. Located on the side of the Delta by Marriott Downtown Muskegon along West Western Avenue. Artists: Sherri Balaskovitz, Ele Goudreau and Alex Conrad.
- “Muskegon Proud” – Honoring Muskegon’s foundry industry. Located in the beer garden at Unruly Brewing. Artists: Jay Allen, Nancy Bennett, and Robert Valadez.
- “Muskegon Soars” – Honoring Muskegon County’s leadership in technology for the aerospace industry. Located northeast wall of Rootdown Yoga and Juices and Boar’s Belly; at Western Avenue and Second Street. Artists: Jay Allen, Nancy Bennett, and Robert Valadez.
Visit the Muskegon Heritage Museum
The Muskegon Heritage Museum is a non-profit museum located at 561 West Western Ave in downtown Muskegon. The collection includes interesting exhibits, artifacts and photos that tell the history of Muskegon’s industries and businesses. You will awe at the full size, working Corliss steam engine and working line shaft, the Brunswick working pinsetter, and Spring Winding Machine. There are over 80 Muskegon companies represented in the exhibits…including the Snurfer; the original snowboard. Did you know that was invented in Muskegon? And, Raggedy Ann! Did you know she was first manufactured here in Muskegon?
Watch the Labor Day Parade
The West Michigan United Labor Day Parade is an all-inclusive community parade through the streets of downtown Muskegon. The parade kicks off at 11 am on Monday September 2nd. I begins at 4th and Clay Ave and progresses down Clay Ave, past Hackley Park, and on to Jefferson St (turning left) and end at 490 W Western Ave for a post parade celebration. There will be a fun filled and FREE celebration following the parade that will go until 4:00 pm. Enjoy multiple food vendors, refreshments, treats, games, prizes, face painting, bounce houses, arts n’ crafts and much more!
More Things to Do Before Summer Ends
Have Fun at Two Parks for the Price of One
Nothing beats family togetherness and nothing says “summer” more than a ride on a ferris wheel, rollercoaster or water slide. You can find all this and more at Michigan’s Adventure; Michigan’s largest amusement and water park. You get two parks for a very economical price. Michigan’s Adventure features over 60 rides and attractions including their world-class wooden roller coaster, Shivering Timbers, which is over one mile long and 125 feet tall. Experience other great roller coasters, thrill rides, kiddie rides and their water park, WildWater Adventure, featuring action-packed water rides.
Drive In and Drive Inn
Have a delicious burger, or hot dog, and a frosty root beer delivered to your car window at one of our TWO Dog ‘n Suds Drive In Restaurants (one in Montague and one in Norton Shores). Then drive on over to one of the remaining Michigan Drive Inn Theaters. Getty Drive Inn offers a double feature at dusk on four outdoor movie screens. Every family should experience this summer tradition.
The Muskegon Polish Festival
The Muskegon Polish Festival celebrates Polish heritage with cultural activities, food, polka music, dancing on a specially built (and lit) wooden dance floor, a Catholic mass, of course Polish beer, and much more. Bring your appetite and Christmas list, the food and shopping are not to be missed. People of all ethnicity are invited for an authentic Polish experience in beautiful Hackley Park in downtown Muskegon.
Luge! Really! You Can Luge in the Summer
This is the last weekend to luge down the only wheeled track in the US. The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex offers “Summer Adventures” with a wheel luge; a specially designed track with the same sleds used on the ice, but with wheels attached. The design of the track, adaptive equipment and surrounding common areas also accommodate persons with disabilities. Shorter than the ice track, average runs take approximately 9 seconds while covering 300 feet of track.
Take Your Best Aim with Archery Fundamentals
Enjoy a round of archery guided by an instructor. All participants receive a quick lesson explaining the basic fundamentals of archery. Participants can then shoot rounds of arrows at the controlled archery range. This activity is fun for ages 6 and older. The cost is $10 for 5 rounds of arrows, and $15 for luge add-on. Muskegon Winter Sports Complex is open Saturdays and Sundays in the summer from 10:00am – 2:00pm
Tour and Climb the Lights
Tour Muskegon’s historic South Pierhead Light! Climb a 48 foot ironclad lighthouse built in 1903, with an unforgettable view from lantern room at the tower top. Don’t miss “Storytime with the Lighthouse Lady” on Monday. Then tour the historic White River Light Station and Museum. Built in 1875. Marvel at the maritime museum and climb old spiral stairs to the light and lake views. Legend says Wm Robinson, who kept White River Light Station for 47 years, never left! He (and wife Sarah) can be heard walking the 2nd floor stairwell.
Tour Our Maritime Museums
The USS Silversides is a historic Gato class (built for the US Navy launched between 1941–1943) submarine. During her service, she received 12 battle stars and was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for cumulative action over four patrols. She is credited with sinking 23 ships – the third-most of any allied World War II submarine! In her retirement, the Silversides is at home in Muskegon, where she is part of the USS Silverside Museum. Docked in the Muskegon channel, she floats behind the US Coast Guard Cutter McLane, also available to tour. A two story museum center, filled with historic naval and interactive exhibits, completes the setting.
The USS LST 393 is an LST-1-class tank landing ship originally launched in 1942. She is one of only two LSTs to survive in their original configuration. During her service she won battle stars for the Sicilian occupation, Salerno landings, and the Invasion of Normandy. The LST 393 made 75 voyages to foreign shores and was one of the only LSTs to be equipped with an airplane. Fully and lovingly restored in the 2000’s by committed veterans, their families and supporters, she is now a veteran’s museum boasting thousands of artifacts.
Take a step back in time aboard the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper “The Queen of the Great Lakes”. From 1941 until 1970 the Milwaukee Clipper carried thousands of passengers and automobiles between Muskegon and Milwaukee, with air conditioned staterooms, children’s playroom, a movie theater, live entertainment and a dance floor. The last steam ship on the great lakes, she was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989. Today, the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper is available to tour. Tour times Memorial Day – Labor Day Saturday Sunday 1:00pm – 5:00pm.
Sunday Night Cruise and Kick-Off Party AND 15th Annual Muskegon Labor Day Cars for Cancer
Come to Mercy Health Lakes Village for the Cars for Cancer Sunday Night Cruise! This is a Kickoff Party for the 15th Annual Labor Day Cars for Cancer Car Show. Registration will be offered beginning at 5:00pm and there’ll also be live music in the Entertainment Tent until 11:00pm. The evening cruise begins at 6:30pm.
Labor Day Monday, come to the Mercy Health Partners Lakes Village for the 15th Annual Muskegon Labor Day Cars for Cancer! This year Different Strokes Car Club will be picking the top 10 vehicles and awarding special trophies. There will also be regular classes with 3 trophies per class:
- Best of Show
- Young Guns
- People’s Choice
Dash plaques will go to the first 400 cars registered. Enjoy vendors, door prizes, valve cover racing and a grocery giveaway!
Registration – 7:00am – 11:00am
Participant Voting – 11:00am – 1:00pm
Pancake breakfast (prepared by the Knights of Columbus #13035) 7:00am – 12:00pm
Registration the day of the show is $10 and will be good for both Sunday and Monday. All proceeds (100%) go to the Johnson Family Center for Cancer Care – Mercy Health Partners.
For more information and to find even MORE events, go to visitmuskegon.org
Without labor nothing prospers.