Labor Fest came together in 2009 after 22 years of Labor Day Parades. The Labor Day committee, made up of members from area labor organizations, thought a festival would help lighten these difficult economic times so families could come to downtown Grand Rapids for a fun filled day of FREE entertainment. We felt Ah-Nab-Awen Park was an ideal location to hold the festival because it is where the Spirit of Solidarity Monument is located.
Our first year, 2009, was a great success! Thanks to a massive fundraising campaign by area labor organizations we were able to pay for the Grand Rapids Public Museum to be open free for the public all day. This included carousel rides, regular museum exhibits, and the Leonardo DaVinci Machines in Motion exhibit. Record attendance for one day for the Museum was 4,000. We broke the Museum's attendance record......on Labor Day there were over 6,000 people who went thru the Museum during our Labor Fest.
We also had free live entertainment with bands like: Jimmie Stagger, Blues Conspiracy, Mick Lane, Eric Glatz, and Lynn Marie Smith.
There were local food vendors and a beer tent to enjoy while listening to the music.
Several arts and crafters sold their work through out the park.
We had a vintage/classic car and motorcycle show with lots of old American made cars on display in the parking lot on the north side of the Ford Museum.
Meijer Corporation helped co-sponsor the festival with a large donation of free beverages for the public.
This September on Labor Day we hope you will come down to Ah-Nab-Awen Park and make this an even better year. There will be free live entertainment.... music bands to be announced later. More food vendors, more arts and crafters, more cars and motorcyles at the vintage/classic car show, and a labor history and beer tent. We will also have fun things for the kids like a penny throwing contest, blow up bouncy house, mini ferris wheel, and a Berry-Go-Round. Grand Rapids Firefighters will also be there with the Fire Safety House to educate children on fire safety and what to do if faced with a fire.
So come on down to our Labor Fest this year and have a fun filled day!!!