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Cloquet is the place to be on Labor Day

The nights are cool and the kids are heading back to school. It must be Labor Day weekend!

Mike Kuitu, president of the Carlton County Labor Day Celebration, said everything is on track for the 95th annual Labor Day festivities in Cloquet.

“We’re all caught up,” Kuitu said Monday, adding that he’d just crawled out from under a float. “Now I’m just doing the anti-rain dance.”

With Bovey being the only other Northland town that has any kind of official Labor Day celebration, Kuitu said there will likely be a number of public figures in town for the parade, which has featured both U.S. senators in past years, along with the governor.

The celebrations actually start a day early, with the “Old Timer’s Banquet” kicking off at noon Sunday at the Cloquet National Guard Armory. This free luncheon for Carlton County Seniors ages 62 years of age and older offers food, music and prizes. On Sunday evening, the first ever Light Up the Night glow stick walk/run 5K race will start at 8:15 p.m. at Washington Elementary School.

On Labor Day itself, things start fast and early. A synopsis of events follows:

  •  8:30 a.m. Blue House Orphanage Run. This event will be held at Cloquet’s Pine Valley. Entry fees go to support a Ugandan Orphanage. Visit for more information.
  •  10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Cloquet Labor Day Car Show. The show will be set up on Avenue C between 12th and 14th Street in downtown Cloquet. This event features cars from as far away as International Falls and the Twin Cities. Contact Mike Tillman at 390-9825 with questions.
  •  11 a.m.: Labor Day Parade. The parade will travel along Cloquet Avenue from 18th to Eighth Street. Lineup is along Avenue B starting at 9:30 a.m. To register, contact Mike Kuitu 218-391- 6367 or email by Saturday.
  •  Noon to 2 p.m.: Labor Day Picnic. This free picnic is open to all, with plenty of seating upstairs of the Cloquet Labor Temple, 1403 Avenue C in downtown Cloquet.
  •  Noon to 5 p.m.: Labor Day Carnival. The carnival will be set up at Veterans Park on the corner of Avenue B and Highway 33 in Cloquet. Bring the whole family down for free inflatable amusements and rides, face painting, music and maypole dancing for children of all ages. The Cloquet Area Fire District will offer a ladder truck tour, spray house for kids, and free fire truck rides (providing there are no fire emergencies). Also the very talented CLIMB Theater (Creative Learning Ideas for Mind and Body) will feature three free performances at 1:45, 2:30, and 3 p.m.