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Cloquet will celebrate Labor Day all weekend long

For retired Carlton County Central Labor Body president Mike Kuitu, Labor Day more of a holy day than a holiday.

“It’s a combination of things,” said the longtime organizer of Cloquet’s Labor Day celebrations. “It’s partly Thanksgiving, because we’re thankful, and part Memorial Day, because we remember people’s efforts in the past. It commemorates the struggles of labor to gain a liveable wage and maintain it. Frankly, in my mind, we’re not.”

The fun for Carlton County’s 96th Annual Labor Day Celebration kicks off at noon Sunday, Sept 6, with the “Old-Timers Banquet” at the Cloquet National Guard Armory. The free lunch is for people 62 years of age or older who have lived in Carlton County for at least 10 years.

On Labor Day Monday, the activities start early and go on for most of the day.

The “Iron 5” will be honorary Grand Marshals of this year’s Labor Day Parade, one of the largest and longest running parades in the area. The five members of United Steelworkers Local 63 successfully resisted the attempt by their large, multi-national employer to diminish their standard of living by going on strike for 127 days starting New Year’s Day this year.

“By standing for themselves, they stood for us all,” Kuitu noted in a press release about the celebrations.

The parade begins at 11 a.m. on the usual parade route on Cloquet Avenue, starting from 18th Street to Eighth Street.

After the parade, everyone is invited to the Cloquet Labor Temple, 1403 Avenue C, from noon to 2 p.m. for a free picnic.

During and after the parade, enjoy the Cloquet Labor Day Car Show on Avenue C between 12th and 14th streets. Roughly 100 classic cars from all over Minnesota, typically enter this show. There is a $5 entry fee for show cars. To enter a vehicle, enter on 13th Street off Avenue B.

Kids of all ages are also invited to play at the Labor Day carnival set up in Veterans Park from noon to5 p.m.

There are also two races over the weekend.

The second annual “Light up the night” 5K glow walk/run will take place Sunday, Sept. 6, with registration beginning at 6 p.m. The route will begin and end at the Washington Elementary School at 801 12th St., Cloquet.Parking at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church is encouraged for this event. This is a family event and strollers are welcome.

Come out for an early morning run in Pine Valley at 8:30 a.m. Monday morning to participate in the 5.5K and 11K Blue House Orphanage Fun run.

For more information about the run, visit http://www.blue-house.org/ or call Tim Krohn 218-341-1415.

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