After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Labor Day traditions are returning to Duluth and Cloquet, where outdoor, public events are on tap Monday to honor the country's workers and labor movement.
The Duluth Central Labor Body's Annual Labor Day Picnic will be conducted from noon to 4 p.m. at Bayfront Festival Park. Along with music and free food, Gov. Tim Walz, and Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith are on tap to speak at 1:30 p.m.
"We're excited for it," said Lee Cutler, an organizer with the North East Area Labor Council, which has regional oversight of the Labor Body's London Road office.
"It's a yearly tradition we understandably missed last year," Cutler added. "We're cautiously optimistic and trying to have a great, fun picnic."
Open to the public, the picnic has long been affiliated with the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, and some of the party's biggest names will be in attendance.
"Both U.S. senators and the governor," Cutler said, "it's been a long time since we've had all three at a picnic together."
In Cloquet, the annual Labor Day parade will commence at 11 a.m. along the traditional parade route downtown on Cloquet Avenue. Food trucks will be available, and afterward a car show with grilled brats will take place at the Northeastern Hotel and Saloon. The Cloquet City Council approved the return of festivities at a meeting in June.
Cutler said Labor Day organizers are planning to serve between 1,000 and 1,500 people at Bayfront in Duluth. The Duluth event is run on donations from labor unions and other groups from across the city.
"We're so grateful for all of those people who show up and do their work, and we want to honor the labor movement," Cutler said. "It's a day to reflect and recharge."