ALPENA – Labor Day was instituted as a federal holiday in 1894 to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the work and contributions of workers to the development and achievements of the United States.
On this weekend many people enjoy a longer break from work with friends, family or take a late summer vacation to end the summer.
Northeast Michigan has a handful of events for people to enjoy, led by the 21st Aliferis Memorial Race in Alpena and the popular Harmony Festival in Harrisville.
However, many people will use the extra day off to host family reunions or go camping at a local campground.
Hubbard Lake’s Tim Klein said he will be camping out of town and celebrating the holiday weekend in Mackinaw City. He said his family is taking part in the Mackinac Bridge Walk, which he says is a tradition.
“Our children and grandchildren come and we camp Thursday through Tuesday and walk across the bridge on Labor Day, as we have for many years,” Klein said. “It’s sort of our last hurray for the summer.”
Trinity Chaisson went shopping at Meijer’s in Alpena on Tuesday, picking up things her family will need for their camping trip this weekend. She said her weekends will be shorter than others because she has to work on Labor Day.
Chaisson said that won’t stop her from enjoying her time with her family on Saturday and Sunday.
“I’m looking forward to it,” she said. “We will eat well and sit by the fire and it will feel good to just relax. I hope it doesn’t rain. Summer is coming to an end so we need to use what’s left of it.”
Despite high gas prices, AAA expects travel numbers this weekend to match pre-COVID levels, as they did on Memorial Day and July 4th.
In a press release, AAA said peak travel volume is expected to be reached on Friday afternoon as commuters and travelers take to the streets at the same time. High travel volumes are also expected late Monday afternoon as people return from weekend trips.
It’s also expected, AAA says, that many people will travel, but many will choose to stay within 50 miles or less of home due to escalated gas prices.
Bradley Burzynski, from Alpena, said his family will be enjoying a short stay at home because of gas prices and higher prices for other things.
“We can find something to do in Alpena,” he said. “Maybe my parents will come over and we can have a barbecue. We really can’t afford to go anywhere, so let’s just enjoy my three days off.”
Weather-wise, people in northeast Michigan should enjoy moderate temperatures.
The National Weather Service is forecasting showers before 2pm on Saturday, before the sun comes out and temperatures soar to nearly 75 degrees. Temperatures will fall into the mid-50s overnight, reaching around 73 degrees on Sunday.
Monday’s highs will be near 80 degrees.
“There is a chance of rain and possibly a thunderstorm lasting from Friday night into Saturday morning, but after that it looks fairly calm for the rest of the bank holiday weekend,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Faith Fredrickson. “Temperatures will be seasonal, maybe even slightly cooler than average, but overall it looks like the weather will be cooperating this weekend.”