The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Floats compete in celebratory Labor Fest Parade


Jan Tucker/Daily Globe

FOR THE first time, the Ontonagon Area Band and the Ewen-Trout Creek Band joined together marching down River Street during the Labor Day Festival Parade Sunday. OAHS Director Ben Mayer and E-TC Director Brad Besonen led the group. The combined bands will also be playing for the Ontonagon-E-TC football games this fall.


Ontonagon - Warm weather brought out huge crowds for the Ontonagon Labor Festival Parade Sunday.

The largest number of floats to compete in many years vied for top prizes in three divisions. Margo Anderson, head of the parade committee, said that only one and two points separated four of the floats from each other. Top float by one point was the Stein Club "Moonshine" entry. A large still full of moonshine loomed over the "revenoors" in their log cabin while police cars chased the moonshiners out side.

Second place was won by the Norwich Country Club, Scooby Doo. The famous cartoon people were all there trying to solve the "mystery of the Haunted Lighthouse." Ghosts of all kinds swirled up and around. The lighthouse , built by the members looked very much like the Ontonagon lighthouse.

In third place, separated by just two points was the Bauer Family "906 Marti Gras" with Bourbon Street and all the revelers there, as well as large jail for those who misbehaved. Police kept a close eye on the dancers.

Finishing fourth was the Ontonagon Golf Club with "Tee Time." The float had all the members of Alice in Wonderland with delightful costumes. The Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, and all the residents of the Fairy Tale were there.

Fifth place was won by the Ontonagon Area High School Class of 1977. They celebrated their 40th reunion with a large birthday cake and notes of the many memories such as the price of gas, the hit song of the age. They also had listed the names and carried some of the pictures of departed classmates.

The last class to have the nickname Polar Bears celebrated their 50th reunion with a float. The Ontonagon Animal Protection group, Ontonagon High School Robotics Team and their robot, and the hockey and volleyball teams were all represented.

Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital took home the Best commercial float with its giant birthday cake celebrating its ten years in Ontonagon. The Cub Scouts Pack 3209 won the youth division with the 2017 Ontonagon County Fair Princess', Ailee Kaarto and Rayna DeHaan coming in second.

The parade marshals were law enforcement agencies including Ontonagon County Sheriff Department, represented by Sheriff Dale Rantala, Michigan State Police, Department of Natural Resources, Forest Service. The Marine Corps float Depicting the flag raising over Iwo Jima followed the honor guard comprised of VFW, American Legion and Marine Corps members.

In a historic event, the Ontonagon and Ewen-Trout Creek High School Bands played together as one unit. The Bessemer High School Band and Hurley Bands, a Clown Band from Houghton and Marty's Goldenaires provided the music for the parade. Following the parade, the Goldenaires gave their last concert of the season to a large receptive crowd.

At the Community fest following the parade, the 50-50 money of $2,912 was won by JoEllen Howard on ticket 1112.


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