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Escanaba City Band on Ludington Street during the annual Labor Day Parade

Top Things to Do Labor Day Weekend near Escanaba

It’s not too late to make some of your best summer vacation memories. Join us Labor Day weekend for these fun events and activities happening in and around Escanaba. 

Family friendly shows and festivals

Tractors lined up at Steam & Engine show

48th Annual Steam & Gas Engine Show

Sept. 1-4 | U.P. Fairgrounds, 2401 12th Ave. N., Escanaba | $6 per day; $10 for the weekend; exhibitors and children under 14 years, FREE. 

This is one of the top annual events in the U.P. — all ages will have a fantastic time learning more about our agricultural history! Exhibitors come from near and far, bringing an ever-changing display of tractors, gas engines and vintage farm equipment. There is a large indoor/outdoor flea market and an antique auto show all weekend; a knife and gun expo from Sept. 1-3  — and barn dances on Sept. 2 and 3. The Antique Village is a charming setting for local artisans to showcase their handicrafts. Be sure to see the working sawmill, and stop by the Agricultural Museum to browse an eclectic collection of antiques and artifacts. When you’re hungry, there is plenty of good food on the grounds. 

Crowd at Boogie Fest watching

Boogie Fest Too 2023

Sept. 1-3 | 14069 County Line G Road, Rock | $30 to $100 for passes; children under 14 years, FREE | Rain or Shine

Come to this ‘70s Blast to the Past event featuring live music from 11 of the finest acts in the Midwest. Arrive on Friday for an ATV, Jeep and truck poker run. Stay for the campground parade and costume contest — bring out your paisley shirts, bell bottoms and platform shoes, plus a little peace, love and happiness. Other weekend highlights include a big bonfire, pig roast, vendors and camping. It’s a revival you won’t want to miss!

Rock Lions Club Labor Day Festival

Sept. 2 | Lions Club Grounds, 14454 M-35, Rock | 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

The parade through Rock kicks off at 11 a.m. and ends at the Lions Club Grounds. After the parade, there will be music, food, beer and a bounce house. It’s a great place to be with family and friends.

Third Annual Labor Day Celebration

Sept. 4 | Municipal Dock, Ludington St., Escanaba | Noon to 8 p.m.

Line up by noon on Ludington St. to see the parade march down to the Municipal Dock. There, the holiday celebration continues with food, live bands, a Bloody Mary Bar, petting zoo, bounce houses, a golf ball drop and raffles that will benefit the Delta County Trades & Labor Charity scholarship fund. 

Fresh veggies at the Escanaba Farmers Market.

Gather up farm-fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers and more

Three local communities offer farmers markets on Labor Day weekend. Hand pick from locally grown produce, baked goods, fresh-brewed coffee and more. It’s just what you need for your holiday picnic or to bring back home for your school and work lunches. 

Sept. 2 | Escanaba Farmers Market | 1501 Ludington St. | 8 a.m. to noon.

Sept. 4 | Gladstone Farmers Market | 911 Delta Ave. | 3 to 6 p.m.

Sept. 4 | Rapid River Farmers Market | 10465 S. Main St. | 3 to 6 p.m

Beach girls

Swim, kayak, play water sports and picnic at popular or secluded beaches

The air and Lake Michigan water temperatures during the first weekend of September are usually summery warm. Nine of the best beaches in the Upper Peninsula are near Escanaba, offering hours of swimming, sand castle building or relaxing with a good book. This is a water sports enthusiasts’ playground, too! With several protected harbors on Little and Big Bays de Noc, our coastal paradise is every paddler’s dream! Parasailing, kiteboarding, water skiing, tubing and boating are favorite pastimes, too. Pack a picnic and make a day of it! 

Monarch Migration

Welcome hundreds of migrating monarch butterflies

Early September, our trees are still mostly green, but Labor Day Weekend is a good time to catch one of the U.P.’s favorite fall color shows. From late August through mid-September, the Peninsula Point Lighthouse & Picnic Area is a stopover as monarch butterflies follow their ancient flight path to Mexico. 

A woman swinging a golf club at a course in Escanaba

Hike, bike or play traditional and disk golf

This is also a fun weekend to explore our trails, ride your ATV, play our renowned golf courses or rattle the chains at some of the best disc golf courses in the U.P.   

Where to eat, drink and sleep well all weekend       

We will make sure every day is a break from working while you are here. Our chefs will do the cooking for you from delicious breakfast to dinner by the Bay. Meet up with friends at our craft wineries, breweries and pubs. And don’t let summer end without one more ice cream cone or sundae. Then, after a beautiful sunset, get a good night’s sleep at one of our lodgings. All of them are just minutes from more Labor Day weekend fun.       

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