(MANISTEE, MI) – Giving something back to the Manistee County [Michigan] community is what the News Advocate Citizen of the Year has been about since its inception.
One group fitting that description very will is the Salt City Rock & Blues Committee, which has been organizing concerts in this area for the past five years. This year the group took an even bigger step when they organized the first ever LaborFest in Manistee over the Labor Day weekend, and it earned them honorable mention as the News Advocate Citizen of the Year.
The event — which featured music, food a parade and lots of good fun — was a success despite Labor Day rain showers. Funds from the event all went to the project the group is working toward to build a new amphitheater for the First Street Beach area.
Salt City Rock & Blues president Tom Volkema said that they came up with the concept of LaborFest because they wanted to do something to celebrate Manistee’s rich labor heritage.
“The community is built by the labor from way back to the lumber days,” said Volkema. “It’s just the work of people themselves that built this town with the companies like PCA, Martin Marietta, Morton Salt, Iron Works and all the plants — a lot of them are gone. It was a big asset to the town that put Manistee on the map.”