Nearly a thousand people braved the cloudy, rainy weather on Monday to attend the free Labor Day barbecue sponsored by the United Steel Workers Local Alaska 4959 in conjunction with Kenai Central High School.
“The turnout was awesome,” said James Spinka, organizer of the event.
He said this was the third annual event sponsored by the United Steel Workers Local Alaska 4959 based out of Prudhoe Bay.
“Labor Day is supporting our local economy, buying local, buying American made,” he said. “Trying to get jobs, supporting our local industry, trying to get jobs back to Alaska, back to America.”
Participants sported umbrellas, hoodies and wet hair as they enjoyed free food, games, live music and fun with family and friends.
Spinka said the event was well attended, although the weather was not cooperative, with the skies producing a slight drizzle to a steady patter of rain drops.
“If the weather had been better we would have gotten more,” he said.
Participants enjoyed several activities, including flag football, soccer, ultimate frisbee, music, kids games, as well as door prizes and a raffle. One raffle prize was a homemade pie baked by Kenai Mayor Pat Porter.
Speakers included Porter and Sen. Peter Micciche.
South Louisiana couple Al and June Pitre spent nearly an hour in the rain enjoying the festivities. They have spent the past two months in Kenai, where they rented a house and enjoyed fishing, visiting and the Alaskan summer.
June said she believes Labor Day is an American holiday for American workers,
“They deserve a holiday,” she said with a smile.
While at the event, the couple ate burgers with all the fixings.
“We would have stayed longer if it was not raining,” Al said with a chuckle.
Dan McKeirnan and his grand kids Dakota, Katie and Jacob, spent a few hours at the free event. Near the end of their stay, the group walked on the new Kenai Central High School track.
McKeirnan said to him, Labor Day is a time to appreciate American workers.
“Its a holiday to support the men and women working in this country,” he said.
Reach Sara Hardan at firstname.lastname@example.org.