Welcome to Hamtramck, Michigan.
For the past 40 years, we've had a celebration on Joseph Campau's Main Street to mark Labor Day weekend. This is one of the best Labor Day events in Michigan!
This year's festival, which is sponsored by HATCH, includes the Hamtramck tradition of boat races along Jos. Campau as well as a variety of activities for all, such as wrestling on Sunday, September 4 and Monday, September 5. The Hamtramck Labor Day Parade will be on Monday, September 5.
There will be a ton of entertainment, food, and music as always. The Hamtramck Labor Day Festival never has a dull moment with its single stage, numerous restaurant booths, and long lineup of carnival attractions.
Hamtramck Labor Day Festival in 2022
The 42nd Hamtramck Labor Day Festival will take place on September 3, 4, and 5, 2022.
As always, entry is free!
History of the Volunteers Festival, Hamtramck, and Labor Day Festival History: 42 years of enjoyment at the Hamtramck City Festival
When the Hamtramck City Festival was initially suggested in 1980, it was the worst possible moment.
The greatest crisis the city had ever experienced was at its height. The plant at Dodge Main had just shut down. The plant, which produced tens of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in income, had characterized Hamtramck for seven decades.
The city was in a depressing frame of mind as it faced an uncertain future. At the time, former Mayor Robert Kozaren came up with the idea of holding a sizable municipal festival to uplift people' spirits and demonstrate to the rest of the world that Hamtramck was a resilient community that could grin in the face of adversity.
The inaugural event was soon scheduled for late September. It was a cool Friday as the bands at the festival on Joseph Campau, just north of Caniff, started to set up.
With over 100,000 attendees, it was a big success right away. The ability to party is one thing Hamtramck residents excel at. But it wasn't limited to residents of Hamtramck. The event attracted attendees from all around the metro region who came to enjoy the entertainment, food, and crafts.
The celebration was shifted to Labor Day the following year to take advantage of the nicer weather and extended vacation weekend. Additionally, the annual Polish Day Parade on Labor Day began to be connected with it.
The Festival has evolved throughout time, adding new merchants and performers, but it has remained surprisingly consistent in its capacity to provide a good time for everyone.
(City Historian Greg Kowalski)
History of Hamtramck
As a dusty farming village on the outskirts of Detroit, Michigan, Hamtramck, which was established in the years after the American Revolution, went virtually unnoticed for more than a century. With the debut of John and Horace Dodge's auto manufacturing in 1910, the town underwent a major transformation. Ten years later, Hamtramck was a thriving metropolis. It was one of the most densely inhabited cities in the US in 1930 with 56,000 inhabitants in a 2.1 square mile area.
The majority of this expanding population was made up of Polish immigrants. It was, in a way, the classic immigrant tale. Typically, these "Huddled masses" brought only what they were wearing and a steamer box filled with their possessions when they immigrated to the United States. They quickly accumulated enough savings to purchase houses on small lots. They arrived looking for a better life, just like so many others. The Polish immigrants yearned for democracy after years of oppression by the Russians, Prussians, Austrians, and Germans. They accepted democracy and started running for office right away. By the time Hamtramck became a city in 1922, the Poles had taken over and had transformed it into a place of raging politics, gritty urbanization, wild entertainment, and an intense sense of living. They were accompanied. Hamtramck retained its reputation as an immigrant neighborhood even after the noises of heavy industry receded and the Polish Americans were drawn away from the city by the allure of the expansive suburbs. African Americans have contributed to the community's fabric's consistency from Hamtramck's founding. Today's Arabs, Bangladeshis, Bosnians, Serbians, and other nationalities still find the city to be a desirable location to dwell, just as it did over a century ago when it drew hordes of immigrants.
Between then and today, it's been a crazy voyage. Big commercial tycoons, Communist schemes, infamous criminals, labor goons, corruption of mind-boggling dimensions, and devastating political feuds are all dramatized in the narrative of Hamtramck. But just as avarice and a quest for power motivate certain "Hamtramckans," so does the desire to construct sturdy homes in a respectable neighborhood. Hamtramck is driven by industry as much as intense emotions.
This is a tale of steadfast principles, profound convictions, kind and ground-breaking educational initiatives, and a very complex social system. Intriguing and wealthy individuals, both noble and lofty, corrupt and charismatic, may all be found in this narrative. It is mostly a tale of amazing individuals.