2018-09-06 / Life in Leelanau

Leland bridge w walk hits 19 years


UNCLE SAM, better known locally as Garth Goodenow, accompanied walkers across the Leland Bridge on Monday at noon. UNCLE SAM, better known locally as Garth Goodenow, accompanied walkers across the Leland Bridge on Monday at noon. The 20th annual Leland Labor Day Bridge Walk was a rousing success, according to the chair of the Leland Committee for Holiday Excitement.

Committee chair Patricia Soutas-Little said excellent weather and strong community spirit prompted a good turnout of local residents and visitors for an annual celebration dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

The first Leland Labor Day Bridge Walk was held in 1999 when the bridge after the Leland River was rebuilt by the Michigan Department of Transportation. Originally built in 1929, the bridge is part of state highway M-22, known in downtown Leland as Main Street.

“It’s great to see this tradition continue,” said Lee Bowen, one of the original organizers of the event. “Dick Kerr (the late publisher of the Leelanau Enterprise) and a few of us were having breakfast at the Early Bird one morning in 1999 when this whole idea was conceived,” Bowen said.


LEADING THE 20th annual Leland Bridge Walk on Labor Day this year were members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7731 from Lake Leelanau. LEADING THE 20th annual Leland Bridge Walk on Labor Day this year were members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7731 from Lake Leelanau. As always, a color guard from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7731 in Lake Leelanau led the march. New this year was the addition of two golf carts provided by the Leland Lodge carrying “royalty” from the Leland Fourth of July Parade and other local dignitaries.

Those who completed the walk — all of

a couple blocks requiring a leisurely stroll of about five minutes — were awarded a certificate of achievement. The march began at the state boat launch parking lot on the Leland River and ended on the lawn of the Old Art Building.

Finishers also received refreshments in the form of cookies from Trish’s Dishes and lemonade supplied by the Leland Mercantile. — Photos and story by Eric Carlson

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