McGregor’s annual Labor Day parade is Sept. 2

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Community is 'open for business'

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

McGregor will host its annual Labor Day parade Saturday, Sept. 2, marking the community’s first big event since a  tornado ripped through the town July 19, leaving a path of destruction in fallen trees and damaged or destroyed buildings and homes.

The storm was not far from the minds of the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce board members who selected this year’s theme: McGregor Strong.

“Yes, the tornado is on everyone’s minds,” said Kristie Austin, the chamber’s executive director, “but the theme is also meant to show that McGregor is still open for business. We want to emphasize that we’re here and we’re resilient—come and enjoy all that’s here.”

Austin said the parade will also be important to McGregor’s residents and business owners, demonstrating just how far the city’s come.

“For the community,” she shared, “it showcases how much everyone came together, how quickly everyone bounced back. This community is strong. We come together and help each other.”

Saturday’s parade will begin at 11 a.m., traveling down Main Street toward the river. Line up will begin at 10 a.m., at the middle school. Individuals, organizations and businesses are still welcome to participate. Contact the chamber for more information.

While you’re waiting for the parade to begin, stop by Triangle Park. The McGregor Ecumenical Church Council will be selling coffee and sweet rolls from 9 a.m. to noon. All proceeds will go toward tornado relief efforts.

After the parade, stick around downtown McGregor for a jazz music performance in Triangle Park.

The Hole in the Sock Gang will entertain visitors with an 1880s street theater performance at 1 p.m., in front of Backwoods Bar and Grill. The show will include several skits, with period-dressed lawmen, outlaws and saloon girls re-enacting bank robberies and shoot-outs.

Music will resume in Triangle Park following the Hole in the Sock Gang, beginning with a country music performance. Local musicians will then showcase their skills on the two street pianos in the park, in an event sponsored by Clan McGregor for Community Enrichment (formerly McGregor Clan Lions Club).

Throughout the day, McGregor’s bars, restaurants and shops will be open, offering food and drink and unique buys.

While you’re out and about, head to Marquette for the Flea Market “Under the Bridge.” Vendors will be set up in the green space along the bridge approach, under the bridge and in the city park Saturday through Monday.

Marquette American Legion Post 305 will also operate its food stand, serving breakfast from 7 to 10:30 a.m., then lunch until 4 p.m. 

“The main thing is to keep people in town so they can feel and experience how great it is here,” Austin said. “People really enjoy that [McGregor and Marquette] are Mississippi River towns, but there’s more to McGregor and Marquette beyond the river.”

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