Spectators and parade marchers filled the streets of downtown Toledo today for the annual Labor Day Parade.
The parade commemorated the 80th anniversary of the Auto-Lite strike of 1934 that was one of the turning points in the labor movement.
PHOTO GALLERY: 2014 Toledo Labor Day parade
This year for the first time the parade committee gave an award for the best float, conferring it on the Toledo Federation of Teachers’ union’s float. Known as the Coughenour Award in honor of longtime labor leader Ron Coughenour the plaque and loving cup will go to the unit selected by the family of the late Mr. Coughenour who was executive secretary and treasurer of the Toledo Area AFL-CIO from 1991-2003.
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The winning float depicted students and teachers dressed in pioneer clothing on one side and a robot on the other, a large apple in the middle, and the slogan, "The Promise of Public Education." Coincidentally, TFT's first two presidents,Dal and Francine Lawrence, were the grand marshals of the parade.
More than 100 union locals and associated groups participated. Many local political leaders, including Mayor D. Michael Collins and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), observed the parade from the viewing stand on Summit Street.
Labor organizations are slated to continue celebrations at a picnic today at the Lucas County Fairgrounds to be attended by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald and Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine who is seeking re-election.