30,000 shrug off the rain to walk the Mighty Mac
September 09, 2015
About 30,000 smiles were peeking out from beneath ponchos and rain jackets on Labor Day for the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk, as a 58-year tradition overcame a drizzly morning.
"Many people from Michigan and beyond look forward to the bridge walk all year, so we're thrilled the weather cooperated enough to keep the tradition going," said Bob Sweeney, executive secretary of the Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA). "It's always a fun event, and I'm sure people were already making their plans for next year as they traveled home yesterday."
On Sunday prior to the walk, rain was forecast as a near-certainty. However, the thunderstorms and lighting that could have forced delay or even cancellation of the walk held off, and a light rain with brisk winds were all that walkers had to contend with. Bridge staff stayed in contact with the National Weather Service office in Gaylord for updates before and during the walk.
While the bridge walk has never been cancelled outright, it has been delayed and ended early before. In 2000, the start was delayed until 8:30 a.m. and then stopped at 9:30 a.m. In 2002, the walk was ended a half-hour early at 10:30 a.m. due to high winds, and the MBA sent buses onto the bridge to pick up anyone uncomfortable completing the event.