Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk 2015 to Feature Inaugural Mighty Mac Swim Event
Since 1958, Michigan residents and people from all over the World have walked across the five mile Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day each year. That annual event is about to get a whole lot extravagant in 2015 as the first annual Mighty Mac Swim takes place.
The Mighty Mac Swim marks the first sanctioned swim across the two peninsulas. The World Open Water Swimming Association has sanctioned the event to swim across the Straights of Mackinac. The event will coincide with this year’s annual bridge walk on September 7th, 2015. This marks the 58th edition of the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk.
This year, walkers on the Mackinac Bridge will have a bird’s eye view of the inaugural swim, which will feature 84 pre-qualified swimmers. The event was originally meant to have 58 (one for every year) swimmers with an additional one added each year. However, demand boosted that number higher, with a still strong waiting list of eager swimmers as well.
The event is made possible by the World Open Water Swimming Association and also Jim Dreyer, the “superhuman” Jim Dreyer. A legend in Michigan, Dreyer owns many records in swimming and has successfully swam across all five Great Lakes. In 2007, Dreyer led 50 swimmers across the Mackinac Straights, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Mackinac Bridge. Dreyer was also recently featured on Stan Lee’s superhuman television show, where he pulled a bridge across a lake.
This year’s Mighty Mac Swim will raise money for various Habitat for Humanity organizations across the state of Michigan. Dreyer has set a minimum of $2800 raised for each swimmer. At the time of writing, the 84 swimmers had raised more than $60,000 for Habitat for Humanity.
The annual Bridge Walk continues to be the only time pedestrians are allowed on the famous Mackinac Bridge. This annual event is a key to the tourism in Mackinaw City and also a great event to showcase our state and one of its most famous landmarks. A record 85,000 attended the Bridge Walk in 1992, when George H.W. Bush led walkers across the bridge. It has been an annual tradition for the Michigan governor to lead the walkers.
The Mighty Mac Swim costs registered swimmers $200 plus fundraising efforts. Walking across the Mackinac Bridge is free, provided you can find a place to park and get to the bridge. Bus transportation to the bridge is $5 per person. The event, which begins at 7am, cuts off walkers at 11am, so early arrival is a must to be ensured participation in the event.
Mackinaw City is packed during Labor Day weekend due to the Bridge Walk. This annual event continues to attract more than 40,000 people each year. If you’ve never walked the bridge or haven’t in awhile, this could be the year to come back for the annual event and be part of the new annual swim event.