Labor Day has been a long-time tradition since it was first celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. For more than 100 years, people throughout our nation have been recognizing this day that was proposed by the Central Labor Union to honor the social and economic contributions from men and women workers. This is a “working persons” holiday. A time set aside to honor the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into forging a majority of America. Labor Day permanently moved to the first Monday in September in 1884, where it has remained.
The first state to implement a lawful day of recognition for Labor Day was Oregon. By the next year’s celebration, 24 more states followed suit. Now, our entire nation observes this day. This is evidenced by the shutdown of all government buildings, streets in parade routes, and a general celebratory energy thickening the air. To further esteem the importance of our unsung American heroes, the air seems to beget a general air of family, camaraderie, and light-heartedness. Parks, river fronts and beach sides are loaded with people who expect to engage in out-of-the-norm activities designed to embody the spirit of community that is a unifying undercurrent for the average, hardworking person.
Here are some ways in which folks around the country are celebrating:
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: The weekend is full of celebratory hustle and bustle remembering and recognizing laborers. The Kipona Festival is one of the oldest waterfront festivals in the United States and features the largest fireworks display in Pennsylvania over Labor Day weekend.
Harrisburg’s Riverfront Park hosts throngs of people at the annual Kipona Festival. This event boasts the largest fireworks display in Pennsylvania, along with children’s theaters, educational activities, sporting events, concerts, boat races, arts and crafts, and many other family-friendly activities.
In Portland, Oregon, the fine folks at Roscoe’s honor the hard working with a beer event. This “mini-IPA summit” offers a tasting of Pliny the Elder IPA, in addition to four other favored Oregonian brews. Other establishments around town will also be offering a smattering of tantalizing tastes for the Labor Day beer event that honor hardworking adult with insta-gratification for the taste buds.
In Colorado, the Celebration Metaphysical Fair brings the holistic community together and offers others a chance to engage in more celestial and holistic methods of relaxation at the end of a back-breaking week. A little fantasy (think fairies and things of that nature) will also be there to offer a brief reprieve from the daily grind.
For those who are more inclined to stay grounded in search for fun, there is the Fiesta Fair in Denver, Colorado. This event pays homage to Hispanic culture and its contributions to families and the community, as denoted by the theme Celebracion de la Familia. The traditional Mariachi mass marks the beginning of the Labor Day fun and follows with a convivial parade touting some award-winning floats and beautiful people. Included in the list of things to do is watching the crowning of the Fiesta Queen, partake in the Celebracion de las Charros, and be entertained by some great Mexican music, costumes and festivities.
Labor Day recognizes the hard work of everyday people. Because America is such an incredible melting pot, the tradition and festivities reflect what makes our community, well, a community. There are a myriad of traditions making up this wonderfully crazy country, but that is essentially what makes it work – our differences. Together over many years, these varied cultures and backgrounds have translated into one thing, freedom remaining a luxurious priority in America. Labor Day is a reminder of how and why we live, and it is the community of “US.”