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Labor Day: In Honor of You

By Bethany Tap

iStock_000042177318_laborday96The first Monday of the month of September is always Labor Day. This year, you may be taking a mini vacation for the Labor Day weekend or just kicking back on September 3 (Labor Day). It’s a national holiday, so every full-time worker in America gets the day off. But why do we get a holiday? What are we celebrating? We’re celebrating America’s workers and the contributions they have made to make our country prosperous and strong. In other words, we’re celebrating you.

Originally celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City, the celebration became nationally recognized in 1894. Today, we often associate Labor Day weekend with trips to the beach, outdoor barbecues and grilling, parades, festivals and fairs, and even fireworks.

No matter where you are in the U.S., there is probably a Labor Day celebration near you. These celebrations vary widely and not all of them involve parades and fireworks (although many do, including Knoxville’s Boomsday fireworks celebration.)

If you’re an avid reader, greater Atlanta hosts the Decatur Book Festival  on Labor Day Weekend, and in D.C. you can attend the Library of Congress National Book Festival. And for the more active individuals, Virginia Beach hosts Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon, which also includes a 5K and Mile in the Sand run.

Other fun Labor Day events include beer and wine festivals, such as the Harvest Festival at First Colony Winery in Charlottesville, Virginia and the Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival in Houston, Texas.

There are also music festivals (such as the Patsy Cline Music Fest in Winchester, VA) where you can celebrate any type of music you like, from folk to jazz. There are art festivals and even a hot air balloon festival in the Atlanta area. There are county fairs with pageants and pet shows and parades. There are even craft festivals, such as the Mile High Kite & Craft Festival on Beech Mountain. You wouldn’t believe the variety of things that people can celebrate on Labor Day. It is as varied as the types of jobs we work.

Labor Day also marks the beginning of the NFL and college football seasons, but there’s still time for the baseball fans to catch a game on the weekend. Even if going to festivals or county fairs isn’t your thing, you can always kick up your feet and watch a game. Or you can celebrate Labor Day at the ballpark!

With all of these awesome activities to do, there’s no excuse not to do something on Labor Day. But remember, the most important part of this holiday is celebrating you as a worker, whether you’ve worked in the past and have retired, or work presently. You are the reason for Labor Day, a contributing member of society. So go hunker down and read a book, run a half marathon, drink a glass of wine or a beer, watch the fireworks, enjoy the parade or festival, or take yourself out to the ball game. There’s plenty to do and it’s all in honor of you!




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