Labor Day marks the final three day weekend of the summer for workers. For most students, Labor Day weekend is the last weekend before they return to school. In many parts of the country, it’s the last, or nearly the last, weekend of warm, summer weather suitable for outdoor activities such as going to the beach.
So Labor Day weekend is not to be wasted. It’s a time to get out of the house and be active. For some people, it’s the ideal time for some short traveling.
Need some ideas for where to go and what to see on Labor Day? Here are a few options to consider, from a variety of destinations around the United States:
1. Bumbershoot, Seattle, Washington
Located at the Seattle Center and spilling out into surrounding areas, Bumbershoot is the Pacific Northwest’s biggest nonprofit concert and arts festival. Events range from popular musical acts such as Gladys Knight, Foo Fighters, and Bob Dylan, to short films, comedy, stunts, and more. See the Bumbershoot website for details.
2. Catfish Festival, Kingsland, Georgia
Kingsland, Georgia is a coastal town on the Florida border, two hours south of Savannah, and forty minutes north of Jacksonville. From its humble beginnings in 1983 in a church parking lot, Kingsland’s annual festival now draws 65,000 people to its parade; music; arts, crafts, antique, and collectibles booths (only handcrafted, original wares allowed); and dozens of food vendors (featuring southern fried catfish meals of course). See the Kingsland website for more details.
And don’t forget to say hello to popular mascot Cecil the Catfish while you’re there.
3. Concert at the U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC
The National Symphony Orchestra performs on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend each year on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, or inside the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in case of inclement weather. The concert is one of multiple events throughout September that make up the Kennedy Center Prelude Festival, kicking off the new performing arts season in the nation’s capital. For more information, call the NSO hotline at 202-416-8113.
4. Daniel Boone Pioneer Festival, Winchester, Kentucky
Winchester’s annual festival, in the Lexington area Friday evening through Sunday of Labor Day weekend, features a wide array of events. As a partial list, you can choose from among street dances, arts and crafts booths, a 5K run, an area for antique appraisals, paintball, fireworks, and multiple musical acts. More information can be found at the festival’s website.
5. West Indian American Day Parade & Carnival, New York, New York
Site of the first ever Labor Day parade in 1882 before Labor Day was even an official holiday, there’s never a shortage of things to do in New York, on Labor Day or otherwise. In addition to the modern version of that parade put on by the New York City Central Labor Council, an increasingly popular Labor Day event in recent years is the West Indian American Day Parade & Carnival in Brooklyn.
2 to 4 million people turn out for the all day festivities. Enjoy the parade, the musical acts, the costumes, and the food celebrating the culture of the Caribbean islands. More details are available at the carnival website.
These are but a few possibilities to give you an idea of some of what is out there. You might prefer longstanding favorites like the beach or an amusement park for your Labor Day fun. But whatever destination you choose, make it an enjoyable and memorable weekend for the family.
Sheridan Alexander, “Labor Day Weekend Events and Festivals in the Southeast.” About.com.
Rachel Cooper, “Labor Day Weekend Events 2010 in the Washington, DC Area.” About.com.
“Labor Day Events in the United States.” eHow.