Hey Labor Day!
I just wanted to say thanks for a day off of school. Unfortunately, school starts before you arrive. That’s changed since your formation. Sorry about that. You no longer symbolize the end of summer and the start of school. But, we must not forget your original purpose. A long time ago, there was a conflict between the American working class and their employers. In the late 1800s, a boycott against the Pullman railway cars caused the federal government to dispatch soldiers to break up the strike (“Labor Day”). Riots broke out and many workers lost their lives. Finally, Congress realized the importance of having a day devoted to the working class (“Labor Day”). Thus, Labor Day was born. You are celebrated the first Monday in September, a federal holiday. You are the much needed break between summer and Thanksgiving. So what can we do during this wonderful time you have brought us?
Well, what most people have done in the past is to hold a parade! In fact, “on September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history” (“Labor Day”). Businesses, schools, and organizations build floats and line up one by one to proceed slowly through the center of town. Some floats have moving parts, are covered in twinkle lights, or simply feature music and a few signs. It is not uncommon for food trucks or restaurants to cater food to these events. The folks of the town and those coming to see the festivities often bring foldable chairs and position themselves side-by-side along the edges of the road. After the parade, most families simply return home and enjoy the rest of your holiday before returning to school or work the next day.
Sometimes, Labor Day, neighbors converge on a cul-de-sac and have a cookout! This is my favorite way to spend your holiday. All the grills are brought out, and meat is cooked and smoked. Burgers, hot dogs, sausage, or anything that can be cooked is on the grill. Those who don’t grill make the side dishes: beans, coleslaw, potato salad, fries, and fruit salad. And don’t get me started on the desserts, probably the best part in my opinion: cake, cupcakes, ice cream, brownies, cookies, and special concoctions with pudding. This is a great way for everyone in a neighborhood to come together and mingle. And the best part is that the food is basically free!
There are many more options that people can choose from to celebrate time off from school/work. Whatever they choose, though, your holiday is a wonderful siesta/fiesta from the grueling effects of education.
Each and every year we welcome you back with open arms and relaxed minds. We won’t forget all you do for us, Labor Day.
“Labor Day.” History.com. 2010. 26 Apr. 2016.
Written by Maddison