Labor Day Weekend

by Susanna Hamilton, Contributing Editor on August 30, 2013

Labor Day
Labor Day weekend is thought of as the beginning of some things and the end of others.  It marks the end of summer with a three-day Holiday, it marks the start of a new school year, the climax of baseball season and the start of football season.

For retailers, Labor Day weekend is another great opportunity to lure shoppers with all sorts of special promotions on anything from school supplies to electronic gadgets and the ever popular end of model year sales on automobiles.

Labor Day was first observed on September 5, 1882 to celebrate contributions made by American workers. It was only in 1894 that it became a Federal holiday, being celebrated each year on the first Monday of September.

There are still podiums that go up for speeches to be made on the plight of workers, but few people associate Labor Day with the politics of employment.  It has rather become a holiday for workers to enjoy a three-day weekend and a well earned break from work as well as to celebrate new beginnings.

Taking Part in Labor Day Activities:

Americans celebrate this holiday in a variety of ways.  In a lot of smaller towns, the day is often marked with a town parade and a huge Labor Day picnic for all.

In larger cities, there are normally a variety of activities and celebrations taking place in various locations throughout the city.  In Los Angeles, for instance.. Labor Day week-end traditionally marks the beginning of the Los Angeles County Fair, the largest county fair in North America.

Good times are had by all in attending the fair over Labor Day weekend.. enjoying horse racing, wine tasting, good food and shopping.. as well as end-of-summer concerts.

A Time for Family:

Family picnics are more common due to this being the week-end which symbolizes the end of the warm summer sunshine and the beginning of cooler fall weather.  It is a great time to have a picnic, a kind of end-of-summer bash marking the end of one season and the beginning of another.

Most family picnics tend to be backyard barbecues with picnic foods like hamburgers, hot dogs, beans, chips and potato salad. This pretty much tends to be the preferred way we enjoy celebrating Labor Day weekend with friends and relatives.

Some of my fondest memories of when I was a child are recalling family Labor Day picnics. Both of my parents came from large families, and this end-of-summer celebration was by far the largest of all our summer barbecues.  The group included nearly two dozen aunts and uncles from both sides of the family, as well as at least 50 cousins of all ages.

All the families met at a huge park.. which was by a river and had lots of big shade trees and plenty of picnic tables. Everyone brought lots of food.. the younger kids played on the swings, teeter-totters and jungle gyms.. while the women sat and talked in the shade of the beautiful big trees. The older kids and the men went down to the river to enjoy a cool splash in the water or to catch some fish.. Good Times!

Spend Time at the Beach:

There are also a lot of activities that revolve around beaches.. whether it is a beach down by the river, a beach at the lake, or a beach on the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, Puget Sound or wherever.

These being the last days of summer, a lot of people take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the sun, sand and water one more time before cooler weather sets in.  Many people see beaches as some of the best places to celebrate holidays and weekends, and especially the end of summer.

Get Out of Town for Labor Day:

Many people enjoy getting out of town for the Labor Day weekend.  Nascar fans may enjoy going to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Nascar races.  Some other popular weekend vacation spots include Charleston, Houston, Orlando, Seattle, San Diego and the inimitable but clichéd Las Vegas.

Cancun and San Juan, of course, are always popular travel destinations, particularly as the cooler fall weather approaches in the US.  Personally, I feel that if I am going to travel that far.. I would like to spend more than 3 days.

The main thing is to try to make the most of this long three-day weekend.  Enjoy it in whatever manner makes you happy, in celebrating the end of one season and the ushering in of another.

 

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