Welcome to Labor Day weekend and the unofficial end of summer! Some take those last short vacations, others have barbecues with friends and families. But how many people know the history behind Labor Day?
When a holiday with a history comes up, I like to ask my oldest daughter, who is 14, if she knows why we celebrate the holiday and how the holiday came about. I just don’t want her or any of my kids thinking Memorial Day is a day solely for picnics and barbecues and Christmas is about a tree and receiving gifts.
Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September to honor the American labor movement, which was dedicated to the social and economic achievements made by American workers to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country. The first Labor Day Parade was held in New York City in 1887 and was organized by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor. Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day an official Public holiday in 1887, and by 1894, thirty states made Labor Day official.
Today, unions are on the decline, for many reasons. Personally, I believe in unions, and what they say, so long they are run with honesty and integrity. I grew up where my Dad was a teamster and a shop steward. By definition he was part of the foundation of the union – elected by his coworkers to represent them while dealing with management and negotiating collective bargaining negotiations.
Now for the fun stuff…. Labor Day Freebies and Deals:
Blue Star Museums: Blue Star Museums is a collaborations between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families the DoD, and many museums across America and participating museums offer free admission to our Active Duty Military, National Guard, and Reservists and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Baskin Robbins: On September 2, you can get a FREE sample (3.5 oz.) of the Pumpkin Cheesecake Cappuccino Blast (at participating locations).
Dairy Queen: Get a FREE Blizzard on Labor Day just by downloading the Dairy Queen App on your phone.
Olive Garden: Not exactly a Labor Day special, but, they are running a But-One-Take-One Special, starting at $12.99. Buy one meal for dine-in and get a second entree to take home FREE. Ends 09/23
Sonic: Through Labor Day, American Classic Meals are only $2.99. American Classic Meals include either a hot dog, a quarter pound double cheese burger or chili cheese coney with medium tots. Also, Sonic Nights ends Labor Day so get your half-priced shakes, floats and ice cream slushes after 8pm while you still can.
Wendy’s: For a limited time only, get yourself a Frosty for just fifty cents.
And if you live in the Tampa, FL area, here are some FREE activity ideas:
Downtown Clearwater Art Walk: Cleveland Street, Clearwater, 6-9pm: Take a stroll down Clearwater’s Cleveland Street as you sip, eat, and enjoy beautiful art. Drink and menu specials will be offered and some locations will also have vibrant live music.
Gecko Fest: Beach Boulevard, Gulfport, 10am-10pm: The waterfront village streets will be filled with two stages with live music, hundreds of food, arts and crafts vendors, childrens’ activities, as well as acrobats, magicians, daredevils, aerialists, escape artists, fire eaters, and balloon artists. This year’s theme is “Gecko-Con,” celebrating superheroes, villians, cult characters, and imaginary locations these characters live in.