Area Labor Day Festivities
Labor Day means a lot of different things to different people.
In the U.S., it’s celebrated the first Monday in September. Officially, it is a celebration of the American Labor Movement. As with a lot of holidays, it had turbulent beginnings. It came about following the deaths of a number of workers during the Pullman Strike. President Grover Cleveland signed the holiday into law just six days after the conclusion of the strike.
The strike, involving the nation’s railways, shut down much of the freight and passenger trains west of Detroit.
Over the years, Labor Day is recognized as the symbolic end of summer. In high society, it was considered the last day of the year when it was fashionable to wear white or seersucker.
Now, most people consider it to be summer’s last hurrah. Historically, school districts did not resume classes following their summer breaks until after Labor Day.
For many families, it is their last chance to take a summer trip. For thousands, it’s their last chance of the summer to visit the nation’s waterways. It has also become a huge shopping day, with many stores reporting sales second only to Christmas.
Communities throughout Southeast Missouri celebrate the holiday with parades and festivals.
In addition to the Williamsville Labor Day Weekend celebrations, the following activities are available in different communities:
Doniphan’s Parade on Saturday
Doniphan is one of those communities. It will host its annual Labor Day Parade and events on Saturday. The parade route will focus on Doniphan’s downtown area and will follow its usual route.
The Heritage Homestead will be open that morning with blacksmith demonstrations and tours of the property. Food and game vendors will be around the courthouse starting at 9 a.m., and music will be at Heritage Park. The Ripley County Farmer’s Market will be open for business on Grand Avenue from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The parade begins at 10 a.m. with this year’s theme being “There’s No Place Like Home”. Floats, antique cars, horses, political candidates, schools, wagons, and tractors make up the parade.
Last minute vendors are still welcomed, contact Alice Mickey Shelton at 573-996-2212 for more information.
Advance on Monday
Also holding special Labor Day festivities this Monday is Advance, which is hosting a parade that begins at 10 a.m. A carnival will be held at the Advance City Park, with carnival rides for the kids, food vendors, plus a motorcycle and car show.
The junior pageant for little girls and boys will begin at noon, with the Miss Advance Pageant to follow.
Van Buren Weekend Activities
Teresa Lee, of KC’s on the Current, says the extremely hot weather the last couple of weeks, surprisingly, has not really increased their numbers of floaters on Current River.
“Once school starts, people tend to slow down on their summer floats,” she said.
But camping reservations for the summer are up, already ahead of their numbers through Labor Day for last year. She hopes people busy with all their other plans will also make time for at least one more float trip for the summer.
“It’s the perfect way to top off the summer,” Lee said.
Tom Bedell, of The Landing at Van Buren, confirmed this summer has been a good one for them as well.
“We had quite a bit of rain in June, so that slowed things down a bit at the beginning of the summer. But July and August have been hot, so that has been very good for us,” said Bedell. “I expect this weekend we will put nearly 2,000 people on the river.”
Also in Van Buren on Saturday will be an exhibit of “Artistic Treasures from the Ozarks” at Integrative Medicine Clinic at 110 Main Street.
Vickie Glassman says the event will go from 9 a.m. To 5 p.m. Music will be provided by Pride Wilder and the Vine Street Jazz Band. Wine from Horst Vineyards will be served along with fruit, cheese and sweets.
Area artists who will be featured at the event include, Kim Musser of Doniphan; Jim Poterfield of Jonesboro, Ark.; Jo Hoagland of Van Buren; Ted Herlofson of Birch Tree; Ruth McKee of Piedmont; and Jack Gremore of Van Buren.
Ellsinore Friday & Saturday
The Labor Day Festivities are scheduled for 8/29 and 8/30.