A Brief History of Labor DayWith A Few Weekend Day-Trip Ideas


Labor Day weekend is usually the last “hoorah!” of summer fun – the last trip to the cottage, the last BBQ with friends and family – but only for the season. Although Labor Day tends to bring on feelings of end-of-the-summer blues, a brief history of Labor Day might lift your spirits.

The first Labor Day was celebrated September 5, 1882 in New York City, planned by the Central Labor Union. During the Industrial Revolution, the Central Labor Union encouraged similar organizations in other cities to follow what NYC was doing because of the rough working conditions in factories and mines. Over time, the amount of industrial centers in the country that participated increased.

As a result of the increased interest, on September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers marched from City Hall to Union Square in NYC to show the public the strength and spirit of labor organizations in the community. This parade became the first official Labor Day parade in United States history.

On June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act to make the first Monday in September a legal holiday, which is what we know and love today. Labor Day is, and always has been, a celebration of the achievements of the American worker – achievements that contribute to the nation’s freedom and leadership.

IMG_8648-EditPeople work hard and sometimes need that glorious, extra day at the end of the summer to begin preparing for autumnal excitement.

Whether you’re using the holiday weekend to do errands, catch up on sleep, or have fun, be sure to at least check out these day-trip ideas, and possibly begin planning your weekend!

Michigan Renaissance Festival

12600 Dixie Highway Holly, MI 48442

The Michigan Renaissance Festival started in August and runs through October. Labor Day festivities include stage acts by dance ensembles and theater performers, live music, arts and crafts showcase, beer tastings and competition, and jousting matches.

Detroit International Jazz Festival

660 Woodward Ave., Suite 13 Detroit, MI 48226

The Detroit International Jazz Festival is a free, Labor Day weekend tradition held along the Detroit River. You can enjoy listening to music, educational workshops and presentations in the Jazz Talk Tent, and watch a fireworks show over the river at night.


Michigan State Fair

Friday, 9/4 – Monday, 9/7, 2015
46100 Grand River Ave., Novi, MI 48374

The original Michigan State Fair in Detroit in 1849 was one of the first statewide fair events to take place in the United States. The Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair supports the ongoing development of agriculture, small business, and family entertainment, while preserving the traditions of the original State Fair. 

Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk

St. Ignace Visitors Bureau, 6 Spring St., Suite 100, Saint Ignace, MI 49781

The annual 5-mile walk across the Mackinac Bridge occurs on Labor Day, the only day of the year pedestrians are allowed to walk on the bridge. Walkers can begin walking at 7am and can start up until 11am. Walkers begin in St. Ignace at the north end of the Bridge and walk south. The walk is one-way, and bus transportation is available to return you to St. Ignace until 2:30pm. No fees or registration.

Thumbfest 2015

Main Street in Downtown Lexington, Lexington, MI 48450

ThumbFest Website
Free family-friendly acoustic music festival from 11am-10pm on Saturday, September 5, 2015. With multiple stages throughout downtown Lexington, Michigan, there will be all genres of acoustic music including Celtic, PanWorld, bluegrass, New Orleans brass, roots, rock, and Americana. Free shuttle, free parking.

Michigan Chicken Wing Festival

300 N. Grand Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933

The festival will feature a wing eating and tasting contest, VIP Beer & Wine Tent, Kids Zone with lots of activities, and a variety of bands – pop, soft rock, blues, R&B, gospel, hip-hop, and jazz. Free admission. $10 for VIP Tent.


Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad

6140 Bray Rd, Flint, MI 48505

Crossroads Village Website
Want to stay more local? Ride the Huckleberry Railroad, catch a show at the Colwell Opera House, or learn a trade from one of the craftspeople. This is the last weekend for Crossroads Village before they start up with Halloween in October.


Comments are closed.