Labor Day, which began as a workingman’s holiday, will be celebrated on Monday, September 3. The Labor Day holiday began in New York City in 1882.
On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers paraded from City Hall past reviewing stands to 42nd Street. The workers and their families then celebrated with a picnic in the park, a concert and speeches.
In 1894, Congress passed legislation which made the first Monday in September a legal holiday. This day is still celebrated in much the same way and also is the unofficial kick-off to the political season leading into the November elections.
If Labor Day snuck up on you this year and you haven’t yet made plans, here are some ways you can celebrate in Lynchburg and in other parts of central Virginia.
It’s probably too late to find a campsite at most of the Virginia State Parks, but you can always have a campout in your own back yard. Set up the tent, cook on the grill, bring out sleeping bags and enjoy a night under the stars without ever leaving home. It will be a great adventure for the kids.
Everyone loves a parade. Although Lynchburg doesn’t hold a Labor Day parade, the 2012 Labor Day Parade and Festival will be held only an hour away in downtown Roanoke on Saturday, September 1, starting at 11 a.m.
The parade route will follow Jefferson Street and there will be festival events following the parade from noon until 5 p.m. Visit the Labor Day website above for more information.
Celebrate with a Labor Day block party. Host a party for your family and friends in your back yard and have each family bring a covered dish. Cook up some burgers and hot dogs. Have the kids decorate their bikes with red, white and blue streamers and have a bike parade. If you have a pool, you will be ready for a dip. If not, hook up the sprinkler for some old-fashioned fun. Read more ideas for a Labor Day block party at the link above.
Host a traditional Labor Day cookout with burgers and hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, chips and a flag cake to celebrate the freedom enjoyed in America. Play patriotic music and enjoy lawn games including cornhole, relay races and more.
Take a trip to a great East Coast beach. Click on the link to see my list of top 10 East Coast beaches. If you’re like most families, you will have three days off so why not hit the beach.
Celebrate Lynchburg’s history and visit the Lynchburg Museum, located at 901 Court Street. The museum and Point of Honor, located at 112 Cabell Street, will both offer free admission on Labor Day, September 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Spend Saturday on the slopes. It’s too early for ski season at Virginia’s ski resorts but it’s never too early at Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, located atop Candlers Mountain. Snowflex will hold a free community day on Saturday, September 1 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. There will be free skiing, snowboarding and tubing for all. There will also be bouncy houses for the kids, face painting, balloon animals and food. The bouncy houses will end at 5 p.m. so come early with the kids and enjoy a free day of fun.
Enjoy a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Early signs of fall have begun on the Parkway. Stop at the Peaks of Otter, one of the favorite attractions in our area.
On Saturdays in September, there will be mountain music at the Peaks of Otter Amphitheater, located at MP 86. On September 1, Appalachian Heritage will perform from 3-5 p.m. and Blackwater Creek String Band will perform from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Bring your chairs and enjoy some free mountain music.
On your way to the Peaks, take a detour to the Peaks of Otter Winery, located at 2122 Sheep Creek Road in Bedford. On September 1 from noon to 5 p.m., you can learn all about apples, let the kids see farm animals and enjoy free wine tastings.
Visit a Virginia State Park. There are 35 of them throughout the state. The closest four to Lynchburg are Smith Mountain Lake State Park in Huddleston, James River State Park in Gladstone, Holliday Lake State Park near Appomattox and High Bridge Trail State Park near Farmville.
There are special Labor Day Weekend activities at all of the parks including a blue moon bridge crossing and a Labor Day bike ride at High Bridge Trail, a canoe paddle and a wagon ride at James River, swimming and boat rentals at Holliday Lake and Smith Mountain Lake and much more. Check out all of the events at the Virginia State Park website.
So there you have it, a lot of ideas for great ways to spend the Labor Day weekend in Lynchburg and central Virginia. Check out the links below for more fun ways to enjoy the last days of summer.