Labor Day 2016 arrives the first Monday in September, marking the end of the summer season. It's the perfect occasion to relax, have some fun in the sun, and take time to gear up for a soon-to-arrive fall and holiday season. Perhaps it's ironic that a day recognizing working folks is one of the best days to take time away from the office and enjoy the last gasp of summer.
The date of Labor Day changes every year, leading many people to ask when is Labor Day weekend. The federal holiday is always September's first Monday. Labor Day had its start in the Industrial Revolution, honoring the men, women, and children who drove the engine of the economy. As the Labor Movement was growing, the need for Labor Day was evident. The Central Labor Union, one America's first and biggest unions, hosted the first Labor Day on September 5, 1882. The day was turned into a Federal Holiday in 1894, passed into law just six days after a contentious strike by Pullman railroad workers. In the years since, Labor Day has become less about unions and industry and more of a time for everyone to relax.
Labor Day Festivals
Many communities use Labor Day as a reason to host a festival, and 2016 Labor Day weekend is no exception. Tanglewood, the performing arts venue in The Berkshires , Massachusetts, hosts an end-of-summer jazz festival. The summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra comes alive with music, bringing some of the biggest names in jazz to its bucolic setting. The weekend also includes a food and wine festival. For more than 40 years, the town of Mammoth Lakes in Central California has hosted the Labor Day Festival of the Arts. One of the most popular Labor Day festivals is also one of the most scenic. The festival's forest setting is located about six hours to the north of Los Angeles and about 5-7 hours from the San Francisco Bay Area. These are just a few examples of Labor Day festivals. Many towns have parades or events of their own.
Labor Day Travel
Once the end of summer arrives, many travelers use Labor Day as a time to travel. Beaches from Florida’s South Beach Miami up to the Jersey Shore fill with swimmers and sunbathers, while parks draw picnickers and amusement parks attract thrill seekers. Still others book last-minute getaways to national parks, ready to enjoy one last getaway before school and work concerns start winning the day. Labor Day travel could be an afternoon getaway as much as a full-fledged vacation.
Labor Day Vacations
Labor Day is a fantastic time to visit the major beach towns for a quick beach vacation. It's still warm in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, and other Florida destinations. Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach welcome Labor Day travelers with open arms. Farther to the north, the beaches of New York, Martha’s Vineyard, and Massachusetts enjoy a weekend of fun and swimming before fall settles on the coast.
Over on the West Coast, you're almost guaranteed nice weather along the Southern California shore. Of course, it's always nice in San Diego , but you can expect good beach weather whether you want to visit along the coast. Campgrounds from San Diego to Seattle fill up quickly, so you'll want to make your reservations quickly if you want to camp this weekend. Of course, Labor Day vacations don't have to involve the beach. Plenty of inland cities are fantastic over Labor Day weekend, typically free of the heat of summer or the chill of fall. Many of the hotels in chic destinations like Chicago , Denver, and New York City offer great hotel deals to entice visitors during the last weekend of summer.