Labor day is a statutory holiday celebrated on the first Monday of September throughout Canada and the US. While the rest of the world celebrates it at the beginning of May, we are the only two countries that celebrate in September! Let’s be honest, Labor Day is basically the last weekend of summer — one last chance for a little weekend getaway or pool party before back to school. Let’s take a look at some standout Labor Day celebrations across North America!
For a fun family event, head down to Trout Lake for a picnic! There will be booths, children’s entertainment, such as face painting and balloons, speeches and a BBQ from noon until 5 pm. Another fun weekend activity is the Richmond Night Market — from weird eats to live performances and fun vendors, there is a fair share of activities to entertain yourself! Finally, there’s always the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), which is a huge fair in Vancouver. Bring out your inner child and have fun at the fair!
Montreal is known for all kinds of free activities in the summer, especially on Labor Day weekend! Relax, play and picnic in the green spaces and parks such as Mount Royal or Parc la Fontaine. For the foodies, head to the Olympic village and experience “Festival Viet” — a Vietnamese street food festival happening from 4 to 11 pm on Friday, September 2nd! Or how about a Backstreet Boys concert on Saturday at the Bell Centre? Whether you’re looking for outdoor fun, entertainment or simply a long weekend of relaxation, Labor Day weekend in Montreal is the perfect opportunity to explore what the city has to offer and soak up summer in September!
In honour of Labor day, the Toronto and York Region Labor Council are celebrating with a parade on Queen Street West, starting at 9:30 am. This year is the 150th anniversary of labor marching in the streets of Toronto, therefore the theme is “150 Years Together”. In addition to the parade, this weekend is full of musical talent! My Chemical Romance, James Bay, Wu-Tang Clan and Florence and the Machine are all performing in Toronto this long weekend — you don’t want to miss it!
New York City, NY
Labor day weekend in NYC is the last summer hurrah. It’s the last chance to truly enjoy all the good things summer has to offer—rooftop bars, beaches, pristine pools and beautiful parks. If music is your thing, why not snag tickets to the Electric Zoo Festival, an EDM lover’s dream! For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, why not spend the day on Governor’s Island? It’s completely car-free, making cycling a breeze, AND there are acres of open land which is hard to come by in Manhattan. For the sports fan in you, grab some passes to the U.S. Open in Queens! The last grand slam tennis tournament of the season guarantees some fabulous matches (and lots of beer!)
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Last but certainly not least, we have one of the most beautiful seaside destinations on the East Coast. Close to Cape Cod, “The Vineyard” is a great place to spend your last summer weekend. With its endless seafood, charming inns and cute shops it’s a great mix of relaxation and celebration. Martha’s Vineyard also hosts the annual Labor Day Weekend Festival, featuring unique furniture, clothing, ceramics, jewelry and fine art, all made by the island’s top artisans!
Written by: Sacha Vincent-Toskin