Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, an excuse for a big barbecue party, and the day you stop wearing white. But originally it was a creation of the labor movement and dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers who have contributed to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. However you wish to honor it, we’ve got some suggestions on how to spend your first Monday of September. Have fun and Hello, Fall!
Labor Day BBQ at the Gazebo (Hamilton)
Grounds for Sculpture is usually closed on Mondays, but not on this one! Join the special Labor Day celebration with a barbecue at the Gazebo. This sounds like a perfect Labor Day—art, sculpture, culture, hot dogs, hamburgers, lemonade and ice cream. Admission to Grounds for Sculpture: Adults /$12, Seniors/ $10 Children (6-17)/$8 Members, Children (5 and under)/free. Call 609-586-0616 for more information.
Holiday Monday at Metropolitan Museum of Art
Another (slightly larger) place that’s usually closed on Mondays, the Met’s Main Building with select galleries, public restaurants and shops will be open from 9:30am to 5:30pm, and if you have kids aged 5 to 12, you might want to take advantage of the Holiday Monday Family Program at 11am with sketching and fun discussion for your little artist. Free with Museum admission of
$20/Adults, $15/Seniors, $10/Students and children under 12 (accompanied by an adult) Free. Call 212-535-7710 for more info.
South Plainfield 53rd Annual Labor Day Parade
One of the oldest and biggest parades in NJ featuring bagpipers, clowns, girl scouts, boy scouts, home-made floats, and marching bands. There’s also a 5K run, a fitness walk and music and fireworks at night. Call 732-226-7601 for more info.
Rutherford Labor Day Street Fair
The 35th year of the largest and longest running street fair in New Jersey, annually attracting over 25,000 people. Antique dealers, craft vendors, live music, face painting, sand art, and brand new this year, the Aetna Healthy Living Food Fight Northeast Regional Cook-off with the winner going on to a national cook-off.
10am to 5pm. Call 201-460-8335 for more information.
Medford Lake Labor Day Parade
The annual Lake Pine Day Parade featuring clowns, fire trucks, police cars, bands, decorated bikes, strollers, bagpipe bands and (be still, my heart) Miss Lake Pine. Followed by the Fair, which means food and fun for kids and parents. Parade starts at 10am.
Call 856-983-9758 for more info.
Labor Day Picnic for Gloucester County 4-H Fairgrounds
The Gloucester County 4-H Fair Association is holding a family-friendly Labor Day picnic to raise funds for the fairgrounds. For only $10 a carload you get hamburgers and hot dogs, face painting, a petting zoo, pony rides and Susie McEntire (that’s right, Reba’s sister) as your headliner. From 1pm to 6pm.
Labor Day West Indian Carnival Parade (Brooklyn)
Possibly the most famous Labor Day Parade on the east coast (and with absolutely no connection to Labor Day itself), the West Indian Carnival Parade has been around since the 1940’s.
Carribean immigrants and descendants come together to proudly celebrate their culture, creativity, and ingenuity with masquerade dancers, floats of popular Caribbean steel pan bands, and a parade route lined with Caribbean cuisine and crafts. Starts at noon at Schenectady Avenue and Eastern Parkway.