Celebrating Labor Day in the Finger Lakes

Regardless of what the weather man predicted, he just couldn’t spoil Labor Day weekend this year and on Labor Day we took advantage of a perfect summer afternoon and headed to Wolffy’s Grill and Marina near Seneca Falls, NY. There we just relaxed and took in all of the beautiful scenery along Seneca Lake, watching the boaters as they came in for some lunch.

Today’s Labor Day celebrations are kind of pale from the early days of the labor movement. The first Monday of September is a good time for most folks to enjoy one last mini-vacation at their cottage or to do some boating on the beautiful Finger Lakes, or to have a picnic at one of the New York State Parks located here in the Finger Lakes. Soon their children will be returning to school or to their college. The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City. Matthew McGuire first proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York. In 1884, the celebration was held on the first Monday of September and was known as the “workmen’s’ holiday.”  The idea spread across the country with the growth of the labor unions.

If you have the chance, visit the old Phelps Hotel in Phelps, NY. There in the lobby, they have a beautiful old picture of a celebration that took place at the Hotel in the late 1800’s. The people were all dressed up, celebrating in the street and from the balconies of the Hotel. I guessed that it was a 4th of July celebration, but no, it was a Labor Day celebration!

Labor Day 2014 has come and gone, but here in the Finger Lakes, we are entering into the best time of the year when the lakes, the farms, and the trees will be showing off their magnificent colors. It’s a show you don’t want to miss!

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