Federally destined to be observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day is summer’s last hoorah. Travelers to America’s Midwest have a wide array of choices when looking to attend fun Labor Day parades and festivals.
Illinois: Last Fling and Labor Day Parade in Naperville
The parade starts promptly at 10 a.m. on Labor Day in downtown Naperville. Head to the corner of Mill and Ogden Streets. The Last Fling festivities act as a fundraiser for the Naperville Jaycees and begin on August 31. Tickets range in cost from $10 to $15. On parade day, a children’s carnival will operate between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Access to Family Fun Land is free. Enjoy the antics of the Spoon Man, watch mallard ducks race and get up close and personal with reptiles. Lots of food rounds out the event.
What About Small Town, USA?
Naperville is a larger city in the Midwest, but some of the best Labor Day parades, festivals and festivities take place in locales that are usually not mentioned in travel guides.
Indiana: Little Italy Festival in Clinton
Festivities begin on August 31 at 5 p.m. On Monday, the entertainment goes from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. There will be a lot of Italian dancing and singing. At 12:30 p.m., a pizza-eating contest tests the mettle of those who believe they can make the pies disappear quickly. At 3:30 p.m., grape stomping activities let you get purple and work off some of the pizza. Head over to the corner of Main and Vine Streets to revel in these festivities.
Iowa: 102nd Annual Community Celebration in Essex
Get up between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., and head over to the Fire Station on 410 Iowa Avenue for a hearty pancake and sausage breakfast. An antique and classic car show goes on between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the downtown area. The Labor Day parade lines up at 10 a.m. at Anderson Park. Of course, the real crowd pleaser is the demolition derby on the northeast corner of Essex. Pay $10 to view the daredevils in full-sized or compact cars.
Kansas: 116th Annual Labor Day Celebration in Hoisington
Kickoff for the festivities is on August 30 with a 5 p.m. community barbeque at the Hoisington Activity Center. If you are just looking for something fun to do on Labor Day itself, visit the Activity Center at 7:30 a.m. for a 5K race. A children’s parade begins marching at 10:10 a.m. on Main Street. By 10:30 a.m., the crowd is warmed up and the official Labor Day parade heads down Main Street. Special crowd pleasers are DWTA helicopter rides departing from the high school football field and the 3 p.m. beer identification contest put on by the Knights of Columbus.
Michigan: Peach Festival in Romeo
A children’s parade starts out on Main Street at 10 a.m. Between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., visit the Frontier Town Arts and Craft Show on 67300 Van Dyke. Since you probably came for the peaches, do not forget to pick up a Mike & Ruth’s Hilltop Farm no-preservative peach pie; a stand will be set up in front of downtown’s Citizen Bank. The VFW Post 2052 kicks off its official Peach Festival Parade at 1 p.m. on Main Street.