For most of us, the phrase “Labor Day” usually means the last holiday opportunity to close out our summer with a bang. Cookouts; the final swimming pool party, and a long weekend as we slowly start heading into the Fall season with new colors and cooler temperatures.


Always celebrated on the first Monday of September, Labor Day commemorates the American Labor Movement. The holiday was created to honor and pay tribute to workers of strength of perseverance whose selfless efforts have added to the growth and prosperity of America.


However, Labor Day is celebrated in many different ways in the United States. Here are some of the most popular ones:


Mackinac Bridge Walk (Michigan) – In Michigan people walk the length of the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day for the 59th year. This tradition started in 1958. Around 50,000 to 65,000 people participate in this parade in an average year which is traditionally led by the Governor of Michigan. The participation in this walk increased in certain years when this was made a part of political events for gubernatorial or presidential elections.


Boomsday (Tennessee) – Organizers say this year will be the last “Boomsday” in Knoxville, Tennessee. Considered to be the largest Labor Day fireworks show, it attracts more than 325,000 spectators every year. The 28th annual event is ending due to a lack of corporate sponsorship.


Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival (Louisiana) – The Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival in the Louisiana State is a traditional Labor Day festival born during the 1930’s. The Gulf Coast Seafood Producers & Trappers Association organized this for the first time, to honor the ocean workers–shrimpers, oystermen, crab fishermen to frog and alligator hunters and dock workers. Louisiana comes alive every year with water events, arts and crafts exhibitions, fireworks and culinary shows.


Bumbershoot (Seattle, Washington) – Now in its 46th year, the Bumbershoot Art Festival takes place Labor Day weekend in Seattle, Washington. Since its golden days in the 1970’s, the place is a conglomeration of artists from around the world–writers, poets, dancers, musicians, actors and even acrobats take the center stage on the occasion of Labor Day. The event is held at the Seattle Center which spans 74 acres and which was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. With over 20 stages spread across the Center, the Labor Day celebration in Seattle definitely takes a creative edge over the rest!


Looking for some things to do in Washington, DC? Here’s a list of 18 different ways to celebrate Labor Day weekend in our nation’s capital:


(Flickr Photo by Michigan Fitness Foundation)