Labor Day 2012 – A Day To Celebrate Our Workers

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Vendors are just one of the many dozens of attractions that bring more than 10,000 people to Bergman Park in Jamestown each Labor Day Weekend for the annual Labor Day Festival.

“Fireworks are an art form that uses the whole night sky for its canvas,” said world famous Texan fireworks artist, Larry Crump.

On Sunday, September 2, at Bergman Park, the Jamestown Parks Department will once again paint the night sky with a fabulous fireworks display. The evening extravaganza will be presented by Zambelli Fireworks Internationale at 9:00 p.m.

“The first time I saw the Jamestown Labor Day Festival show, I decided I’d never seen a fireworks display before,” said Julia Ciesla-Hanley, Jamestown Parks Department Recreation Coordinator, after she relocated to Jamestown from the Rochester, New York area.

The show will top off a day of festival food, fun and games at the 33rd annual Labor Day Festival, the only one of its kind in all of Chautauqua County.

Jamestown’s Mayor Sam Teresi, describing the 2012 Labor Day Festival, said, “The committee has once again promised that this festival will be bigger and better than any of the events before it.”

Balloon Man will once again be at the labor day festival, making various balloon animals for kids.

Labor Day was created by a rare unanimous vote in the United States Congress, and immediately signed into law by President Grover Cleveland, in 1894, as a celebration of the economic and social contributions of American workers to their country. The American Federation of Labor, in 1909, designated the Sunday before Labor Day as Labor Sunday, dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement. Unofficially, however, Labor Day also opens the NFL and college football seasons for fans everywhere and heralds the end of summer.

Labor Day is always a high point in government and labor relations. Mayor Teresi is a strong supporter of both the Labor Day Festival and the continued development of the region’s skilled and seasoned workforce. “The Labor Day Festival has become one of the best, if not the best, family activity every year in the Jamestown region,” Teresi said. “Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley, Parks Manger John Williams, the planning committee and the entire Parks Department do a wonderful job outdoing themselves every year.”

Festival food this year will feature at least 35 different kinds of treats, from snacks to meals, from soul to Hispanic and from cotton candy to fresh baked pies… and nearly everything delicious in between. “You can count on the best food around,” promised Dorlynda Miktuk, of the Chautauqua County Health Department.

Beginning a few weeks before the Festival every year, Miktuk and her staff work closely with every food vendor. “The food at the Festival is as wholesome and carefully prepared

as at the best restaurants anywhere in the county,” Miktuk said with obvious pride. “The Health Department standards are very high for our Festival vendors, and they always hit the mark.”

The 18 Festival vendors unite every year to financially assist non-profit, community organizations. They each contribute a significant percentage of their net profits to their chosen organizations. Festival goers can support their favorite group or association while enjoying treats and delights at every stand. Additional Festival proceeds are used to directly fund the annual festival activities with the goal of making the event self-supporting, according to Ciesla-Hanley.

The event will also include two music stages featuring the unique stylings of Two For Flinching and Tiny B, an arts and crafts fair, kids games and the food concessions. Arts and crafts open at 11 a.m., food and music start at 12:00 noon. The Jamestown Area Central Labor Council AFL-CIO will present a deserving member of the area workforce the George Ritzer Labor Award at 4 p.m. on the main stage.

“I encourage all residents to come down to the Labor Day Festival,” Mayor Terisi added. “Not only does Labor Day provide a valuable opportunity to spend time with family and friends, but even more importantly, it provides a chance for us to honor the men and women who, over the years, have built and maintained this city and our nation. Our local workers widely recognized as the very best in the nation.”

Jamestown Parks Manager, John Williams, says he needs six parks workers working all week before the event to prepare Bergman Park, a dozen working an 18-hour day for the Festival and a detail on the job for the following week for clean-up. “It’s hard work for all of us,” Williams said, “but we love it. It is an event we all enjoy and support.”

Sponsors of the Labor Day Festival include the City of Jamestown, YNN Jamestown, Media One Group, H. Jack’s Plumbing, Ahlstrom-Schaeffer, Pepsi of Jamestown, IBEW Local 106, and Jamestown Area Central Labor Council AFL-CIO.

Jamestown Gazette readers can learn more at the City of Jamestown website www.jamestownny.net.

Organizations Benefitted by Festival Vendors

  • Cub Scout Pac #115
  • CV Bush School PTA
  • Eastside Family YMCA
  • Eastside Fellowship
  • Kidder Memorial Church
  • Jamestown Babe Ruth World Series
  • Jamestown Harmony Express
  • Jamestown High School Marching Band
  • Jamestown Labor Day Fest
  • Juneteenth Festival
  • Lillian Dickson Park
  • Mt. Moriah Lodge 145
  • Nat’l Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • Optimist Club
  • Sertoma Club
  • Southwestern Wrestling
  • United Way