Labor Day Festival Returns

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2016 Labor Day Fest Organizing Committee Holds Final Planning Meeting at Bergman Park.
2016 Labor Day Fest Organizing Committee Holds Final Planning Meeting at Bergman Park.
2016 Labor Day Fest Organizing Committee Holds Final Planning Meeting at Bergman Park.

Article Contributed by
Walt Pickut

Sunday, September 4 will be a day to honor our community’s labor force at The Greater Jamestown Labor Day Festival at Bergman Park. Jamestown’s Mayor Sam Teresi invites all to join the festivities.

The city’s 37th annual celebration of American workers will offer great food and drink for every taste, from morning munchies to Sunday lunch to afternoon treats ‘n snacks to all the right things for a sunset picnic dinner as the stars come out. “Pick your spot on the lawn in front of the main stage,” Mayor Teresi said. Get some food. Visit the vendors and crafters. It’s the best way to be right in the middle of all the action.”

A Full Day
The earliest event of the day will be the Chautauqua Striders’ annual Dan Feather Memorial 5k Run/Walk stepping off at 9:30 a.m. with registration starting at 8 a.m.

The Arts & Crafts fair begins at 11 a.m. This year it will feature more than 20 talented vendors from all across Western New York joined by additional vendors from Pennsylvania. All vendors and artisans will offer only hand-crafted items for sale, many of which are also one-of-a-kind.

The live music starts at noon and continues until 8:30 p.m. on Bergman Park’s two stages, provided by eight popular local bands, well known groups and vocalists. See below for all performances and times.

Festival Music!

Main Stage
12:30 – 2:00 The Bogarts
2:30 – 4:00 TPT
5:00 – 6:30 We Speak Canadian
7:00 – 8:30 Two For Flinching

Second Stage
Noon – 1:00 Jamestown Harmony Express
1:30 – 2:30 Razz & the JCC Jazz Band vocalist Victoria McIlvain
3:00 – 4:00 Davis & Eng
5:00 – 6:00 No Limit

New Events
New this year will be a fan favorite, the “Bergman Brawl” wrestling event. It is presented by Southern Tier Wrestling and will take over the Babe Ruth Baseball Field from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. This will be a free event. (See page 10 to catch up on a few of their most recent bouts and brawls at Big Trouble in Little Celoron.)

The Greater Jamestown Labor Day Festival will also host a cheerleading demonstration by XPlosion All-Stars at 3:30 p.m. on the Danielson Softball Field.

Free Pepsi Bingo games will take place in the main pavilion starting at noon. Free kids carnival games including a bounce house by Eventz by Scott will start at 2:00 p.m.

The JCC men’s basketball and baseball teams will volunteer in the Food Court for the first time this year to serve up the most all-American of festival foods: hot dogs, hamburgers and cheeseburgers. (P.S. The teams are also staying around afterward for the all-important, after-fair cleanup detail, pitching in with the town’s hardworking park crew. That’s team spirit!)

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Dining at its Best
Additional choices will range from Curly Fries and Philly Cheese Steaks to Sno-cones, Fresh baked pies, Popcorn and Chips, to Cotton Candy and Candy Apples; from pizza, pulled pork and Fried Dough to pretzels, taffy and cotton candy… and that’s only the first course! The Greater Jamestown Labor Day Festival will have even more to enjoy.

Vendors selling beverages will be providing Pepsi products. There will also be a wine and beer dining tent sponsored by Game Time Sports Bar & Grill for attendees 21 and older.

All money raised is used to directly fund festival activities and support the host of non-profit community service agencies that participate.

Celebrate American Labor
IBEW – The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – will manage the parking and traffic. “They do a heck of a job,” Julia Ciesla-Hanley, Jamestown Parks Department recreation coordinator, said. “We will be making a special presentation to recognize their volunteer spirit at 11:00 a.m.” People parking their cars at Bergman Park (all day – $5.00) will receive a ticket to enter into a drawing at the Information Booth for a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift card sponsored by Ahlstrom Schaeffer Electric Corporation. There will also be two chances to win a season ticket for the Jamestown Jammers.

At 4:00 p.m. the Jamestown area Central Labor Council AFL-CIO will present a deserving member of the area workforce with the George Ritzer award. “That’s what the whole thing is all about, to celebrate our amazing labor force,” Mayor Teresi added.

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

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Special Courtesy Message
City property is tobacco-free by law, prohibiting tobacco products and e-cigarettes. McDonald’s has donated Big Mac gift certificates for volunteers to offer anyone who is reminded, in case they mistakenly light up at the festival. Private fireworks and sparklers are also prohibited. Pet owners, please leave pets at home for their safety and the safety of others.

Traditional Grand Finale
The day will wrap up with prize drawings and a fireworks extravaganza by Zambelli Fireworks Internationale, slated to light up the sky at 8:30 p.m.
For more details on Festival events, visit the City’s website at jamestownny.net or call the Parks Department at 483-7523.

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.