Posted byon August 28, 2013 First celebrated in the late 1800’s, Labor Day was created to honor the social and economic achievements of American workers. The very first Labor Day took place in New York City on September 5, 1882, and was marked with union speeches and a workers’ march from City Hall to 42nd Street. Flash forward just over a century to our modern day, and Labor Day is more celebratory in nature. It’s a time to enjoy the long weekend and mark the winding down of summer, complete with fun family outings, picnics and parades. Ancient Greek playwright Sophocles once said, “Without labor, nothing prospers”, so celebrate your achievements and savor your hard earned break with one of the great Sarasota area happenings: – 5th Annual Downtown Venice Labor Day Weekend Craft Festival Taking place on Saturday August 31st & Sunday, September 1, a vast array of crafters and artisans from 30 states will showcase their wares in historic downtown Venice. With everything from personalized gifts to plaster craft and stained glass, the festival highlights the cultural allure of Venice. Located at W. Miami Ave, the festival runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both days. – 57th Annual Pioneer Days Parade and Festival Come enjoy Englewood’s 57th Annual Pioneer Days Parade and Festival. The entire celebration culminates this Labor Day, September 2nd, with the Pioneer Days Parade. It begins at 9:00am at St. Raphael’s Church and runs along Olde Englewood Rd to Dearborn Street to McCall Rd. The parade lasts about 90 minutes and prizes are awarded to the best, most creative floats. Take a look at our Pioneer Days blog post for a more in-depth look at the festivities. – The Sarasota Sailing Squadron (SSS) 67th Annual Labor Day Regatta Taking place Aug. 31-Sept. 1st, the signature SSS event draws hundreds of competitive sailors from across the U.S. and Canada. Activities include five separate race courses, live music, barbeque, refreshments and awards ceremony. Register your boat and take part for $75 – $100, or sit back and take it all in – it’s free for spectators. Online registration, including the official Notice of Race and detailed information, can be found on their website, or at the club. – Family Picnic at Historic Spanish Point With 30 acres of shady nature trails, scenic boardwalks, historic buildings, rich gardens, bay breezes and more, Historic Spanish Point presents the perfect setting to enjoy a lovely family day out. Plenty of picnic tables at a variety of interesting locations are dotted throughout the museum. Historic Spanish Point is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, with no site admittance after 4:00pm. Visit the website for ticket information. – Beach Day Relax on one of our area’s beautiful beaches, where you can soak up the last few days of summer (admittedly though, we are lucky enough to enjoy sunshine all year round!) . Siesta Key will be the popular choice, so why not check out Lido Key or Bradenton beach? Top off your day with a gorgeous sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, before heading out to a fabulous restaurant for dinner. – Cross Country Feeling fit and live closer to Manatee County? Sign up for the 21st Annual Canes Cross Country Classic 5K & 1 Mile taking place on Labor Day, Monday, September 2 at G.T. Bray Park in Bradenton. The 5K starts at 8:00 a.m., and the 1-mile at 9:00 a.m. This event is open to all ages and abilities with exciting awards and prizes to be won. Find out how to register for participation at the Canes Classic website. – Country Fest, Snook Haven Enjoy live entertainment all day at Snook Haven, this Monday September 2nd from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. A handful of popular local country bands will be performing throughout the day. Admission is $10 at the door. – Shop ’til you Drop Put your hard earned cash to good use at one of the many fabulous shopping and outlet malls in the area, including Southgate Plaza, Ellenton and the boutique stores at St. Armands Circle. There are great sales on for Labor Day, so it’s an excellent time to pick up a bargain or two. or three. How do you plan to spend your Labor Day weekend?