Did you know that Labor Day became a federal holiday all way back in 1894? The labor movement wanted a day to commemorate American workers, and thus everyone gets a three-day weekend in September. Thank you, labor movement.
Whether you use the day off to think about the awesomeness of the U.S. workforce, or just to celebrate that you survived the worst of the Arizona summer, fun activities abound all weekend.
If you stick around the Valley …
9/11 Heroes Run – Saturday, September 3 – Take a 5K run or 1 mile run/walk around Tempe Beach Park to honor the heroes of September 11. Plus, enjoy live music, food, massages and more.
Dragonfly Walk – Saturday, September 3 – Take a jaunt out to Boyce Thompson Arboretum to marvel at color butterflies in their natural habitat. Bring a camera.
Experience the Andes – Saturday and Sunday, September 3 and 4 – Explore the dynamic and varied musical culture of the famed South American mountain chain at the Musical Instrument Museum. Participate in presentations, concerts and fun activities.
ASU vs. NAU – Saturday, September 3 – Kick off the college football season at Sun Devil stadium with a game between the Arizona State University Sun Devils and the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks.
Phoenix Cooks – Saturday, September 3 – Spend the day eating food from some of the best chefs in the state. Plus, enjoy matching drinks, take cooking classes and try your luck with a charity raffle. You’ll probably need the extra day to recover.
Go hiking – Any day – Spend your day away from the office in the fresh air and nature with a hike. Here are five fairly easy hikes that will get you started. Or if boating, swimming or fishing are more your speed, check out these 7 spots you must visit.
Cocktails at the pool – Any day – If you want to spend your Labor Day lounging at the pool with friends and family, make it a real party with delicious cocktails. See our round up of recipes for amazing margaritas, mojitos, martinis and more.
If you want to leave the Valley …
16th Annual Apple Harvest Celebration – Friday to Monday, September 3 to 5 – Head down to Willcox and take advantage of the apple harvest to buy fresh-picked apples, or pick your own right from the orchard. Plus, enjoy an apple-theme pancake breakfast, apple-smoked burgers, homemade apple pie and more deliciousness.
Brewery Gulch Daze – Sunday, September 4 – A century ago, Brewery Gulch road in Bisbee made the perfect place to get in trouble thanks to saloons, gambling houses and other entertainment. Relive those crazy days with pet parade, bed races, a variety show, live music and more.
67th Annual Coconino County Fair – Friday to Monday, September 2 to 5 – Head up to Flagstaff and enjoy a long-running county fair. You can enjoy the livestock and auction, carnival rides, a demolition derby, plus food (and food-eating contests) and live music. Don’t forget to say “Hi!” to Coco the Cow.
Hummingbird banding – Friday and Saturday, September 2 and 3 – If you love hummingbirds, Sierra Vista could your vacation spot. Watch hummingbirds get banded and weighed up close and personal. The Friday event even takes place at a bed and breakfast if you want to stay over.
Camping – Any day – To really get in touch with nature, take advantage of Arizona’s spectacular camping area. Here are five that are sure to make for a memorable long weekend.
– Justin Ferris, Phoenix.org