An illustration of the first Labor Day parade, via Wiki Commons
Though Labor Day has been embraced as a national holiday–albeit one many Americans don’t know the history of–it originated right here in New York City. The holiday is a result of the city’s labor unions fighting for worker’s rights throughout the 1800s. The event was first observed, unofficially, on Tuesday, September 5th, 1882, with thousands marching from City Hall up to Union Square. At the time, the New York Times considered the event to be unremarkable. But 137 years later, we celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday of every September as a tribute to all American workers. It’s also a good opportunity to recognize the hard-won accomplishments of New York unions to secure a better workplace for us today.
Keep reading for the full history
Via Run With Scissors on Flickr
Every Labor Day, millions of people gather in Brooklyn to celebrate Caribbean culture at the West Indian-American Day Carnival. Since the early 20th century, the Carnival, which first got its start in the United States in Harlem, has brought together New Yorkers through beautiful costumes, music, dance, and food of the West Indies. Starting in the 1960s, the festival has taken over Crown Heights‘ Eastern Parkway, uniting many islands (Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Haiti, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Saint Vincent and Grenda, Guyana, Suriname and Belize, and others) in one extravagant party. As one of New York City’s largest, and certainly most colorful, events, the Carnival should not be missed. Ahead, learn about the history of the parade, the traditions that thrive to this day and the details of this year’s festival.
More this way
Images courtesy of Flickr, Wikimedia Commons, and Pexels
Independence Day may have been last week, but if you haven’t had your fill of red, white, and blue festivities, Bastille Day is this Sunday. Whether you’re a history aficionado or just appreciate French culture and cuisine, there is plenty to do this weekend to celebrate the 230th storming of the Bastille.
Find out more…
Image via Wiki Commons
For the first time in five years, Macy’s has moved its July 4th fireworks display to the Brooklyn Bridge, along with four barges that will launch pyrotechnics off the shore of the South Street Seaport’s Pier 17. The Pier, recently redeveloped by the Howard Hughes Corporation and designed by SHoP Architects, consists of food and drink options, retail, and a rooftop entertainment complex, all of which is supposed to be publicly accessible during operating hours according to a deal with the city. However, as Gothamist first reported, the only ways to check out the fireworks from Piers 16 and 17 are to drop $500 on a ticket to a party at Jean Georges’ restaurant The Fulton, be cool enough to land on the VIP list for a party atop Pier 17, or have scored one of just 300 community spots on the Seaport’s Wavertree ship (registration closed today at noon).
Image via Flickr
If you’re one of the estimated three million people who will be watching the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks spectacular, you’ll need to factor in how MTA’s service changes and planned traffic interruptions might affect your plans. Once you’ve picked a viewing spot, check out our comprehensive guide to getting around town (or out of town, if you prefer) below.
Know before you go
Photo via Flickr cc
Jersey City is getting ready to celebrate its sixth annual Fourth of July Festival, an epic full day celebration from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Exchange Place Plaza. The free event, called 50STAR FIRESHOW, will feature a carnival, beer festival, and a concert headlined by Jersey City’s own Akon and rapper Pitbull, before culminating with the largest fireworks display in the state.
Image via Flickr cc
America’s largest 4th of July fireworks show is getting ready to light up the New York sky; Macy’s 43rd annual Fourth of July live fireworks extravaganza happens next Thursday evening, and plans are being hatched to snag a spot at one of the city’s better viewing locations (or in front of a bigger screen; the show is being broadcast live from the Brooklyn Bridge) to watch the amazing choreography of pyrotechnics that will sail skyward from four barges stationed on the East River near Pier 17 at South Street Seaport and from the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge will be a special focal point this year; expect dazzlingly intricate effects firing from more than a dozen points along the iconic NYC landmark throughout the 25-minute display, which will begin at around 9:20 P.M. The numbers behind the show are exactly as impressive as you’d expect.
Check the figures behind the fireworks
All map images courtesy of Macy’s
The talented folks behind the hotly anticipated Macy’s Fourth of July live fireworks spectacular happening next Thursday evening have provided a detailed guide to the prime Manhattan spots for watching the night sky light up. Read on to get the scoop on official viewing points–and some unofficial favorites–and use the interactive map to make sure you’re in the right place when the pyrotechnics start at the Brooklyn Bridge.
More top viewing spots
Image: United States Marine Corps Official Page via photopin cc
The weather has finally gotten the memo, the city’s beaches, parks, and urban islands are open for the season and you’ve got a day off. There’s no need to get complicated; just head for the nearest beach with a picnic for two, attend an outdoor concert, find a BBQ bash or a rooftop rave–or celebrate the day with a parade. What you do with the long weekend is up to you, of course, but you’ll find some ideas below to get you started.
a bounty of events, this way
Photo from the 2014 Brooklyn Bridge display, via Flickr cc
For the first time since 2014, Macy’s will move its Fourth of July fireworks to the Brooklyn Bridge, and this year’s display will “add three times more pyrotechnic firepower,” according to a press release, with more spectacular effects being set off across the entire bridge, as well as from four barges off the shore of the South Street Seaport District’s Pier 17. The 43rd annual event, the largest July 4th celebration in the nation, will see the launch of “tens of thousands of shells and effects.”