Labor Day began as a salute to American workers, but soon transformed into a symbol for summer's end, the last chance to soak up the sun with a classic barbecue and beach day. For us students, it’s also our first day off of the school year – certainly a cause for celebration. Whether you’re new on campus or consider yourself a Philly local, why not take advantage of all these Labor Day events and explore the city?
Made in America Festival
You can’t talk about Labor Day in Philly without mentioning the Made in America Festival , which is set to take place Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sunday, Sept. 1. The two–day music and arts event takes place every year during Labor Day weekend and attracts major crowds and media attention. This year’s headliners include none other than Cardi B and Travis Scott, and a plethora of other amazing artists will be playing at the festival as well.
While you’re listening to the live music, you can also snack on delicious foods from gourmet vendors and explore the art installations. Tickets for this event don’t come cheap, with two–day General Admission tickets going for around $175. You can purchase them here.
Labor Day Weekend Ghost Tours
If you want to celebrate Labor Day in a spookier fashion, Philadelphia Ghost Tour is your answer. Organizers invite you to, “bid farewell to summer with a candlelight Ghost Tour of one of the most historic and most haunted cities in America!” They will hold extended hours over Labor Day weekend, with tours running at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29 through Sunday, Sept. 1. The tour explores Independence Park, Old City, and Society Hill neighborhoods, and promises the perfect mashup of creepy and historic. General admission tickets start at $19 and can be purchased here.
Labor Day Fireworks
In true end–of–summer fashion, the Independence Seaport Museum will host a Labor Day event including fireworks overlooking the beautiful Delaware River waterfront. Head over to the museum on Aug. 31 for a great date night activity or just to chill out with friends. Adult tickets go for $18 and include admission to the Independence Seaport Museum and their National Historic Landmark ships. You can purchase them here.
Labor Day Volksfest
The Cannstatter, a “community dedicated to maintaining its rich cultural heritage and traditions of Philadelphian's of German Speaking backgrounds,” is hosting its annual Labor Day Volksfest. A Philadelphian take on the country's second largest fair, this yearly tradition is packed with culture.
Running from Saturday, Aug. 31 through Monday, Sept. 2, the festival offers crafts, rides, German–American entertainment, and so much more. Single day admission is only $6 and serves as an all access pass to fun. My tip? Sample all the authentic German food. I can already smell the Bratwurst.
Blue Cross Riverrink Summerfest
Every summer the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation converts the iconic Penn's Landing into the Blue Cross Riverrink Summerfest , an event built for Labor Day festivities. This carnival on the river features an outdoor roller skating rink, festival games, a ferris wheel, a mini–golf course, and lots of good food and fun. On Labor Day, the event is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and pricing varies based on the activities you participate in.
Attending these local events is a great way to familiarize yourself with Philadelphia or renew your love for the city while waving goodbye to the summer.