Saturday, April 30, 2011

#180: May Day in South Bend

In many other countries, Labour Day is celebrated on May 1st.  It's also considered International Workers Day, and some just consider a public day of partying.  (See Italy, where a all-day, free concert festival draws 300,000 in Rome.)  Although not recognized formally in the U.S., there are still celebrations held.

In South Bend, there is a Workers Memorial Service and May Day celebration at Howard Park, co-sponsored by United Way and the AFL-CIO.  At 1:30, the memorial service begins to commemorate 8 district laborers who lost their lives due to workplace hazards.  The keynote speaker is Nancy Guyott, the former IN Commissioner of Labor and current President of the IN State AFL-CIO.

Beginning at 12:30, there is a safety fair, including a "fire house" to train kids how to react to a fire and other interactive exhibits.  For the adult audience, what might draw you out includes live music by the Washington HS band and David James (also a laborer!), face painting, balloon artistry (yes, I'm a college graduate, and yes, I still enjoy both of those two activities) and free hot dogs and soda to the first 400 people. Students from ND and IUSB have partnered to re-enact the Haymarket affair, the 1891 strike in Chicago that culminated in a police riot at rally and the deaths of several protesters.

When: 12:30-4:00 pm
Where: Howard Park, near the river at the Workers Memorial
Website: Click here for a map and more information.

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