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Chicagoans celebrate Labor Day

September 6, 2010 5:23:10 PM PDT
Families enjoyed the unofficial last day of summer Monday on the beach and at parades as school children prepared to go back to school.

With classes set to resume at the city's schools Tuesday morning, some students enjoyed their last day of summer vacation while others prepared for the new school year.

The 11th annual citywide Back to School Hair Cuts and Hair Dos event got underway Monday morning at Cain's Barber College on Chicago's South Side. It was sure sign that summer is fading.

"I am ready to learn," said Ahmya Brackins, CPS student.

The 8-year-old was just one of hundreds of children getting free hairstyling to help get them ready for the start of class on Tuesday.

"A lot of the places now, they're $45 to get your daughter's hair done and $20 to get it cut, so I'm spending $65 that can go to shoes and more uniforms, and, you know, it takes a lot of the pressure off," said Samantha Patterson, parent

The giveback was a part of the philosophy of Cain's Barber College and also includes a free book bag filled with school supplies for students.

"We are trying to do what we have to do to get these kids back tomorrow to school, and a clean head will allow them to put that pen and pencil with these wonderful book bags that have been donated, and they'll do something positive, because we to be positive about our young kids going to school at this point," said Jessica Cain, owner, Cain's Barber College.

The first 200 students to arrive at the event received the free book bags.

"It is a beautiful thing because a lot of parents can't really afford it right now to get their kids' hair done. So they come down here and get it done," said Henry Crowley, Cain Barber college student.

Chicagoans celebrate holiday at beach

Some Chicagoans marked Labor Day with a trip to the beach. There's no where else Doug Pollack would rather be.

"We are enjoying it. It is a beautiful day for being on the beach. It is the last day," said Pollack.

With Chicago city beaches set to officially close Monday evening, his Riverside family joined plenty of others looking to take in what's left of the summer.

For Rochelle Hicks, the Labor Day holiday is all about grilling and chilling with family.

"Family is all you have, you know. So you get together with family and friends and get to see everybody before the end of the year, before we start with the Thanksgiving and everything, so this is it," said Hicks.

Although the day is usually reserved for barbeques and beaches, members of the Black Star Project canvassed one South Side neighborhood encouraging fathers to help keep kids safe.

"We have found that when fathers take children to school, violence goes down dramatically. Test scores go up dramatically. It is almost a kind of magic when men become involved in the education of their children," said Phillip Jackson, Black Star Project.

Local parades mark Labor Day

The weather cooperated nicely for several Labor Day parades around the Chicago area. The Calumet Memorial park district parade stepped off Monday morning in Calumet City.

There were floats, fire trucks, and marchers in costume. Kids along the route got some candy and there was even a Miss Illinois sighting.

Monday's parade in Schaumburg served as the culmination of that suburb's weekend-long September-Fest celebration. Folks lined the streets to watch floats and different groups march along the parade route with a handful of politicians. Organizers say nearly a quarter million people were expected to attend over the course of the three-day event. This was Schaumburg's 40th annual September-fest.


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