Chicago celebrates Labor Day

September 7, 2009 (CHICAGO) On Monday, laborers and politicians gathered at the Pullman state historic site, 111th and Cottage Grove, to celebrate the history of unions and talk about today's economic troubles.

"Here in this historic Pullman we are reminded of our predecessors who fought to expand benefits for all Americans. What a special occasion this is as we all prepare to go back to school and to work," said U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., (D) Chicago

"The labor movement is alive and well. I think we have to support labor and the issues that we're fighting for. Living wages, fair wages and benefits, the things people take for granted," said Marilyn Stewart, Chicago Teachers Union.

On the North Side of Chicago, Lincoln Park residents participated in a parade where no one watches- but everyone marches. It started in 1963.

"The Labor Day Parade is special because it's a chance for us all to say goodbye one last time before the cold Chicago winter kicks in. I think there is a great vibe here today about friends and neighborhoods wanting to squeeze one more day out of summer," said Tony Weisman, parade organizer.

Another fun option- the Taste of Polonia. The festival features Polish food and beer.

"Never came about. Saw it on TV and thought this seems like a great thing to do on the Labor Day holiday," said Ginny Leany

Beachgoers also tried to squeeze in one more day; Labor Day is the last day lifeguards will be patrol the lakefront beaches. But it wasn't quite beach weather.

"This was my first time at the beach all summer and the weather is like this," said Kaitlin Jaffee, beachgoer.

"Major bummer. I don't think any of us have gotten a tan or anything," said another beachgoer.

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