Labor Day marks end of beach season in Chicago; suburbs mark holiday with parades

ByJessica D'Onofrio, John Garcia, Tre Ward, and Jasmine Minor WLS logo
Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Labor Day marks end of beach season in Chicago
Labor Day in Chicago is the final day for beach season, with parades marching in many suburbs across the area.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- From the beach to the pool to the festivals and the parades, people are out and about enjoying the long weekend.

In Lakeview, the annual Woogms parade, where everyone marches and nobody watches, stepped off on Pine Grove and Wellington avenues.

"It's just really good to be a part of the community. I've been doing this since I was like 4 years old," marcher Evan Lufrano said.

Lufrano and Sophie Zinder have been marching their way through Lakeview since they were kids.

"We go on the same streets every single year; new people come, the same people come every year, passed through generations," Zinder said.

And, if you're a Jessie White Tumbler, like Corey Bell, it's 22 years of putting on a show.

"It feels real and very well at home to have the crowds, and very close-knit," Bell said.

Others got a taste of African culture at the African Festival of Arts in Washington Park. And in Schaumburg, hundreds of families lined a parade route Monday morning.

Amid Schaumburg's annual Septemberfest, the village's Labor Day parade honoring workers kicked off Monday morning.

Carter Farbiak, 13, has been coming since he was a baby.

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"It's always been a tradition for my family," Farbiak said. "I mean, we have always been coming here since I was little, and it's fun having all the little kids come around, just trying to get all the candy."

The 2-mile parade started at Summit Drive and Wise Road.

The village is staking its claim as the host to one of the suburbs' longest and most spectacular Labor Day parades.

"It's always a great time for the kids, and I think it's great for the community to get everybody together," Schaumburg resident Steve Green said.

This year's march had more than 100 entries, and thousands of people lined the route to have a front-row seat.

"It's such a great opportunity to see all of the high school bands come through, the dancers, the different athletics that they have," Schaumburg resident Beth Green said.

Many families found a shady spot, as they tried to hold onto the hot weather as long as they can.

"Hey, we take whatever comes our way, and it's beautiful days here over the long weekend, as well, and I think we are hitting 90 degrees," Schaumburg resident Mayur Jain said. "Days are counted in Chicagoland, but we are looking forward to the upcoming fall, as well."

The Septemberfest carnival games are popular with the kids, and the adults were crowded into the bingo tent.

The Zion parade began at 1 p.m., stepping off from 25th Street and Emmaus Avenue.

The parade was expected to head north to 23rd Street, east to Sheridan Road and south to 29th Street and then conclude at 29th Street and Sheridan Road.

In Buffalo Grove, residents were celebrating the end of summer with some classic cars and classic carnival rides.

"Trying to soak up the whole last bit of summer. That's what we're doing," David Thomas said.

Third-grader Emma Sherman said she's sad to see summer end.

It was the final day of the beach season, and it's a hot one, with many people making their way to the lakefront to cool off and soak it all in, including at Foster Beach. Some chose to bring out the grill there.

"We don't get these many days to do this kind of stuff, man," said Marcus Brown.

Chicagoans took advantage of the last beach day of the season Monday.

The heat index was around 100 degrees earlier Monday. But despite the heat and humidity, people, and their dogs, have been enjoying this unofficial end to summer.

For some, it was a Labor Day full off new traditions.

"This is my first time coming to this dog beach," beachgoers Ryad Bouazer and Claire Wallber said. "We love the dogs; they make us happy. If you're ever sad, come down here."

It's been a jam-packed holiday, full of grilling, cool water and perfect weather.

"We don't get these many days to do this kind of stuff, man, so I like the people coming together," beachgoer Marcus Brown said.

Twenty-two beaches were open until 7 p.m., or until there is no longer a lifeguard on duty.

George Rodriguez's family got a final dip in the water at North Avenue Beach, now that swimming is no longer permitted at all 22 city beaches until next year in May.

"Kids wanted to come out. It was a hot day," Rodriguez said. "I just hope the heat ends."

Indoor pool season begins Tuesday, and there are swim classes being offered through the Chicago Park District.

Some in the suburbs turned to the water, as well.

Lynette Knauer and family were about to head out for a day on the lake.

With temperatures in the 90s, there's no other way they'd rather enjoy the end of the holiday weekend.

"It's a beautiful day on the Chain. And we're gonna do some swimming and enjoy our day with family," Knauer said.

Summer doesn't feel like it's nearly over with the lake full of boats.

"I don't think it's gonna end. It's nice weather, so I think we'll see some people next weekend also," said Steve Moulis, with Chain O'Lakes Marina.