North Dakota Labor Days | Prairie Public Broadcasting

North Dakota Labor Days

Sep 4, 2020

 

Labor Day traditionally marks the end of summer, and many North Dakota communities observe the federal holiday differently. The holiday falls on the first Monday in September every year.

In 1947, the Mooreton Community Club began annual Labor Day celebrations with a supper and refreshments on the lawn in front of the old city hall. Over the years, the celebration included were baseball tournaments, parades, turkey shoots and plays. The town’s celebration eventually grew to three days of festivities. Raffle giveaways were added, with prizes such as television sets; automobiles; a boat, motor and trailer; and trips to Hawaii. In 1984, the Mooreton area celebrated the city’s centennial on Labor Day weekend. Mooreton is in southeastern North Dakota.

Reeder’s early days include a Labor Day extravaganza in 1908 that had a market auction of livestock, household goods and farm equipment, and the first performance of the new Reeder Brass Band. Baseball teams of Reeder and Wolf Butte played each other that year, with Reeder winning 6-3. The band’s performance was well received, earning the band $125. Admittance was 75 cents for adults and 25 cents for children. Refreshments and dancing ended the day. Reeder is in southwestern North Dakota.

In the nation’s bicentennial year of 1976, horseback riding enthusiasts of the Adrian and Montpelier area organized the Valley Roughriders of ’76 and held a horse show on Memorial Day, and the Little Ruff Riders Rodeo on Labor Day. The events attracted over 1,000 people to Adrian, which is south of Jamestown.

The Almont Commercial Club in 1963 held a Steam Engine Threshing Day on Labor Day. In 1932, the Sykeston Women’s Club planted an elm tree on Labor Day in honor of President Washington.

The Ladies Aid and Lutheran Women’s Missionary League of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church near Binford began baking and selling pies all through the summer of 2003 to raise money for their centennial. They sold 10 to 20 pies a week, but they ramped it up as Labor Day approached, baking 40 pies for sale at the Red Willow Lake farmers market.

Dakota Datebook by Jack Dura

Sources:
A history of Mooreton, 1884-1984
Reeder Diamond Jubilee: 1908-1983
A Century of Grace, 1907-2007: Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
A history of Adrian: Adrian, North Dakota, 1885-1985
The First 100: Sykeston, North Dakota, Centennial and All-School Reunion, 1883-1983
dol.gov/general/laborday/history