Rockford Parade Celebrates the American Worker


For many people, today’s a day off. For others, it’s an opportunity to celebrate the American worker. Thousands did just that at the Labor Day parade in downtown Rockford.

School bands, unions, and a lot of candy were the sights, sounds, and treats during the Labor Day parade. This marks the 65th year for the annual tradition. Andrea Bathje has attended the parade 18 years now. She says its become a family tradition.

“We sit and we wave to our friends,” said Bathje. “I have three boys. So, when they were young, to be able to see all the trucks and the diggers was amazing and so much fun.”

Labor Day is a day to pay tribute to all the contributions Americans make to better our country.

“This is America, the working force,” said attendee Henry Rodgers. “If it wasn’t for us, where would America be?”

“The laborers are what make our world work,” said Bathje. “They’re the ones that are earning a living and making our world a better place.”

Veronica Steward says she loves seeing the community come out to celebrate all that the local workforce does. “Just partaking in the parade and seeing all the support. The children, the parents, the people who come out and support it is the most important thing. I grew up here, I was born here, I love this city. I think it’s awesome. They do an awesome job of supporting the community [and] the unions.”

And while Rockford has had it’s share of crime, Rodgers says its workforce will continue to push the city forward.

“Rockford gets a bad rep with all the crime,” said Rodgers. “But, we have a lot of great people working, working hard, trying to make a good community and it’s working out. It is nice.”

The downtown parade is hosted by Rockford United Labor. Labor Day became an official federal holiday in 1894.

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