Members of the Bloomington High School Marching Raiders performed at Lee and Front streets during the Labor Day parade Monday, Sept. 3, 2018, in downtown Bloomington.

BLOOMINGTON — Registration is now open for Bloomington’s Labor Day Parade, which steps off at 10 a.m. Sept. 2 from downtown Bloomington.

The parade, which leads to Miller Park, is sponsored by Bloomington & Normal Trades & Labor Assembly. Units can register at www.bntrades.org.

The parade features union marching units, community organizations, Illinois State University’s “Big Red Marching Machine,” high school bands and elected officials. Nonprofit organizations are asked to pay a $15 registration fee; the fee is $30 for profit organizations. 

This year's theme is “Labor Day – 125th Anniversary.” 

“Labor Day is significant for recognizing and saluting the average worker,” said Ronn Morehead, president of the Bloomington & Normal Trades & Labor Assembly. “When Labor Day began there was no eight-hour day, no weekend, child labor was rampant, wages were low and safety conditions abysmal. Thanks to organized labor and its effort, America’s workers have enjoyed improved conditions. Organized labor continues to fight to uphold those basic protections and ensure everyone who works earns a decent wage, has benefits, has a safe workplace and has dignity on the job.” 

Labor Day became an official federal holiday in 1894, although the first “Labor Day parade” was held in New York City in 1882.

Bloomington’s first Labor Day Parade was in 1891, after Illinois declared a state holiday. In 1894, federal legislation designated the first Monday in September as Labor Day. 

The Bloomington & Normal Trades & Labor Assembly is umbrella organization for 31 local AFL-CIO affiliated unions. 

Photos: Did you miss the 2018 Labor Day Parade? Check out our gallery.

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