The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

August 31, 2013

78th annual parade to salute labor

DANVILLE — About 90 entries will be a part of this year’s 78th annual “Salute to Labor” Labor Day parade that will start at 10 a.m. Monday.

The parade is organized by the Vermilion County AFL-CIO and honors the accomplishments of organized labor in the county, region and community.

The parade goes through downtown Danville from Vermilion and Davis streets south on Vermilion Street to Vermilion and Main streets.

It features local labor union floats, bands, political candidates, car clubs, beauty queens and local businesses and community groups.

This year’s grand marshal is Ward 7 Alderman and former Illinois State Representative Bill Black.

Organizers say Danville’s Labor Day parade is unique because it honors labor organizations by placing them at the beginning of the parade route.

Labor Day parades have been a long-standing tradition in Danville.

The grandstand for the parade is moved this year to the new improved area of Vermilion Street between Seminary and Madison streets, according to parade chairwoman Connie Ostrander.

“This is a day set aside to honor America’s working men and women. The people of Vermilion County should set aside this day to spend with family and take a much needed break from the work place,” Ostrander said through an email.

“This is our 78th year of celebrating with a parade in Vermilion County brought to you by organized labor,” she added.

Because of the effort of organized labor through the years, American workers, even non-union workers, enjoy such benefits as weekends, workers’ compensation, the Family Medical Leave Act, overtime compensation, health benefits and a 40-hour work week, among many others, according to parade organizers, Ostrander said in the email. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Our needs are identical to labor’s needs: decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures.”

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