Thousands of union members and their families attended Northwest Ohio’s premier Labor Day festival, where they not only celebrated the working class, but also raised much-needed funds for a local drug addiction response program.
Following the annual Toledo Labor Day Parade, many union members and their families spent their afternoon at the Lucas County Fairgrounds for a day of fun and a day of giving at Labor Fest.
The third annual Labor Day celebration saw attendance climb past the 4,000-mark this year, as the event continues to get bigger and better.
Those who attended the free event were treated to live musical entertainment, food and beverages, a cornhole tournament, a classic car show, kid’s games, horse rides for the kids and more.
Chris Monaghan, from Sheet Metal Workers Local 33 and a member of the Labor Fest organizing committee, said organizers listen to feedback each year for ways to improve the festival and do incorporate some of the suggestions. Monaghan was happy with this year’s high attendance numbers and additional feedback from attendees.
Some of the changes this year included additional food options, more kid’s games and doubling the size of the classic car show to 100 vehicles.
Besides having fun at the fairgrounds, attendees helped raise $15,000 for the Lucas County Sheriff’s Drug Abuse Response Team (D.A.R.T.), which helps drug users, especially those battling heroin addiction, get help at a rehabilitation center.
Each year, proceeds from Labor Fest are donated to a local, union-based charity. Organizers decided their Brothers and Sisters in the Lucas County Sheriff’s Department could use further funding for their program.
The mission of the D.A.R.T. program is to stop the profound number of deaths of friends and loved ones caused by opiate overdoses, while helping victims to overcome their addictions. They also aim to educate and support the family and friends of these victims.