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Albany celebrates Labor Day

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY, Ga. -- The community came together Monday to celebrate Labor Day and the American worker by bringing their backyard barbecues to downtown Albany.

Hundreds gathered at the Veterans Park for a Labor Day celebration that included food, fun and entertainment by various local artists.

"Instead of cooking at home we have asked the community to join us in this celebration and help get the community together and involved," said event organizer Hope Jackson.

More than eight unions and labor organizations were represented at the event including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers or IBEW.

IBEW Business Manager for Local 1531 Allan York said the event gave the organization an opportunity to highlight the good that labor organizations have done for workers throughout the years.

"A lot of people don't realize there are a lot of labor organizations in Albany," said York. "We just don't get recognized a lot."

The IBEW business manager said unions and labor organizations have helped the American worker throughout our nation's history and was instrumental in campaigning for child labor laws, the 40-hour work week and overtime pay.

"Most people think Labor Day is a day off to sit on the couch and relax, but it is much more than that. The American worker is to be respected and honored," said York.

The crowds throughout the day were entertained by a number of musical acts including R&B singer Carol Christian and R&B artist and rapper Baby Juice. DRUMMER BOYZ also delighted attendees of the event with their dance skills.

Children indulged in the inflatable bounce house or played games in the Veterans Park amphitheater.

State and local government officials and candidates also attended the day's festivities encouraging members of the public to have their voices heard in the upcoming elections by registering to vote at a voting booth that was available at the Labor Day celebration.

Democratic Labor Commissioner Candidate Darryl Hicks said finding and securing employment is a "matter of life and death" for many Georgians.

"It (unemployment) is cutting across all races, gender and classes," said Hicks. "Today is a day to celebrate our laborers but also focus on re-employment for other Georgians."