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labor daze

September 7, 2021 - 8:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, labor daze, Labor Day, news.


Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.







September 7, 2021 - 8:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, Labor Day, labor daze, news.


Aerial photos of yesterday's Labor Day Parade in Oakfield by Timothy Wojkowski.





September 6, 2021 - 10:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in labor daze, Oakfield, news.


Photos by Timothy Wojkowski


September 6, 2021 - 9:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in labor daze, Oakfield, news.


The fun continues -- and continues today -- at Labor Daze in Oakfield, including a classic car show at Crazy Cheap Cars.

Photos by Kristin Smith.  For more, click here.










September 5, 2021 - 9:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in labor daze, Oakfield, news.


Sunshine, fun, and food marked Day 1 of Labor Daze in Oakfield on Saturday.  The festivities continue today.

Photos by Kristin Smith.  For more, click here.






September 3, 2021 - 2:19pm
posted by Joanne Beck in Oakfield, Oakfield Betterment Committee, labor daze, news.


Several new elements have been added to the return of Oakfield’s Labor Daze three-day event this weekend. A new location for an old favorite promises to be spectacular, Oakfield Betterment Committee President Jamie Lindsley says. 

“It will be a high velocity, rapid-fire, dazzling fireworks display,” she said while setting up the venue Thursday evening. “Because of the ongoing capital improvement project at the school, the fireworks will be in the Town Park on Drake Street. It’s a more intimate setting.” (Rain date is Monday.)

Although fireworks usually cap off an event, this one on Sunday is tucked in between a jam-packed schedule that begins with the Oakfield 5K at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and ends with basket and cash raffle drawings at 8:30 p.m. Monday. 

New elements include the 5K course, which will begin and end at Triangle Park to keep it “central to this location,” Lindsley said. Participants — walkers and runners alike — can still register at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Proceeds from the event will go to Genesee Cancer Assistance in honor of longtime Oakfield resident Ralph Esten Jr., who lost his battle with cancer at 40 in June of this year. Fee is $30, and medals will be awarded to top winners.

There will be plenty of parking Lindsley said, in municipal lots on Main and Drake streets and on side streets.
Kids shouldn’t be bored with a bustling line-up of activities for children and teenagers from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. The Kiddie Fun Daze will feature Just Clowning Around Magic Show at 12:15 p.m. and “lots of prizes for kids’ games,” Lindsley said. 

Other new components are some tasty additions to the regular festival fare of hamburgers, hotdogs and kielbasa. Sweet corn on the cob and walking tacos will also be on the menu. Never had a walking taco? Open a bag of crunchy Doritos tortilla chips and top it with ground beef, various taco seasonings, sauce, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and sour cream. Then add a fork and go. Anywhere. Hence, the walking part of the taco has become a hit at parties and other special events. A few food trucks will round out the smorgasbord of appetite quenchers. 

A parade boasting marching bands and newcomer Buffalo Ghostbusters will line up at the fire hall and begin at Seneca and Main streets. Spectators should plan to be there about 30 minutes early before road closures prevent them from getting a good spot on the parade route between Seneca and Drake streets/Route 262.

Buffalo Ghostbusters, with their signature logo of a red circle and slash mark over a ghost holding a chicken wing, features what the name implies: a fun group of aptly dressed ghostbusters with related gear and vehicles. The parade is at 10 a.m. Monday as a craft show of 35 vendors begins an eight-hour selling fest from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Musical entertainment will fill the air all three days, with everything from country and classic rock to honky-tonk and a tribute to the Beatles. That kicks off with the Hastings Duo at 1 p.m. Saturday and Hit N’ Run to close the event from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday. 

All of this has been pulled off by a strong core of eight board members, a dozen regular committee members, and “hundreds of volunteers,” Lindsley said. A late decision to move forward with the event meant little lead time (they began about three months ago), and more chores outside of their regular day jobs.

“It typically takes 12 months to plan an event,” Lindsley said. “It’s only possible with a really incredible and talented team. Every one of our members is busy during their workday, and they put in many hours here.”

Committee Vice President Ritchie Kirkum added that a slate of generous donors also made Labor Daze feasible. The event was missed during its pandemic-related hiatus in 2020.

“We’re excited to bring it back after a year. We want to see everyone back and together at Triangle Park,” Kirkum said while helping to build food stands. “We’re really grateful for the sponsors.”

Yet another new offering this year is the big cash raffle. The grand prize is $10,000. Tickets are $25 and only 1,000 are being sold, he said. Proceeds from the cash raffle will help to offset the expenses of the event and go toward future community improvement projects and other committee goals. Kirkum and Lindsley noted the in-kind services donated by the village and town, such as assisting with necessary permits, road closures, and signage for the event. 

Given the event’s epicenter is Triangle Park, it is only fitting that a small celebration is to honor the longtime staple of this community. Triangle Park was gifted to the community in 1921. Oakfield Historical Society members will pay tribute to the park’s 100th birthday with a centennial dedication and a little local history at 11 a.m. Sunday. 

The only other item on their list now is good weather. A recent forecast shows moderate temperatures in the 70s and cloudy sunshine. 

“We’re really happy it’s not going to be in the 90s, and it will be cooler weather,” Lindsley said, acknowledging perhaps the only activity that’s truly climate dependent.  “There’s also a car cruise. We’ve had up to 80 cars in the past. We’re hoping for great weather ... I wouldn’t be surprised if we have quite a few.”

The 2021 schedule for Labor Daze at Triangle Park is below:

Saturday, September 4:

  • 9 a.m.: Oakfield 5K Run or Walk
  • 11 a.m.-6 p.m.: Kiddie Fun Daze
  • 12:15-2:00 p.m: Balloon Artis
  • 1:00-4:00 p.m: The Hastings Duo
  • 4:00-7:00 p.m: The Old Hippies
  • 7:00-10:00: Mr. Mustard

Sunday, September 5:

  • 9:00-10:00 a.m.: Home Grown Gospel
  • 10:00-6:00 p.m: Craft Show
  • 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Church Services
  • 11:00-1:00 p.m:  Craig Wilkins
  • 1:00-4:00 p.m: Car Cruise
  • 1:00-3:00 p.m:  Genesee Ted
  • 3:30-6:30 p.m: Rebel's Posse
  • 6:30-9:30 p.m: Ninety West


Monday, September 6:

  • 10:00 a.m.: Parade
  • 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m: Craft Show
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m: Alexander Firemen's Band
  • 12:00-3:00 p.m:  Blonde Over Blue
  • 3:00-6:00 p.m: Skycats
  • 6:00-9:00 p.m:  Hit n' Run
  • Basket and cash raffles to follow

Photo: File photo by Howard Owens

June 10, 2021 - 2:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, labor daze, news.


It looks like there will be a Labor Daze celebration in Oakfield in 2021 after all.

Jamie Lindsley said the Oakfield Betterment Committee "jumped at the chance to reevaluate" hosting the event with COVID-19 restrictions lifted.

"Everything is planned and ready to go," Lindsley said. "Now we just need our local officials to help us get this done in a very compressed time frame."

Lindsley confirmed today that both the town and village are on board with supporting putting together a Labor Daze celebration even on short notice.

"What both are able to do complement each other and we're able to move forward," she said.

The late start on planning means a lot of work for a lot of people over the next three months.

"There are many challenges we will face in the planning of this event this year," Lindsley said. "From sponsorships to volunteers, we will need a lot of help getting Labor Daze going on short notice."

Photo: File photo from 2018 Labor Day Parade in Oakfield.

May 18, 2020 - 7:51pm

Press release:

It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that the Oakfield Betterment Committee Board must announce the cancellation of this year’s Oakfield Labor Daze in Triangle Park.

We know that this will come as an enormous disappointment, not only to the vendors, volunteers but to our amazing community who were looking forward to another exciting Oakfield Labor Daze this year.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly and there are a few overriding concerns due to COVID-19 that have caused us to make this decision at this time.

Labor Daze is a tradition that is and has always been funded by our wonderful sponsors. In uncertain economic times like these, our wonderful sponsors have the difficult struggle and decision to not only keep, or to not keep, employees, but to keep their door open. Oakfield Labor Daze should not be a decision they are confronted with, nor one we should present to them.

Second, our primary concern is the health and safety of EVERYONE who attends Labor Daze, which includes our committee, volunteers, food, craft and game vendors to YOU, our community, who has welcomed back Labor Daze to Triangle park with open arms.

In closing, with all these factors and uncertainty, we had to make this difficult decision.

As the weeks and months pass, we will be re-evaluating the situation and will be looking for a safe and responsible way to have a celebration during Labor Day weekend. We also look forward to getting a head start on other events that the Oakfield Betterment Committee has done in the past, new event ideas, and Oakfield Labor Daze 2021.

Please stay safe, healthy and continue to show warmth to others in these trying times.

September 3, 2018 - 10:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in labor daze, news, Oakfield, parade.













To purchase prints of parade photos, click here.

February 27, 2018 - 4:55pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in labor daze, Oakfield, news.

This year’s 35th annual Labor Days in the park celebration will last for three days from Sept. 1 to 3 and will be held in its original location at Triangle Park in Oakfield.

In prior years, the event has been held in Elroy D. Parkins Town Park in Oakfield, for one day of celebration.

The original Labor Daze was a one-time celebration of the town’s anniversary. The community wanted to turn it into an annual event and a committee was later formed to keep it going.

At a certain point, there was a lack of volunteers, said Jamie Lindsley, the chairperson of the Oakfield Betterment Committee.

“That happens to a lot of volunteer organizations,” Lindsley said. “They appealed to the community to get more volunteers, but that didn’t happen.”

The Town of Oakfield took over, they moved the location, and then the tradition continued.

“It was still a very nice event,” Lindsley said. “We just never really saw the success and public participation at the new location.”

Prior to Labor Daze last year, they decided they would move the location back to Triangle Park and have been working to plan the event ever since.

“We finally have the town and village government officials on board,” Lindsley said. “We knew the first year moving it back, was going to be a lot of work so we were prepared for it.”

Lindsley said there have been lots of volunteers from all walks of life, with the entire community represented.

After deciding to move the location back to Triangle Park, many people expressed interest in the event.

“In the '80s, they used to have a flatbed truck to block off the street and have the bands perform on those,” Lindsley said. “The laws are a bit different now, so we have to go through a much more rigorous process of having the closure of the street approved. We have all of that in the works.”

Also, a professional company will be providing stages, sound and lighting. They’re nationally known, and Lindsley said they’ve really worked with them on the price.

The three-day event will have a magician, face-painting, a 5K race, car cruise, kids' games, dunk tank, a parade, arts and crafts vendors, a DJ, fireworks and more. A full schedule of events and entertainment will be posted on the website when the date gets closer, here

All food vendors will be operated by nonprofit organizations, school and community groups. None of the volunteers stand to profit from the event.

“We don’t have any outside people coming in to make money off of this event,” Lindsley said. “It’s all about community organizations and raising money for their needs.”

Funds received from the Kiddie Fun Daze will be going toward a wheelchair ramp for the children’s library.

“The children’s library is on the basement level,” Lindsley said. “We would like it to be accessible for everyone.”

The gazebo in the middle of the park is also being revamped for the event.

“It’s 30 years old and needs some attention,” Lindsley said. “The electric in the park is going to be updated, and the stage, sound and lights will be updated.”

The costs to operate the free, family-friendly, alcohol-free event are significant, and the Oakfield Betterment committee is looking for donations and sponsors.

In the late '80s, the budget to run this event was $6,000, Lindsley said.

“We are keeping it less than that, but it still costs a lot of money to run the festival,” Lindsley said. “We welcome any and all support we can get.”

Donations can be made by check to: Oakfield Betterment Committee, PO Box 2, Oakfield, NY 14125 with “Labor Daze” in the memo line, or directly to the GoFundMe campaign located here

“The event is free, there’s a great sense of community, you get to dance in the street, and support a number of great causes,” Lindsley said.

April 17, 2011 - 9:57pm

Joni Mitchell's line in the song "Big Yellow Taxi" was spot on: "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone."

So it was last summer, when the 26th annual Labor Daze celebration had to be cancelled. The reason given was too few volunteers to put together the holiday festival.

The locals did host a small event last year at the Elroy D. Parkins Town Park (Little League Park) with hopes of improving next time around.

Now the Oakfield Betterment Committee has revived itself -- and fully aware that it's going to take a village -- and a town -- to get Labor Daze back on track -- the group is doing just that.

It has enlisted some new volunteers with fresh ideas.

So marks those calenders -- Labor Daze will be at the town park again on Sept. 4 and 5. The celebration has gotten a bit bigger, according to Town Clerk Melissa Haacke, co-chair of the new Oakfield Betterment Committee.

"Well, of course, we're going to still have food vendors and crafters like usual, but we have really expanded our kids activities for this year," Haacke said. "We have two bounce houses coming and a local family that will be bringing in animals for a petting zoo and we contacted Genesee and Orleans County 4-H groups to see if they want to bring in some animals, too."

Since horse and pony rides were popular last year, they'll be offered again. Kids can also play on the playground at the park so parents can worry less about children wandering into traffic.

"We liked the idea that we don't have to close any roads for this," Haacke said.

She gave credit to her Co-chair Kate Manges for taking initiative dring the planning phases, saying, "She really took the bull by the horns."

She explained that in an effort to "get back to their roots," members of the Betterment Committee tried to keep everything as local as possible to showcase the village and town.

To highlight the 60th anniversary of the Oakfield Lions Club, the group will be the Grand Marshal of the parade. Also, the new Oakfield Historical Museum on Maple Avenue will be open to encourage everyone to walk around and visit local businesses.

People can also expect a fireworks display, a car show, Chinese auction and some great raffle items. Prizes include $1,000 cash, a four-pack of season tickets to Darien Lake, a laptop computer from Millennium Computers, a Nook and many more items.

To donate to the Chinese auction or raffle prizes or for vendor information, call Town Clerk Melissa Haacke (948-5835, ext. 20) or e-mail [email protected].

January 23, 2011 - 8:39pm
Event Date and Time: 
September 4, 2011 - 3:30pm to September 5, 2011 - 10:00am

The Oakfield Betterment Committee will be celebrating Labor Day on Sunday and Monday, September 4th and 5th, 2011.  Come join us for two days of alcohol free, family fun.  Sunday will run form 3:30 pm to 10:00 pm.  Monday, September 5th will begin with a Parade down Main Street at 10:00 am.  The parade will lead everyone to the Town Park on Drake Street where you will spend a day of shopping, eating, entertainment, an expanded children's area and community fun!!! 

June 19, 2010 - 6:26pm
Event Date and Time: 
June 19, 2010 - 6:20pm to July 15, 2010 - 6:20pm

The Oakfield Community Celebration Committee is looking for Craft Vendors and Parade participants for their "Day in the Park" celebration to be held on Monday, September 6, 2010.  Please contact Melissa @585-314-4501 or Janette @ 585-704-3194 for vendor applications ($50 per 12X12 site) or parade participation.  The deadline for craftor applications is July 15, 2010.

June 18, 2010 - 10:38pm
posted by Melissa Haacke in Oakfield, Labor Day, labor daze, Oakfield Alabama, crafters.
Event Date and Time: 
June 18, 2010 - 10:30pm to July 15, 2010 - 10:30pm

The Oakfield Community Celebration Committee is seeking craft vendors for the September 6, 2010 "Day in the Park"  For more information, please contact Melissa Haacke @ 585-314-4501 or Janette Veazey Post @ 585-704-3194, we will gladly send you the packet.  Deadline for crafters is July 15, 2010.

January 20, 2010 - 10:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, labor daze.

It should be no surprise to anyone -- putting together Oakfield's annual Labor Daze celebration is a lot of work.

Too much work for only five people to handle, according Donna Dwyer, last year's co-chair for the event.

That's why there will be no Labor Daze in 2010.

"We considered lots of options and people suggested ideas, but we've been at this long enough to know it was going to be just too tough for a small group of people," Dwyer said.

The event has been a 25-year tradition in Oakfield and is an important part of the fundraising calendar for many local charities, but Dwyer said with some key people stepping away for either health reasons or other personal commitments and the lack of new volunteers stepping forward, putting on the event for 2010 just wasn't realistic.

The Oakfield Betterment Committee will continue to try and recruit volunteers for 2011, but even if several people stepped forward now, it's just too late for 2010, Dwyer said. There is just too much work that has not been completed yet that should be done by this point.

"We would already be behind the eight ball," Dwyer said. "For example, we have to have all of the entertainment booked by the beginning of February."

Mark Colopy, another organizer who oversees the food booths said he was out of town Monday when the committee met and made its decision, but that it makes sense. The group just needs more help.

"We're looking forward with optimism," Colopy said. "This is an important event for the community. It's an important fundraiser for a lot of non-profit groups in the community and it's a great time to get out and see your friends and neighbors. We just didn't have the necessary support to carry it through for 2010."

September 7, 2009 - 11:53pm
posted by Robin Walters in Oakfield, labor daze, Care-A-Van Ministsries.

While walking around Labor Daze in Oakfield this evening, I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting so many great people. Everyone was having a great time whether they were partaking of the delicous food or listening and dancing to the great music!

I got to tell you, this PR director of Care-A-Van Ministries really did enjoy the band tonight!  The parade was awesome. I was suprised for such a small town how big the parade was.  Great job to all for an awesome week-end!

This gang was having a great time selling glow sticks

class 2012.jpg


This young fella sure had big muscles to carry around the stick filled with bags of cotton candy for folks to enjoy

labordaze.jpg 045.jpg

labordaze.jpg 049.jpg

The Crowd was on their feet with the  music!


Miranda, Lilly,and Addie Brown and Chase Peck had a super time!

Awesome job and thank you to all who made Labor Daze a great place of fun and fellowship!


September 7, 2009 - 5:40pm
posted by Brittany Baker in Oakfield, parade, labor daze, pie sale.


Watching the Oakfield Labor Daze parade today, I realized that I can identify the stages of my life up to this point by my memories of the annual festivities. I remember being the little girl afraid of the firemen who walked by in masks - being told not to run to the middle of the road for the "far away" pieces of candy.SS852923.JPG

I used to be the girl who was checking out which boys got cuter over the summer, trying to work up the nerve to go talk to them before school started.

I marched in the Oakfield Marching Band lead by Mr. John Mikulski, my favorite teacher of all time. He used to crack jokes to keep our spirits up as we marched down Main Street. Our town will forever miss the joy he brought us.

I also worked the stands selling salt potatoes for the our senior class, hanging out with the soon-to-be graduates while we chatted about where our lives were going to take us.

Now, I'm watching it all from a distance, taking it all in as the memories come back to me.

It was an eventful parade this morning. The usual tractors, clowns, candy and firetrucks were there. Bands played their jazzy tunes and marched down the street. Strange bikes and vehicles were driven.


Animals were part of the fun, too. There were dogs and two horses in the parade. I'm sure that no one who saw it will forget the graphic display of urination by the mini horse right in front of the post office - let's just say it was another memory for those of us who were there and leave it at that...


SS852964.JPGPie sales were in full swing when I visited the United Methodist Church.  Reverend Larry Eastlack was all smiles this morning, but admitted he wasn't the expert on pies.

"It's about how we share together. The fellowship of baking the pies and how we share them with the community is the best part..." said a woman from the church who declined to give her name.

"For a lot of people, the pies bring memories. How their grandmothers used to bake pies, which flavor they bought last year or making elderberry pies when they were younger..." she went on to say.

I'd have to agree. Every event at Labor Daze brings memories for me, whether it be ostrich burgers, deep fried Oreos, or even taking a turn in the bounce house. I'm certain that everyone who attends Labor Daze goes through the same memory lane experience each year. It's things like this event that make a small town a great place to live.

September 5, 2009 - 10:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, labor daze.

The 25th annual Oakfield Labor Daze gets under way at noon and will feature music, food, games and local arts and crafts.

The weather is expected to be as temparate and clear as a Southern Californian afternoon today and tomorrow (chance of rain on Monday).

Highlights of the weekend:


2 to 3:00 p.m.: Bed Races-Bennett Avenue

6 to 10 p.m.: Battle of the Bands-Triangle Park


Noon to 3 p.m.: Chicken BBQ-Methodist Church

1:45 to 3:45 p.m.: Charlotte Ritchie

6 to p.m. Joey T & The Formula


10:30 a.m.: Labor Daze Parade on Main Street

12:15 to 1 p.m.: O-A Jazz Band at Triangle Park

1 p.m.: Pie & Ice Cream at Oakfield United Methodist Church

2:45 to 4:45 p.m.: Craig Wilkins performs Johnny Cash Music

5:30 to to 9:30 p.m.: The Trolls

The weekend closes with a fireworks show at the school after the last performance.

For a complete schedule of events, click here.

September 2, 2009 - 11:48am
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, gay marriage, labor daze.

Oakfield will not be holding a Community Worship Service this Sunday, normally a feature of its "Labor Daze" celebration, because the issue of gay marriage has caused a rift between churches there.

The Community Betterment Committee's Labor Daze officials, after discussions with Mayor Rick Pastecki and others, opted to cancel the 10:30 a.m. service at Triangle Park on Sunday to avoid any possibility of a "brouhaha," said festival co-chair Donna Dwyer.

The service has been part of the holiday weekend line-up for 24 years -- until now.

The situation devolved from a letter to the editor published in the Daily News on May 22 written by Rev. Larry Eastlack of Oakfield United Methodist Church. It stated that while most evangelical leaders are encouraging their congregations to oppose the "Marriage Equality Act," he differed. The legislation has been passed in several states and New York is considering it, too.

Eastlack's letter said that although most Christians believe homosexuality is incompatible with Biblical teachings, "I believe it is possible to stay true to your religious convictions, whatever they are, and still support legislation that would allow homosexual persons to enjoy all the rights and responsibilities that come with matrimony."

The reverend was unavailable for comment, but his letter created a veritable firestorm in the community and it's still smoldering.

The brigade against his views is led by fundamentalist pastors at Oakfield Community Bible Church, led by Bill Smith, and Mark Perkins, who leads the Oakfield Alabama Baptist Church. They've been coordinating the Community Worship Service for the past several years and wanted to exclude Eastlack from the Community Worship Service this year specifically because of his now publically known views on gay marriage.

(Leaders' "participation" amounts to sitting among other local church representatives and listening to a guest speaker's sermon. Cal Kern, president and general manager of a Christian sports team called Niagara Power Baseball, was scheduled this year.)

They asked to sit down with the reverend and Perkins said they, including Eastlack's associate Dave Phelps, discussed their views cordially and the meeting ended with Eastlack's decision not to participate if that meant creating more strife.

A letter prepared Aug. 10 by Perkins and Smith -- which amounts to an ultimatum to disavow gay marriage or else be shunned -- was given to Eastlack afterward "almost as an afterthought," said Perkins to emphasize the amiable tone at the meeting's conclusion.

The letter rejects the notion of gay marriage as a civil rights issue and the idea that homosexuality is determined genetically. It cites Scripture on the issue and urges Eastlack to change his stance, with this caveat:

"...our Elders have stated that having you take part (in the Sept. 6 service) would send a message to our community and respective congregations that 1. We are in agreement with your stance or 2. We are willing to pretend that unity exists."

The Labor Daze Community Worship Service was heretofore ecumenical in nature, according to residents. But Perkins said the public Sunday service is not supposed to be "a social feel-good message."

"It's meant to send a clear, Biblical Gospel message to people there who might not attend church or otherwise hear it," Perkins said.

The mayor finds the whole thing ugly.

"My personal feeling is that it just saddens me down to my soul," Pastecki said.

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