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.