PADEN CITY, W.Va. (WTRF) – Labor Day is an entire weekend-long celebration in Paden City.
Bands and local musicians have been playing since Friday in anticipation of the famous 71st annual Labor Day parade.
It’s one of the only Labor Day Celebrations in West Virginia. In fact, the Paden City Labor Day celebration is the largest in the state.
People from all over the area flock to the small town in honor of laborers across the Ohio Valley, nearly doubling the city’s population for the weekend.
“It’s a weekend for working families to celebrate and to let everybody know that it was the working families that built this country,” said B.B. Smith, co-director of Labor Day celebrations. “We’re here to celebrate that.”
Congressmen David McKinley (R-West Virginia) attended to commemorate not only Labor Day, but also to celebrate the Mine Workers Pension act, which preserves the pensions miners have paid into for decades.
“These are the people, the backbone of our country, is our labor workers,” McKinley said. “hat’s was why we were trying so much over the last few years. Actually, we got it passed, which was to take care of their pension.”
McKinley added he’s passionate about Labor Day because he believes the Northern Panhandle played one of the biggest roles in forming Labor Unions.
“This is really the heartbeat of the labor union, which was the Northern Panhandle,” he continued. “When you think of all the industries; the chemical workers, we had the steel industry here. This is where it got founded. You had Walter Ruther and his efforts. So, the labor movement is very strong in the Northern Panhandle. “
Local Union #2 Insulators came strong in numbers to the parade because for them Labor Day is a day to celebrate the brotherhood of their union.
(Dan Cassidy-Business agent local #2 insulators // “I think it’s important that we have a good solidarity for the building trades in this area,” explained Dan Cassidy, Business Agent for Local #2 Insulators. “We need to stick together.”
The celebrations continued all day with performances from bands and artists from across the Ohio Valley.