La Crosse celebrates Labor Day with their 128th annual parade

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU)-- The 128th annual La Crosse Labor Day parade took place Monday morning.

Spiderman greets a child at LaborFest

The parade, which starts at Gillette and Kane street, goes on for ten blocks and draws quite the crowd. It's an event that many view as a staple to a La Crosse Labor Day.

"A lot of parades have died out over the years due to either lack of interest or the cost of having it," said Tyler Tubbs, President of the Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO. "We've always maintained that even if we didn't do any of the other events in the year, we would make sure we kept this parade going."

The even is often referred to as "the candy parade" and is only the beginning of the day's celebration.

According to Tubbs, around 600 to 800 people come to the LaborFest that follows in Copeland Park.

The fest features food, bingo, raffles, face painting, and games for kids.

For many, it's a tradition to attend each year.

"A lot of memories [here], bringing my kids down and having them go in the saw dust pile and catching candy," said Lisa Kammel, a La Crosse resident.

Tubbs said they brought in princesses and Spiderman this year as a new way to entertain kids.

For many at LaborFest, Labor Day isn't just another day off of work, but instead, a chance to reconnect with their union friends.

"Seeing the same people come down, you get to be friends with the other union people. My dad is in the union carpenters, but he knows a lot of the other unions too and they kind of interact," Kammel said.

While many enjoy the day off for Labor Day, Tubbs hopes this celebration reminds everyone of the true purpose for the holiday.

"We fight for all, we really do," said Tubbs. "We fought for eight-hour work days, we fought for OCIA, Child Labor Laws and stuff like that. That's the takeaway of celebrating Labor Day. We've got all of those achievements throughout the last 100-150 years."

The event isn't just for those involved in a union, but for the community in it's entirety.