When Is Labor Day? Plan Your End-of-Summer New England Getaway

Labor Day in New England, Rhythm & Roots Festival, Rhode Island

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In New England, Labor Day marks the unofficial end of the summer travel season. But when is Labor Day?

In the United States, Labor Day is always observed on the first Monday in September. It has been an official federal holiday since 1894. Originally a tribute to labor unions and their members, Labor Day has evolved to become a low-key day off for most American workers.

Whether you'll be barbecuing at home or joining the throngs of motorists headed to New England's beaches for one last hurrah over the three-day Labor Day weekend, here is a handy guide to Labor Day dates for the years ahead.

Labor Day Dates 2019 - 2024

Monday, September 2, 2019

Monday, September 7, 2020

Monday, September 6, 2021

Monday, September 5, 2022

Monday, September 4, 2023

Monday, September 2, 2024

What is Open and Closed on Labor Day?

Labor Day is a national holiday, so the following are closed: U.S. post offices, government offices, schools, universities, libraries, banks, stock markets. Essential services that remain open include airports, hospitals, police stations.

Most businesses close, providing employees with a three-day holiday weekend.

Most retail and hospitality businesses, however, stay open on Labor Day including restaurants, hotels, inns, transportation services (limited schedules may be in effect), gas stations, supermarkets, drug stores, retail stores. Laws regulating whether liquor stores may be open on Labor Day vary by state.

How to Celebrate Labor Day in New England

Celebrating its 22nd anniversary, the Rhythm & Roots festival, held each Labor Day Weekend in Charlestown, Rhode Island, will once again be three full days in 2019. Plan ahead and save money by purchasing tickets and camping access in advance.

There are many more fun annual events that take place in New England over the Labor Day holiday weekend including:

  • Labor Day Weekend in Northfield, Vermont: a 42-year-old tradition and Vermont's largest Labor Day celebration—2018's theme is TBA;
  • The Historic Festival at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut: a chance to see classic race cars on parade and in action on the track; and 
  • The Woodstock Fair in Woodstock, Connecticut, with its agricultural traditions and Midway rides.