Labor Day parade celebrates workers

Josh Cobb/News Tribune Fulton High School band members march in the 45th annual Labor Day Parade on Saturday.

Families scored several hardware store staples late Saturday morning.

They received items such as ice scrapers, tool trays and shopping bags.

But participants in the 45th annual Labor Day Parade, presented by the Jefferson City Central Labor Council, also passed out flying discs, ice cream and candy.

Lots and lots of candy.

Children took home bags full of candies -- suckers, chewing gum, Tootsie Rolls and Jolly Ranchers.

Eight-year-old Cohen Andres, of Jefferson City said gum is his favorite candy.

Adelyn Kremer, 6, said she got "a lot of candy."

Her method? "We wave and say 'Thank you,'" Adelyn said.

She added she might get to be in the parade next year. If she is in a parade, she'll get to choose who she throws candy to, Adelyn said. She would "pretty much" throw candy to people who wave at her.

Adelyn's sister, Kensley, 9, said she expected to see more floats, but she wasn't disappointed because they received ice cream and ... candy.

Greg Benton, president of the council, said the parade is about workers.

"It's a chance for members to get together, support each other and remind (neighbors) they are in the community," Benton said. "They represent different trades and businesses."

The council is made up of individuals from the community, he said. It is named "Jefferson City," but covers a much larger geographic area.

He pointed to trucks in the parade staging area, representing metal fabricators, welders, electricians, plumbers and other businesses that compete each day. Their workers walked shoulder-to-shoulder Saturday, showing solidarity for each other.

"They live here. Their kids go to the same school as yours. They're everyday people," Benton said. "And they also belong to a labor organization. (That organization) protects wages and benefits, but also helps set safety rules."

A member of the local plumbers and pipefitters union (Local 562), Roy Klebba said the union led workers in the parade Saturday.

He said members brought their families to the parade to spend the day together.

"It's just what brotherhoods do," Klebba said. "It's organized labor. We do it as a family and for association."

photo Josh Cobb/News Tribune Fulton High School band members march in the 45th annual Labor Day Parade on Saturday.