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A Salute to Labor Day

As holidays go, the first Monday in September carries quite a hefty assignment. Not only does Labor Day mark the end of summer and the transition back to school, but this holiday also commemorates the American workforce, collectively and individually, for their vast achievements and contributions to this country and its economy. Present-day celebrations span a three-day weekend bursting with events and activities that bring families and communities together.

Connecticuters will once again have a plethora of options for commemorating the holiday weekend. Consider adding these two special events to your Labor Day Weekend calendar, as well as adding the sure-to-be-a-new-favorite recipe, included at the end of the article, to your holiday menu.

A salute to the workers who brought us through the pandemic

On September 4-5, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) will celebrate the end of summer with the “Arts of Labor” weekend. This two-day program will honor the workers who carried us through the pandemic.

The Saturday, 7 p.m. concert on the New Haven Green on Temple Street will feature the Tony Award-winning star of stage and screen, Brian Stokes Mitchell, accompanied by the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, soprano Harolyn Blackwell, and other artists.

Sunday, beginning at 4 p.m., a five-hour concert on the Green with community-led programming and performances inspired by the 2021 Festival’s Image theme will be presented.

Folks are urged to gather family and friends, pack a picnic, and join in celebrating our healthcare heroes, first responders, and essential workers. This free outdoor concert will mark the NHSO’s first concert with the full orchestra since March 2020.

A salute to history

On September 6th, step back into yesteryear at The Windham Textile & History Museum for the Labor Day Strike Reenactment of 1899. This reenactment of the newsboys’ strike in New York City will be an outdoor event, held rain or shine. Learn about and participate in this historic event. Come dressed as an 1890s newsboy, newspaper magnate, reporter, police officer, or bystander. And don’t forget to bring picket signs!

The free event begins at 5 p.m. and will last about an hour; donations are encouraged to support educational programs at the Mill Museum, 411 Main Street in Willimantic, Connecticut.

A salute to summer grilling

Celebrate the last weekend of summer with this Yankee Magazine recipe.

Shrimp and Corn “Clambake” Grill Packs

These grill packs replace lobster with quick-cooking shrimp, accompanied by spicy sausage, corn, and potatoes. The optional smoked mussels add a wood-fired flavor. Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 pound (26–30 count) tail-on shrimp
  • 4 ounces linguiça, chouriço, or another spicy sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick disks
  • 2 ears of corn, each shucked and cut crosswise into 8 pieces
  • 2 medium red potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 tin (4 ounces) smoked mussels (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, divided
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, divided
  • Minced fresh parsley for garnish


Prepare your grill for direct, medium-high heat (about 400°).

Lay four sheets of aluminum foil, each about 15 inches long, on your counter. Top each sheet of foil with an equal-size sheet of parchment paper.

Divide the shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes, mussels, butter, garlic, and Old Bay seasoning equally among the packets, piling the seafood, sausage, and vegetables in the center and topping them with the butter, garlic, and seasoning. Fold the foil and parchment paper up over the ingredients, pinching securely at the top to seal.

Set the packets on the grill grate, cover, and cook until the shrimp is fully cooked and the corn is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Enjoy!

The team at A.R.Mazzotta salutes the men and women whose hard work provides for their families and contributes to this great nation. Have a fun, safe, and enjoyable Labor Day!