On Labor Day, union members celebrate family and community. Here are this year’s events for Oregon and Southwest Washington.

PORTLAND — The region’s largest Labor Day picnic takes place at Oaks Amusement Park in Southeast Portland, sponsored by the Northwest Oregon Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Members and their families from dozens of unions – up to 20,000 people – turn out for barbecue, games, carnival rides, raffle drawings, music, and a chance to hear from local politicians.

The picnic runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be a kids’ scavenger hunt, and a blood drive challenge [See below for more details.] Politicians take the stage at 1 p.m.

Free shuttle train: Labor Day is the busiest day of the year at Oaks Park.  To help union members avoid traffic jams and parking headaches, the Labor Council has made arrangements with the Oregon Pacific Railroad for a free shuttle train into Oaks Park. The train boards at Southeast 4th and Caruthers, near OMSI. There is plenty of street parking near the McLoughlin Overpass and McCoy Millwork, and the Portland Opera will open its parking lot — yellow spaces only.  Pin code for the gate will be 1895. The shuttle runs 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last train). 

For more information, call the Northwest Oregon Labor Council at 503-235-9444.

FOOD, DRINK, AND FUN: Deluxe ride bracelets are $11.50. Scrip for food and drink is $1 each. Here’s what it buys:

  • Burger + chips 3 scrip
  • Hot dog + chips 2 scrip
  • Chili  1 scrip
  • Beer 3 scrip
  • Pop 1 scrip
  • Water 1 scrip
  • Ice Cream 1 scrip

Scavenger hunt teaches kids about unions (and they might win a bike)

A scavenger hunt for children ages 1 to 18 will be presented by Labor’s Community Service Agency (LCSA). Participants will use clues found in a “passport” to find various unions at the picnic. For example, a clue might be: “We are the union that delivers your mail six days a week.” Answer: National Association of Letter Carriers. Participants must find the NALC picnic site (look for signage) and have their passports stamped there.

Children can pick up passports at LCSA’s booth at the picnic starting at 10 a.m. Once they obtain the required number of stamps, kids return their passport to the LCSA booth, where they will be eligible for a drawing to win a bicycle (donated by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union). All participants get union-made cookies, provided by Franz Bakery, whose employees are represented by Bakers Local 114. For more information, call LCSA at 503-231-4962.

Labor Day blood drive challenge: Which union will be tops this year?

Northwest Oregon Labor Council and Labor’s Community Service Agency will once again team up with American Red Cross again this Labor Day for a blood drive competition. Bloodmobiles will be parked at the picnic from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Organizers are asking that union members pre-register so donations can be collected as quickly as possible. The blood donation process takes about an hour. The labor organization that collects the most units of blood will have its name added to a perpetual trophy, plus bragging rights for the  year. Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals Local 5017 is the two-time defending champs.

Oregon Nurses Association represents nurses at the Oregon Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross, and Teamsters Local 223 represents support staff there.

You can pre-register online here. For more information, call Sue Milne at 503-235-9444.

For out-of-work union families: Free food and drink at the picnic

Labor’s Community Service Agency (LCSA) will provide free food and drink scrip for union families who are out of work and want to take part in the Labor Day picnic festivities at Oaks Park.

“We want everybody to be able to come out and have a good time,” said LCSA Executive Director Eryn Byram.

Out of work union members need to have their union local place a referral for them to LCSA.

For more information, contact LCSA at 503-231-4962.

ASHLAND/MEDFORD/GRANTS PASS — Emigrant Lake, Shelter D, 5505 Highway 66 (I-5 to Exit 14, Hwy 66 East 3.5 miles to Emigrant Lake Park turnoff) 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; lunch at noon. Food and entertainment for the whole family! There is a $4 charge for parking. Sponsored by the Southern Oregon Central Labor Chapter.

BEND — Pioneer Park (NW Wall St.) 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Food and drinks for everyone, live music and a beautiful setting on the Deschutes River. Bring family, friends; all are welcome. Please bring a dessert. Everything else is provided. Sponsored by the Central Oregon Labor Chapter.

COWLITZ-WAHKIAKUM COUNTIES  —10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the large covered picnic shelter at Tam O’Shanter Park in Kelso. Hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, cake and more — anyone attending is welcome to bring a potluck dish to share. There will also be a croquet tournament. For info, contact Shawn Nyman at 360-270-5096.

EUGENE/SPRINGFIELD — Splash Pool Picnic Shelter; 6100 Thurston Road, Springfield, noon to 3:30 p.m. Hamburgers, hot dogs, live music, door prizes, and fun for the whole family! Please bring a side dish to share. No alcohol allowed. Retiring State Rep. Phil Barnhart will be honored. Sponsored by Lane County Labor Chapter.

LA GRANDE — 3501 N Spruce St., La Grande., 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., features bouncy house, water fights, volleyball, badminton, open mic, and more. Hamburgers, hot dogs, lemonade and iced tea served at 11:30. Bring friends, family, and your favorite dish. Sponsored by SEIU Local 503 and Eastern Oregon Central Labor Chapter. Contact Tova at 541-709-6403 or [email protected] for more info.

SALEM — Salem River Park, 230 Front St SE.; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; All friends of labor and their families are welcome for BBQ, side dishes, soft drinks, and great company! Food served 11:10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Political guest speakers speak from 11-11:30 a.m. Please bring two cans of food or $2 per person for donation to the Marion/Polk Food Bank. Sponsored by the Marion-Polk-Yamhill Central Labor Chapter.

NORTH BEND/COOS BAY — There is no picnic this year.


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