Labor Day is a favorite among many, particularly those with jobs or those in school. For students, Labor Day weekend means that the option to go out or stay up late is extended to three nights instead of the regular two. And what is Labor Day without a good hangover and some barbecue?
With the recent heat wave, it’s hard to spend more than 15 minutes outdoors without sprinting towards the nearest air-conditioned building and flopping down in front of a fan.
The forecast for Monday claims that the temperature should be somewhat cooler than the recent face-melting 95 degrees, so spending the holiday outdoors may actually be a pleasant experience.
Besides being a great excuse to sleep-in three days in a row, Labor Day weekend is also a perfect time to celebrate the end of summer by grilling out and enjoying the shade of the trees before the leaves begin to fall.
For those who live in dorms or apartments without a lawn or grill, many local parks in Bloomington-Normal provide great outdoor spots with picnic tables, grills and large grassy areas for activities.
Even those who are inexperienced cooks can find easy, tasty recipes on the Internet. Websites like Pinterest and Reddit offer thousands of easy recipes that cater to cooks of all levels. There is even a grilling subreddit with tons of recipes, and a quick search on Pinterest for “labor day meals” will result in a plethora of tasty ideas.
Besides good food at a barbecue, music, drinks and games are also a must. To make your barbecue one to remember, try branching out in your selections.
Most parties just play current, popular music, so instead, try out the ’90s Pandora station for a throwback, or listen to WGLT 89.1 FM radio for some swanky blues music.
Instead of the usual beer pong or game of bags, try to come up with new rules to add to the games to add a fun, unique twist.
A good drink is also required at cookouts, especially if the temperature is a little muggy. If those attending are 21 or older, try mixing up some simple summer cocktails instead of just having a keg on tap. For those who are under age, virgin margaritas are still just as delicious without the tequila, and you are never too young for a root beer float.
If you are having a cookout at a park, be sure to follow the rules and guidelines for the area.
Sara Mayer is the public affairs officer for the Bloomington Police Department. She offered some advice to those planning on having a get-together in a public area.
“Drinking alcohol at a park is not allowed in the town,” she said. “Music is allowed, but try to keep it at a reasonable level with minimal swearing because there may be children in the area. Be aware of those around you, have fun and be safe.”
Stick to soda and non-alcoholic beverages while in public to avoid any tickets and to be sure that everyone gets home safely.