Labor Day Getaways

These Western festivals provide your clients with great opportunities for Labor Day getaways By: Kenneth Shapiro
The Highland Games, near San Francisco, is a great option for a Labor Day getaway. // (c) 2012 Thinkstock F
The Highland Games, near San Francisco, is a great option for a Labor Day getaway. // (c) 2012 Thinkstock F


With Labor Day around the corner, your clients might be looking for a final summer getaway. And if Labor Day is the unofficial last hurrah of summer, then what could be better than going out in a blaze of silliness, revelry and pure goofy fun? With that in mind, here are our selections for a few of the best festivals in the West that will make for perfect Labor Day getaways.

Scottish Highland Gathering & Games
Sept. 1-2
Pleasanton, Calif.

Considered one of the largest Scottish celebrations in the world, the Scottish Highland Gathering & Games, held in Pleasanton, Calif., not far from San Francisco, offers visitors a chance to taste a wee bit of Scotland without using their passports. Some of the top attractions of the festival are the Heavy Events — tests of strength and skill that include the caber, putting the stone, Scottish hammer and weight for distance. In addition, there will be pipe bands and other Scottish music, a Highland dancing competition, sheep dog trials and an array of food, including bangers, meat pies, Scotch eggs and more.

Portland Pirate Festival
Sept. 1-2
St. Helens, Ore.

The city of St. Helens, Ore., near Portland, is bracing for a siege by a motley crew of scallywags as the Portland Pirate Festival gets set to drop anchor there this Labor Day weekend, Sept.1-2. Complete with costumes, music, food, entertainment and, in what can only be a nod to the modern-day realities of pirate life, events for families, the festival celebrates all things pirate. Last year’s festival was the first in its new location in St. Helens (a Portland escape and the film location for the first “Twilight” movie). The new locale offers more of an Old Town setting as well as ample moorage for boats at the city docks and on Sand Island.

Bumbershoot: Seattle’s Music & Arts Festival
Sept. 1-2
Seattle, Wash.

Leave the pirates behind and jump forward in time a couple centuries to spend the last days of summer rocking out at Bumbershoot: Seattle’s Music & Arts Festival. Since 1971, Bumbershoot has drawn artists representing the best in music, film, comedy, spoken word, dance, theater, performance and visual arts to the Seattle Center over Labor Day weekend. During North America’s largest urban arts festival, more than 100,000 visitors from near and far spend the weekend reveling in the world of Bumbershoot, experiencing everything from regional favorites to international superstars across all arts disciplines. This year’s lineup includes a wide range of artists from Gotye to Tony Bennett. During the month of August, tickets can be purchased at all Rudy’s Barbershops in Seattle, New York and Los Angeles, as well as online.

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