The first Labor Day celebration had a lot of beer
The first major Labor Day parade was held in Manhattan near city hall in 1882. Police were worried about a riot breaking out, so there was a large police presence in the area. The problem, though, was that almost no one showed up at first to actually march. Awkward.
There was no music playing, and the few people present almost gave up before 200 people from the Jeweler's Union showed up and then things were on a roll. Around 20,000 people ended up marching that day.
Then came the party. Reports at the time said after the parade, there were "Lager beer kegs ... mounted in every conceivable place."
Some traditions, it seems, really stand the test of time. -- Happy Labor Day!