Special Event


It's About Time: Labor Day Weekend Festivities

Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park



Location: LAT/LONG: 41.877678, -71.382487

67 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket, RI 02860

Repeating Event


Every day


September 02, 2023 to September 03, 2023


10:00 AM


6 hours

Type of Event

Cultural/Craft Demonstration
Guided Tour
Partner Program


What does Labor Day mean to you?  

For more than a century, people have honored the contributions of workers in the United States on Labor Day. Many people are not always free to celebrate on the holiday, however, and there is a long tradition of gathering to enjoy rest and leisure on other surrounding days of rest.  

Join us for a weekend of special tours, music, and picnicking in the shadow of America’s first cotton spinning mill. There will be special programs at Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark from September 1-3, 2023, all free of charge.  

In addition to picnic tables onsite, there will be a tent and yard games. Please feel free to bring your own blankets and chairs.  

Note: The Labor Day holiday will be observed on the site and there will be no programs on Monday, September 4, 2023. The grounds will be open dawn to dusk.  


River Bend East Music Festival (Friday and Saturday)

Join us for an evening performance on the grounds of Old Slater Mill. Pack some snacks, drinks, and a lawn chair or blanket. Enjoy music and drone footage of historic mill buildings.
6:45 PM Acoustic Set and Welcome - J. Michael Graham 
7:30 PM Drone Footage and Music - David Lawlor & High Planes 
Live music starts at noon and runs through 4 p.m. 

Come out for free fun for the whole family. Bring a chair or blanket to stay and enjoy. 
Hosted at Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark, 67 Roosevelt Ave., Pawtucket, RI 02860.
12:00 PM Kim Moberg
1:00 PM Johnathan Babcock
1:30 PM Jeff Byrd
2:30 PM J. Michael Graham
3:30 PM Rachel Sumner
Musical Performances on Sunday
Join us for some local music on Sunday. Performers include Jay Brunelle and Aurea Ensemble.
Jay Brunelle, local artist and staff member at Blackstone River Valley NHP will play a set from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM. He will perform his original music, including several songs that discuss life in the Blackstone River Valley and our relationship with work.

Aurea Ensemble - Listen!


“When words leave off, music begins” -Heinrich Heine.

 Awakening our sense of sound in words and music, Listen! embraces the relationship of sound, language, music and poetry. This very popular program includes poetry of Wendell Berry, Mandelstam and  Federico Garcia Lorca; harmonica improvisations of Chris Turner;  and music of Bach, Mozart, Piazzolla and Martinu.


Chris Turner, Spoken Word & Harmonica

Megumi Stohs Lewis, Violin

Consuelo Sherba, Viola

Emmanuel Feldman, Cello

Based in Rhode Island, Aurea Ensemble is an eclectic chamber ensemble that explores the relationship between music and the spoken word. The group takes its name from Catena Aurea Homeri, or the Golden Chain of Homer, a symbol of 18th century esoteric alchemy—the combining of disparate elements into a divine new element. This is the very definition of every Aurea event: a new kind of artistic experience is created out of the group’s strong framework of classical, folk and contemporary music performed together with eloquent poetry, journals and prose. 
Specialty Tours
On Saturday and Sunday, Park staff will offer specialty tours of the mill at 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM, and 2:30 PM. These free tours will take a deep dive into the legacy of laborers here in the Blackstone River Valley. Tours will included topics such as the 1824 Pawtucket Strike and Textiles and Slavery. 
10:30 AM - Who Worked Here?
Join a Ranger as we discuss the child laborers who worked in the original Old Slater Mill and how labor changed over time.
12:30 PM - The Men who Spun
Join a Ranger for a deep dive into the Slater Mill's relationship with cotton. Investigate the lasting impacts of a simple plant, and how Slater Mill is intertwined with the slavery.
2:30 PM - STRIKE!
Join a Ranger as we investigate the history of America's first wage earners strike. Led by 102 women weavers working in Pawtucket, this strike lasted for over a week. Learn about the strike's lasting legacy.
Fun and Games
Pack a picnic, lawn chair, and come ready to play. Old timey games will be available all day Saturday and Sunday. Ever tried Graces or hoop and stick? Well, this is your chance. Visitors are encouraged to pack their own picnic lunch and take advantage of the many picnic tables on our site. 

Reservation or Registration: No

Contact Information

Allison Horrocks
Contact Us