Since 1894, Labor Day has been celebrated as a national holiday to pay tribute to American workers, but some employees know it’s not a day off.
The Marietta Square was buzzing with thousands of people from Saturday to Monday who came for the weekend farmers market and the Art in the Park festival.
David Reardon, of Kennesaw, who has owned Shillings on the Square for 37 years, said he expected the festival to draw a crowd of 30,000 to 40,000 people, so he kept his restaurant open to feed them.
“It’s kind of a no-brainer. When you’ve got that many people, why would you be closed?” Reardon said.
By noon on Monday, Reardon said the restaurant already had three to four times as many customers as normal. His servers don’t mind the extra work, Reardon said, because it translates to extra wages.
“(The waiters and waitresses) are happy to work because they make a lot of money,” Reardon said.
Stephanie Zimmerer, of Powder Springs, who is a sales associate at Ye Old Christmas and Candy Shoppe, said she also enjoys the business that results from holiday shoppers.
“It doesn’t bother me because it’s a busy day for us,” Zimmerer said.
Connie Miller, who is also a sales associate at Ye Old Christmas and Candy Shoppe, said customers had been steadily streaming through the shop Monday, and they were all in a good mood. Miller said she didn’t know whether to attribute their happiness to the long weekend or the offerings of the candy shop.
“We’re a fudge, chocolate, candy and Christmas store, so no one is ever in a bad mood when they come in. And, if they aren’t happy when they come in, they’re sure happy once they see all the chocolate,” Miller said.
Miller said she didn’t have any plans for Labor Day, so she didn’t mind working the holiday celebrating blue collar workers.
“I’m thankful to have a job, and it’s a fun place to work,” Miller said.
Grace Beales, of Marietta, and co-manager of Cool Beans Coffee Roasters, said she enjoyed the calmness of the day, even though she didn’t have it off. Customers were happy to be out shopping instead of at work, she said.
“It’s been an easy, breezy day,” Beales said.
Lynn Lumpkin, of Marietta, and manager of Lizards and Lollipops, said she enjoyed helping the families who visited her children’s book and toy store Monday.
“This store is magic, and I am happy to be in this store as long as my stamina can take it,” Lumpkin said. “I’m happy that everyone has the day off with their kids and they can go shopping.”
Johnny Fulmer, of Marietta, who owns Church Street Market/The Keeping Room on the Square, said when the customers are off work for the day, he knows he’ll be at the shop.
“(My wife, Susi, and I) have been retailers for 35 years, and we know that when the customers are here, we feel like we need to be here,” Fulmer said.
Fulmer said he has enjoyed seeing business in his store pick up, especially on holidays, because it’s a sign of a comeback in the economy.
“I’m very encouraged because business increased last year, and we think we’re seeing business increase this year, so I sense that the local consumer is a little happier than they were a few years ago,” Fulmer said.