(Vicki Gaebe ) Park City, Utah
8 Great Labor Day Weekend Getaways
AUGUST 20, 2013Kaeli Conforti, Budget TravelLabor Day weekend may be just around the corner, but it's not too late to plan the perfect three-day getaway. From coast to coast, there are plenty of free and budget-friendly activities to choose from.
Lake Tahoe: For carnivals, races, and family-friendly fun
Take the kids to the South Lake Tahoe Community Fair at the Heavenly Mountain Base Lodge for carnival rides and a ride on the 40-foot-tall Ferris wheel. You can also enjoy live music with an impressive fireworks display over the lake Sunday night starting at 8:30 p.m. On Saturday, Aug. 31st, you'll have the opportunity to board one of South Shore's two Mississippi paddlewheeler boats, the Tahoe Queen or the M.S. Dixie II, for the 21st annual Great Lake Tahoe Sternwheeler Race, a unique only-in-Tahoe experience that can be yours for from $25 per person including brunch and drink specials. If you'd rather be a spectator, cheer runners on from the sidelines as they compete in the second annual Heavenly Mountain Run, racing from the California Base Lodge at 6,565-feet all the way up to the Tamarack Lodge at 9.150-feet. Another notable weekend event is the 4th annual Sample the Sierra Festival on Sept. 1st from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., where you can sample fresh farm-to-table food and wine creations by local chefs and farmers.
Park City: For historic parades and the Running of the Balls
Labor Day is more commonly referred to as Park City Miner's Day in this part of Utah—a tradition dating all the way back to 1898. Each year there's a celebration in honor of the area's rich mining heritage, complete with a community pancake breakfast, live music, races and games for the kids, the Funky 5K Fun Run, and the annual Miner's Day Parade down Historic Main Street. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the celebration is the annual Running of the Balls, a charity fundraising event held on Monday at 10:45 a.m. where participants "adopt" a ball for $5 (or 5 balls for $20), and watch in awe as thousands of them are released down Main Street, racing to the bottom of the hill. The first ten to reach the bottom of the street are tracked, earning their owners a grand prize of airline tickets, season ski passes, or any number of other donated surprises.Read more: Budget Travel