Columbia residents celebrate Labor Day with friends and family

Monday, September 3, 2007 | 8:02 p.m. CDT; updated 7:19 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 9, 2008

COLUMBIA — Dave Dickey, 23, spent Labor Day at Finger Lakes State Park sunning himself atop a deflated raft and enjoying the company of old friends.

For Dickey and other day trippers, the holiday offered a welcome reprieve from the daily grind of work or school. It also gave busy families the chance to spend some quality time together.

“We came to enjoy the last of summer,” Dickey said.

Ava Tucker, 6, spent the morning climbing on the shores of the Missouri River with her parents and baby sister, searching for pretty stones. At nearby Cooper’s Landing, picnickers enjoyed cold drinks and mango sticky rice, while boaters geared up for a day on the water.

Others headed to Finger Lakes’ motocross track to race dirt bikes and four-wheelers.

“It’s cheap, easy fun,” said Holly Tremblay, who drove with her family from Mexico, Mo., to picnic and watch her children ride their dirt bikes. “We’ll stay till close. We love this park.”

The holiday also has a deeper meaning for Ava’s father, Michael Tucker, a sheet metal worker with the Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 union in St. Louis.

“Labor Day is about celebrating all the hard work everyone does,” he said.

In years past Tucker and his wife, Michelle, have marched in the St. Louis Labor Day parade, but a growing family has meant new traditions.

“Holiday plans have changed,” Michelle Tucker said. “We make it a family time.”

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