Bread and Roses Festival

Bread and Roses Festival

First Monday in September; coincides with Labor Day in the United States
The Bread and Roses Festival is a one-day, free event held in Lawrence, Mass., each year on Labor Day, the first Monday in September. The Festival, which has been held on the town common annually since 1985, commemorates the Bread and Roses Labor Strike that occurred in Lawrence in 1912, when most of the town's 30,000 textile workers walked off the job in protest of low wages and harsh working conditions. Many of the strikers were women and children, including a large proportion of recent immigrants. The strike gained its name from a sign reportedly carried by female protesters, proclaiming, "We want bread and roses, too," indicating that they sought both fair compensation for their work and respect from their employers.
The Festival combines multicultural arts, poetry, dance, and music with themes of labor activism and social protest. Trolley and walking tours visit sites connected with the history of the strike and include exhibits of period artifacts and a demonstration of wool carding and spinning. In addition, information booths, ethnic food, and commemorative merchandise vendors are on site, as well as a petting zoo, pony rides, and a domino tournament.
CONTACTS:
Bread and Roses Heritage Committee, Inc.
P.O. Box 1137
Lawrence, MA 01842-1137
978-794-1655
www.breadandroses.net
SOURCES:
PatHols, pp. 180-81, 183
References in periodicals archive ?
a 501c3 non-profit organization that produces the annual Bread and Roses Festival.
The Bread and Roses Festival celebrates its 29th year producing an arts and history festival in Lawrence, MA commemorating the Bread and Roses Strike of 1912.