click to enlarge Rick Dunham as Elvis Himselvis performs at 5 p.m. at the Meraki Healing Arts Festival on Saturday at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hardees on Stevenson Drive.
Rick Dunham as Elvis Himselvis performs at 5 p.m. at the Meraki Healing Arts Festival on Saturday at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hardees on Stevenson Drive.

Welcome to an early bird Labor Day weekend for 2019. Since the first Monday in September is actually the second day of the month this year, the whole shebang is one day away from the earliest possible date it could be. This weekend is officially the end of the summer season by most accounts, and methinks I can safely say that I am ready for the fall festivities to arrive.

Not to be a party pooper, but since the beginning of the warm weather festival season we’ve had a bountiful barrage of burgoos, barbecues, celebrations, chicken fry and fish fry days, fairs, fests, festivals, gatherings, happenings, homecomings, parades, picnics and weekends that included good times, bad times and sometimes anytime, plus “the times they are a-changin’” are certainly in there somewhere, too.

I, for one, am happily worn out from the summer salad and ready to move on to the autumn eatings. Lest you are worried the festival party season is kaput, fear not my friends, we still have plenty going on through most of October. There’s a vibrant array of September and October events, including Oktoberfests in September and a smattering of ones in the namesake month, plus the requisite Halloween happenings to wind up the fall party season.

But to bring us back to the celebration of workers on Labor Day weekend, please remember the hard-fought privileges earned by our forefathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, who lived, died, fought and cajoled to bring us a 40-hour week, paid holidays, equitable pay and other livable notions that helped create the society we now reside within. As we raise a can and munch on a brat while listening to a local live music performance, let us pause to reflect, not only on the past accomplishments of occupational unions and working folks, but what the future holds for those actually doing the work of, in and for this country of ours.

Okay, the speech is over, so let’s party on Garth and see what gives in the live music world of the Springfield community this Labor Day weekend. We might as well begin with the big events after the earlier comments about such matters. On Saturday, the good people at the Inn at 835 host their tenth annual Springfield Oyster and Beer Festival, the SOB Fest for those in the know, delivering live music, craft beer and edible oysters, all for a charitable donation. Also on Saturday, from 11 in the morning until 11 at night, the Meraki Healing Arts Festival takes place at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hardees on Stevenson Drive, featuring live music along with “speakers, lectures and info about holistic health and happiness” for your entertainment pleasure and educational enjoyment. Over in Jacksonville, from Saturday through Monday, comes the 21st annual Prairieland Chautauqua, complete with live music, informative programs and other activities modeled after the late 19th and early 20th century Chautauquas, popular events that predated our contemporary obsession with fairs and festivals.

A look at our Saturday downtown Farmers Market entertainment shows some fella named Casey Cantrall playing from 10 a.m. until noon. Hey, CC aren’t you also the lead guy appearing in the acclaimed Memphis:The Musical, happening this weekend at the Hoogland for a second and final showing?

Congratulations on all the congratulations for your performance and ditto to rest of the talented cast and crew as well. Have a good market gig and break a leg at the theater.

Well, that’s about all the labors of music love I can cover this week. Onward to the next.

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