Honoring Workers

Spitale Recognized During Annual Labor Day Festival

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi, second from left, is pictured along with 2018 George Ritzer Memorial Labor Award recipient George S. Spitale, third from left, during the 39th annual Jamestown Labor Day Festival on Sunday. Spitale has received the award twice, the first time coming in 1985.

Beautiful weather and a large crowd attended the 39th annual Jamestown Labor Day Festival on Sunday. The major event of the day was the presentation of the George Ritzer Memorial Labor Award to George S. Spitale.

Being the first two-time recipient in the award’s 34 year history, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi shared some kind words about Spitale.

“George is a recipient of this award for the second time due to his commitment to advancing the cause of workers’ rights,” Teresi said. “George Spitale is a community treasure. He is a personal friend of mine, a relative of mine, and an inspiration of mine. And he has eaten, breathed and worked his blood, sweat, tears and money in representing the cause of the labor movement, and of the community in general. Thank you George Spitale.”

Teresi also mentioned that he will be starting a Labor Appreciation Week through this Saturday in Jamestown, in order to “reflect and appreciate the true meaning of the Labor Day holiday.”

Numerous bands, entertainers and vendors were also present at this year’s festival, including Blackbird Express, We Speak Canadian, Two for Flinching, TPT, Jamestown Harmony Express, Pearl City Jazz, Take 2, and Cindy Haight & The Loves.

Veterans during Sunday’s ceremony. Photo by Daryl Simons Jr.

One entertainer in particular was magician Mike Baron of Mike Baron Entertainment. Some of his tricks consisted of manipulating images on flags, creating new flags from multiple colored flags, turning a flag with a rabbit on it into an actual rabbit and sticking a sword through a contraption that contained his grandson’s neck (his grandson was OK). Each one of his tricks involved someone from the audience.

For one of his tricks, he asked a young lady from the audience to come on up. When he asked where she was from, she said “India.”

He was surprised due to her great English, but then proceeded on with his trick, this time convincing his guest that he had memorized the entirety of The Adventures of Sherlock Homes. The trick was on the audience, as he had a copy in his hand as he was reciting passages to his guest. But to everyone’s surprise, the pages were blank.

As for vendors, various schools were represented along with the Sons of Amvets 726, Chautauqua Children’s Safety Village, United Way of Southern Chautauqua County and the Jamestown Babe Ruth Baseball and World Series. Various arts and crafts booths were also present, complete with original works by local artists.

Southern Tier wrestling returned with “Bergman Brawl 2” this year at the Babe Ruth Baseball Field.

The mayor extensively thanked the efforts of the people who had setup the tents and equipment for the festival this year, as the weather early in the day was plagued with several rainstorms.