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Barre Area: Win Tickets to Primo Maggio Dinner at Old Labor Hall

Italian stone workers gather at Barre’s Old Labor Hall for Primo Maggio celebrations in 1904.

Italian stone workers gather at Barre’s Old Labor Hall for Primo Maggio celebrations in 1904.

Barre Residents and Surrounding Towns!

This weekend, the Old Labor Hall in Barre continues a tradition of Primo Maggio (First of May) celebrations begun by the Italian founders of the Hall in 1900. In the past, workers would have the day off from work and mark the day with activities like fairs, parades, lectures, banquets, and dances. This year’s Primo Maggio events will focus on Barre’s Scottish immigrants, who provided stone workers, business owners, and civic leaders to the town.

Built by Italian stone cutters in 1900 as a political and social center for the Italian immigrant community, the Socialist Labor Party Hall (affectionately called the Old Labor Hall) has become a meeting place for many community groups in Central Vermont. The Hall has been carefully restored and is now one of only two National Historic Landmark sites in Washington County (the other being the Vermont Statehouse).

Scott Skinner, a founding partner of Biggam Fox Skinner, helps fundraise for the Hall and until recently led the building committee that maintains the Hall. He is currently working on a grant to protect the historic building against flooding.

This year’s Primo Maggio celebrations take place on April 30 and May 1.

To win a pair of tickets to attend the Community Dinner on Saturday April 30, e-mail with your name and phone number, or go to our Facebook page and like or comment on the post. We’ll draw a winner at random on Thursday April 28.

Primo Maggio Events in Barre

Saturday April 30 at 6:00 pm – Community Dinner at the Old Labor Hall, followed by Traditional Scottish Music featuring:

  • Norman Kennedy, singer, National Heritage Fellow
  • Dominique Dodge, singer/harpist
  • Ian Gauthier, piper

Sunday, May 1 at 4:00 pm – Solid Men in the Granite City: Barre’s Socialist Mayors. An illustrated talk by Prof. Robert E. Weir, UMass, Amherst. Admission free, light refreshments available (donations to support the Hall cheerfully accepted)