GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Labor Day meant many workers got the day off on Monday.

While some stayed home, many continued their long weekend with trips and extra-curricular activities. Still, there were many others who, instead, labored at work.

No time off for essential workers

Labor Day is about recognizing those in the workforce, including those who don’t get a day off like police, fire and EMS.

(WNCT photo)

“No matter what day it is, no matter what the calendar says, you know, it’s really important for us to be there for them,” said Lt. Joshua Porter with the Jacksonville Police Department. “And that’s why we’re here today is to serve our community, just like we do every day.”

While there wasn’t much activity to report on Monday, it gave those who were on the job the chance to reflect on the significance of why they are working to provide safety within the community.

“It’s also important to think about all the other people that are working day to right, like, police officers aren’t the only essential workers out there,” Porter said. “You know, if you go by the hospital today, or you know, wherever there’s a lot of other people that are working right now.”

Christi Herbst, a nurse at CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern is part of their calling when being in public service.

“We operate 24/7,” Herbst said. “And people need care all the time, even on a holiday. So no days off, no matter what for us. And we’re here to serve no matter what.”

Taking a break, time with family

Many people who spoke to WNCT said Monday was the perfect time to get out, take a break and spend quality time with family.

Greenville Town Commons was packed with families who came out in the sun before the rains came to spend quality time. It was also a chance for families to get in one last break before returning to classes after school resumed last week. The next big break won’t come until Thanksgiving.

Town Common on Labor Day (Adrianna Hargrove, WNCT photo)

“Saturday we went to the beach,” said Yesenia Perez of Greenville. “It was nice and exciting. we spent the day swimming in the water, you know just sunbathing, which was nice and fun.

“Today it’s a time to relax. this morning I got to Starbucks, got a coffee, got ready even though it’s a holiday you still have to be in shape.”

“I think the older we get the more that we wanna spend time with your family because tomorrow is never promised, so you have to enjoy the time that you have now with your family.”

Many others we spoke with talked about having a good work-life balance and to always take care of yourself.

One last really busy weekend for businesses

Many of the coastal cities and towns were busy this Labor Day weekend. For many, it’s the unofficial end of summer.

All up and down the coast, many businesses have seen robust foot traffic and lots of dollars spent. It’s a welcome change after the coronavirus pandemic and a good follow after a busy 2021 tourist season. Nice weather and no threats from hurricanes have also helped.

(Cheyenne Pagan, WNCT photo)

On Topsail Island, businesses who spoke to WNCT said they are enjoying the brisk business and watching people have fun in the sun. The owners of Shaka Taco said Sunday was one of the busiest days of 2022 for them.

“Thanks to everybody who’s come by this summer. I mean, it’s been like I said smooth, but also really fun just to interact with all the different people,” said Steve Christian and Cody Leutgens, co-owners of Shaka Taco.

The owners of Oven One Breakfast Food Truck in Surf City, along with North Shore Juice said they have definitely appreciated the steady flow of traffic on the bridge heading down to the beach.