Gone to Independence Days

If you’re lucky, you aren’t at work on this first Monday in September. If you’re even luckier, you’re getting paid anyway. Three cheers for Labor Day. More cheers for the wholesome good times that take place every year at this time in Independence. The Ferris wheel started turning at 6 p.m. Thursday, when the carnival part of Santa Cali-Gon Days opened. The full festival officially began Friday at noon; gates have opened at 10 a.m. each day since. If you haven’t been yet — hell, even if you have — head to Historic Independence Square (Osage to Memorial Drive, between Truman and Walnut streets in Independence) for fresh-squeezed lemonade, free concerts, folk art, and an ice-cream-eating contest. Admission is free. For details see santacaligon.com.— Crystal K. Wiebe

Fri., Sept. 3; Sat., Sept. 4; Sun., Sept. 5; Mon., Sept. 6, 2010