Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

No Columbus Day in Columbus, Ohio: What the city is doing instead

No Columbus Day in Columbus, Ohio: What the city is doing instead

Columbus, Ohio is not celebrating Christopher Columbus' federally recognized holiday, and will instead honor military veterans in its place.

Franklin Park off East Broad Street was transformed into a horticultural exposition that rivaled both Disney's EPCOT and World's Fair.

The first New York City Indigenous Peoples Day celebration was in 2015, when 6,000 indigenous people and their supporters gathered on Randall's Island.

Most schools are closed for Columbus Day, but some local districts-and some district offices-stay open.

But it became the subject of protests past year over Columbus's enslavement of native people, with the protest's organizer supporting renaming the city itself.

Twenty-six years ago, Columbus Day in Columbus, Ohio was celebrated with a $95 million, 88-acre floral wonderland.

Columbus Day has been a federal holiday since the 1930s, but as of 2015, less than half of USA states had moved to give their employees a paid day off on the day. What was once a national holiday meant to celebrate Christopher Columbus' colonization of the Americas - and his first encounter with Indigenous peoples on october 11th, 1492 - has been wisely re-branded to celebrate the lives of the Indigenous people who are still with us, and to honor those were enslaved, displaced, and suffered a genocide the likes of which are unprecedented.

The choice to honor indigenous people on the overlapping federal holiday is not a coincidence, the mayor of Tacoma, Washington, Victoria Woodards, has said, while noting the city's efforts to engender better relations with the area's Puyallup Nation people.

City offices will close instead on Veterans Day, which falls on November 12 this year.

While post offices are closed, UPS does not observe the holiday. That includes a peaceful protest of prayers, speeches and traditional singing in 2016 at Columbus City Hall - underneath the statue of the explorer that sits out front - to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline and to urge OH to support more renewable energy. Here's a guide to what's open and closed!

Columbus Day has been a federal holiday since 1934. Those cities are now honoring the history and contributions of Native Americans. The one that stands outside City Hall arrived as a gift in 1955 from Genoa, Italy, believed to be the birthplace of Christopher Columbus.

"New York is leaps and bounds behind the rest of the country in recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day, but also in acknowledging the fact that Columbus did not discover America", he said.

So what did Columbus really do?

This year, the Monday observance of Columbus Day falls on October 8. "This is another feather in the city of Columbus" cap'.

'If you're mayor of a city and its name is Columbus, why wouldn't you capitalize on that? Joseph Contino, board member of the Columbus Italian Festival, told the Associated Press.

The Columbus Italian Club posted a link on Facebook to a Dispatch article about the city's decision not to celebrate Columbus Day with a single thumbs down emoji as its lone commentary.

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