Friday, 19 October, 2018


Columbus, Ohio not celebrating Columbus Day

Columbus column on the Barcelona harbour Columbus column on the Barcelona harbour
Bennie Garza | 09 October, 2018, 09:45

The inaugural holiday starts with a sunrise ceremony in downtown L.A. and will include a 5K run, a parade of nations, a Native American powwow, panel sessions, a fashion show and live music from the Black Eyed Peas and Redbone at Grand Park. The six-month exhibit was like a cross between a horticulture-obsessed version of Disney's Epcot and a miniature World's Fair, featuring a waterfall, a rose garden with 130 varieties, a display of grasses from nearly every continent on earth and a "community of nations garden" that "has got to be one of the main roads of heaven", as The Washington Post described it then.

The largest city named for Christopher Columbus has called off its observance of the divisive holiday that honors the explorer, making a savvy move to tie the switch to a politically safe demographic: veterans.

The Redhawk Native American Arts Council is one of the organizers of the New York City Indigenous Peoples Day 2018 celebration, along with a consortium of other indigenous organizations: American Indian Community House, the United Confederation of Taino People, the Kechiwa Nation, the Halawai, the Naoiwi, Shinnecock Cultural Arts and the Ramapough Nation.

But this year, the explorer's namesake city in OH is saving a little money: Columbus has canceled its observation of Columbus Day altogether. Post offices are closed, and there will be no mail delivered on Monday, October 8. The courts are also closed on Columbus Day, along with government offices and most libraries. But this year, the capital city's offices will remain open, and instead close on Veterans Day, which falls on November 12. However, if you're expecting something from UPS, you're in luck - while the company recognizes Columbus Day, they don't close for the holiday. "Oh, why?" Columbus asks, to which the chief replies, "Columbus Day".

Tyrone Smith, director of the Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio, said the city's decision is another step in embracing its growing diversity.

The change provoked strong reactions in Columbus, as seen on local news channel 10TV's Facebook page.

Monday is Columbus Day and for the past few years, this statue of Christopher Columbus here in Tower Grove Park has been vandalized.

A follow-up tweet on Monday followed the same tack, ignoring the indigenous peoples of the Americas, but praising Columbus's "accomplishments as a navigator" (Columbus thought he had landed in Asia). The traditional Columbus Day is Friday, Oct. 12. Some cities have replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.

Last year, President Donald Trump drew criticism when his first Columbus Day proclamation didn't mention Native Americans.

"It's really an Italian holiday", Suozzi told me. Hawaii celebrates Discoverers' Day on the second Monday of October.

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