Holiday Hours: Indigenous Peoples Day / Columbus Day

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Dióscoro Teófilo Puebla Tolín's 'First landing of Columbus on the Shores of the New World,' at San Salvador, W.I., Oct. 12, 1492, from 1862.

Indigenous Peoples Day and Columbus Day is being observed Monday, Oct. 10. As Columbus Day, it commemorates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas on Oct. 12, 1492. As Indigenous Peoples Day, it commemorates the harm to their cultures and communities that followed Columbus' arrival. 

Columbus' voyage had been celebrated on significant anniversaries but did not become an official holiday until being recognized by Colorado in 1905. It was declared a federal holiday in 1937.

Not all states recognize Columbus Day. Some local and state governments, including now the city of Boston, have alternative Native American or indigenous peoples' days to reflect that others had "discovered" the continent long before the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria arrived. Hawaii celebrates Discoverers' Day, marking when the Polynesians arrived on the islands. In Vermont, it's optional for public schools to close; most stay open.

In 2021, President Biden recognized Indigenous People's Day although Columbus Day remains a federal holiday. Massachusetts has not yet recognized it officially but there are bills at the State House that would change the day from Columbus Day. 

Columbus Day in the United States is also Canadian Thanksgiving. The two holidays have shared the second Monday in October since 1971.

In the Berkshires, celebrations will be held in Pittsfield and Stockbridge. The Pittsfield event is at the Common and will feature a number of Wamponoag singers and musicians, as well as artisans and vendors from 11 to 4 on Sunday afternoon. The Stockbridge event is a workshop on the native experience with JoAnn Schedler of the Stockbridge-Munsee Community and held on both Sunday and Monday from 11 to noon at Mission House Museum, site of the current exhibit "Mohican Miles." Both events are free but the Stockbridge talk requires advance registration.

The three-day weekend is more often celebrated in New England as the kickoff to the fall foliage season and, in North County, the day of the annual Mount Greylock Ramble, a hike up the state's tallest mountain along the Cheshire Harbor Trail and Ramblefest in Adams from noon to 5 the day before. 

Closed:

Federal, state and local offices; no mail delivery.
Banks
Public colleges and schools, most private schools
Public libraries
Most offices and businesses
BRTA is not running

Open:


Commercial establishments are required by law not to open before noon unless locally permitted.
Most retail outlets, groceries
Restaurants and bars, by choice
Convenience stores

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is reminding members of the public to plan ahead for the upcoming Columbus Day weekend, drive in off-peak hours if possible, utilize the appropriate technology tools to make informed decisions, and consider public transportation to reach destinations.
 
"We expect higher traffic volume than normal starting on Thursday, so anyone traveling should allow extra time to reach destinations," said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver. "As always, the public should plan ahead and adjust travel times as appropriate for scheduled events, for the weather and to avoid the peak hours when others will be on the roads." 
 
Visit www.mass511.com for real-time road conditions.

Tags: holiday,   holiday hours,   

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