The United States will take the day off work this Monday to celebrate the arrival of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus in the Americas back in 1492.

As the first European to discover the Americas since the Vikings, Columbus’ voyage led to the colonisation of the Americas.

While Columbus is viewed as a controversial figure, much of North America still celebrates his discovery each year. It’s a particularly big day for the United States’ Italian community. They use the holiday to celebrate their history and heritage.

Since the 1930s, America’s banks and businesses have closed their doors in order to observe and take part in the parades that take place across the states.

They will go once again this year. A number of states are planning huge celebrations for Monday, 9 October to mark Columbus Day 2017.

Depending on where you are, here’s how you can celebrate this Columbus Day holiday:

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San Francisco

San Francisco, California, will celebrate with its 149th annual Italian Heritage Parade on Sunday, 8 October. According to its organisers, this is the oldest celebration of Italian heritage in the US’ history.

Beginning at 9:30pm London time (12:30pm Pacific), a parade of colourful floats, marching bands and organisations will march along Jefferson Street, Columbus Avenue and Washington Square, celebrating everything Italian.

New York City

While San Francisco’s celebration is the oldest, New York City’s is by far the biggest.

Celebrate America’s struggles and triumphs with New York City’s Italian-American community this Monday. More than 35,000 marchers will take to Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue to participate in the eagerly anticipated Columbus Day holiday parade.


Hurricane Irma may have wreaked havoc on Florida, but the state will still take to the streets and water to celebrate the Columbus Day holiday.

The annual Columbus Day Regatta race has been cancelled due to damage to structures and boats. However, the city will hold a shorter substitute event on Saturday, 7 October, in order to keep the tradition alive. Grab a vessel and join Miami on the water.


The state of Ohio will celebrate Columbus Day with a huge parade through Cleveland.  More than 100 performance groups will be taking to Little Italy to celebrate the area’s Italian community and heritage.

This will be Little Italy’s 15th year as host of the Cleveland Columbus Day Parade, with organisers promising just as much family-friendly fun as previous years.


While Columbus Day celebrations tend to differ from state to state, Chicago will attempt to put on a global celebration this year.

With a “Columbus around the World” theme, 150 groups will march through the streets of Chicago on Monday accompanied by floats, instruments and eye-catching costumes in a wild celebration of Columbus’ monumental voyage.