Albany has cancelled its annual Columbus Day Parade, which began in 1992. From Jorden Carleo-Evangelist:

For the first time in two decades, there will be no Columbus Day parade in the city — a casualty, some organizers said, of dwindling crowds and younger people not as closely linked to their cultural roots.

The full-scale parade — replaced in the past two years by a shorter one in Washington Park — gives way this year to a Columbus Festival on Saturday and Sunday in Cook Park in Colonie.

The article’s an interesting read, as it touches on the various pushbacks over the years against Columbus due to what some say is an insensitive celebration of the eradication of Native culture in the Americas. It also examines the use of the holiday as a celebration of Italian-Americans, but being so many generations removed from the last major influx of immigration, relevance and interest in that angle has diminished. Aspects of other cultures have bled into new generations while older generations hold onto their shared experience  through community organizations. Now, all we are left with is a Monday off in October to reflect on a very complicated and sometimes distressing history. 

But if you’re really hard up for a parade celebrating white people with STDs, there’s always North Pearl on any given Saturday.

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5 Responses to Albany to Christopher Columbus: sorry, old chum, but we’re sleeping in this year

  1. Chuck Miller says:

    There’s something you touched on in this post – the fact that Columbus Day has become a de facto Italian-American Heritage Day, just as St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into an Irish-American Heritage Day, Martin Luther King’s Birthday is now an African-American Heritage Day, and Cinco de Mayo is essentially now a Hispanic-American Heritage Day. Perhaps we are experiencing an evolution of holidays from celebrations of famous men and famous accomplishments into a celebration of the various ethnicities and cultures that make our United States of America melting pot.

  2. Rob Madeo says:

    We need to get the UAlbany off-campus student community involved. I’m not sure what the Italian equivalent of Kegs n’ Eggs is, but I know it would be a huge hit.

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