Columbus Day 2013: What's Open, What's Closed
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Columbus Day, which is now the second Monday of October, is among the strangest "holidays" on the calendar. It is celebrated irregularly, in many different ways, while in other places it's ignored and in still others actively discouraged.
Technically it's a federal holiday, but the shutdown means national parks, where employees might celebrate, are also closed, including some, like Biscayne National Park off Miami, that mostly exist in the water.
Many Italian-American groups, of course, celebrate their pride with a parade -- New York's is the biggest -- but is anyone other than federal government employees and very proud Italians really taking the day off?
TheStreet is not, because the New York Stock Exchange, across from our offices, is open. On the other hand, the bond market, which deals with federally insured paper, is closed. With the bond market, and other federal offices dealing with money, taking the day off, this means your bank office will be closed. The ATM, of course, will be open.
Whether your local public library is open depends on whether the city or county it's in is giving employees the day off. Generally, governments in northeastern states are giving the holiday, those elsewhere are not. For instance, libraries in Buffalo are closed. Those in Atlanta are open. State offices in Georgia are closed, but early voting for city elections will be available from county offices.
Here's how close it can get. Parking meters run by the city of Minneapolis will not be visited, so park all you want. Unless you're at the University of Minnesota and local parks -- meter maids there will be issuing tickets. As will all those across the river in St. Paul.
Generally, the closer you are to a large Italian-American population, the more likely people will be out celebrating. Italians will be proudly marching in San Francisco, for instance. But Berkeley is giving its employees the day off, and has called this holiday Indigenous Peoples' Day for 20 years. They're holding a powwow. Hawaii calls the day "Discoverers' Day" for its Polynesian community, but state offices there are open.
Don't think this Columbus Day defiance is some crunchy liberal thing, either. South Dakota calls October 14 "Native Americans Day" and state offices will be closed. Oklahoma state offices will be open, but the day is celebrated by each tribe. Most of the northeast corner of the state will celebrate Monday as Cherokee Day. But there are eight other tribes nearby, and each will attach their name to the celebration.