San Francisco: Columbus Day Parade Celebrates Italian Heritage

Holidays + Festivals

Columbus Day is celebrated this year on 12 October. It is a Federal holiday in the United States. It celebrates the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus in 1492. It is also a celebration of Italian American heritage.

US_Navy_in_Columbus_Day_parade_during_SF_Fleet_Week_2010-10-10 wikimedia commons, public domain_2[1]

Sailors marching through the streets of San Francisco in celebration of Columbus Day, a Federal Holiday in the United States. Columbus Day celebrates the Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Photo Credit: US Navy,


The first Columbus Day Parade was held in San Francisco, California, in 1869.

There were bands and marching units of Italian organizations and four floats, the first of which held a statue of Christopher Columbus.

This year’s parade, which is now officially known as the Italian Heritage Parade, takes place through the streets of San Francisco’s colourful North Beach district, which is also known as Little Italy.

There are dozens of floats and high school marching bands as well as Christopher Columbus, Queen Isabella, and her court.

An open air carnival follows.

Other cities throughout the United States also hold parades, some on Saturday, others on Sunday, and yet others are holding them on  the actual anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus.

Columbus discovered America on 12 October 1492. Columbus Day is officially celebrated on Monday 11 October this year in order to give workers and students a three day weekend.

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