As an official state holiday, state offices, schools and banks are closed every year on Columbus Day. At the same time, restaurants, stores and other attractions remain open, with many offering special sales and discounts throughout the weekend. In addition, many special events take place throughout the three-day weekend. This makes Columbus Day weekend the perfect time to celebrate in Boston. Here are a few of the great Columbus Day events taking place in Boston in 2014.
Boston’s Columbus Day Parade
The Boston Columbus Day Parade, which celebrates the city’s Italian heritage and Christopher Columbus’s expeditions to the Americas, always takes place on the Sunday before Columbus Day. The event features a mixture of marching brass bands, Duck Boat floats, Italian-Boston organizations, military units, colonial militias, vintage autos and other attractions and entertainers. As with all even-numbered years, this year’s parade will start at the Dom Savio Athletic Field and will march down Bennington Street in East Boston. On odd-numbered years, the parade winds through the narrow streets of the North End, including Hanover Street, Atlantic Avenue and Endicott.
Columbus Day Celebration
A free Columbus Day Celebration will also take place in the Christopher Columbus Park from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm on Sunday. Hosted by ParkARTS, the event features a mix of local performers and entertainment. It also offers a variety of family-oriented activities for participants to enjoy.
Taking place October 10th through the 12th at Davis Square in Somerville and Harvard Square in Cambridge, the free HONK! Festival features musicians from around the world. Dressed in colorful attire, the musicians play a wide variety of instruments from several different genres. Some of these include Brazilian-Afro music, New Orleans brass bands, Balkan music and European Klezmer music. On Saturday, street bands will perform from 12:30 to 9:00 pm. On Sunday, they will parade from Davis Square to Harvard Square down Mass Avenue from noon to 2:00 pm.
The 13th Annual Opening Our Doors
The Fenway Alliance will return once more with its annual Opening Our Doors event. Taking place from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on October 13th at The Christian Science Plaza, the free event offers more than 60 activities and over 40 organizations offering foods, music, art and activities throughout the day.