Discover what's happening during the 2019 Columbus Day weekend with celebrations of parades, events and festivals in New Jersey.
Columbus Day celebrates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas, on October 12, 1492, or as some historians claim, that event set in motion the chain of events that led to the discovery of the United States as we know it today.
With a large immigration of Catholics during the mid-19th century and in response to discrimination from anti-immigrant activists, most notably the Ku Klux Klan, Catholics created organizations to combat discrimination and provide a means of survival for struggling immigrants.
The Knights of Columbus who chose that name in part because they viewed Christopher Columbus, a Catholic as the icon of the struggle of Catholic immigrants and their pursuit of citizenship.
Today many Italian-Americans and Italian-American organizations such as the Sons of Italy and the Italian-American Association observe Columbus Day as a celebration of their heritage.
The first known celebration of Columbus Day began in New York City, a city with a large Catholic population, occurred on October 12, 1866.
Columbus Day was first celebrated as a holiday in the United States as a result of the efforts of Angelo Noce, a first generation Italian, in Denver. In April 1934, as a result of lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, Congress and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt set aside October 12 as Columbus Day and a Federal holiday.
Note: This information is provided by event sponsors as a free service to our viewers. Sometimes conditions require cancellations or changes of dates, times and location which are not reflected in the original schedule. Before planning a trip to visit one of the listed events, it is suggested that you call the event sponsor to confirm the event schedule or for additional information on the event.
Stay tuned --- we will be updating this list as our sponsors confirm this year's events