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Holiday Hours: Columbus Day
10:18AM / Friday, October 08, 2021
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Dióscoro Teófilo Puebla Tolín's 'First landing of Columbus on the Shores of the New World,' at San Salvador, W.I., Oct. 12, 1492, from 1862.

Columbus Day is a state holiday being observed Monday, Oct. 11, to commemorate Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas on Oct. 12, 1492.

Columbus' voyage had been celebrated on significant anniversaries but did not become an official holiday until being recognized by Colorado in 1905. It was declared a federal holiday in 1937.

Not all states recognize Columbus Day. Some local and state governments, including now the city of Boston, have alternative Native American or indigenous peoples' days to reflect that others had "discovered" the continent long before the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria arrived. Hawaii celebrates Discoverers' Day, marking when the Polynesians arrived on the islands. In Vermont, it's optional for public schools to close; most stay open.

Columbus Day in the United States is also Canadian Thanksgiving. The two holidays have shared the second Monday in October since 1971.

The three-day weekend is more often celebrated in New England as the kickoff to the fall foliage season and, in North County, the day of the annual Mount Greylock Ramble, a hike up the state's tallest mountain along the Cheshire Harbor Trail and Ramblefest in Adams from noon to 5 the day before. 

The Boston Marathon will also be run on Monday, after being canceled because of the pandemic on the last two Patriots Days. This means street and MBTA station closures for anyone headed to Beantown over the weekend. 

Closed:
Federal, state and local offices; no mail delivery.
Banks
Public colleges and schools, most private schools
Public libraries
Most offices and businesses
BRTA is not running

Open:
Commercial establishments are required by law not to open before noon unless locally permitted.
Most retail outlets, groceries
Restaurants and bars, by choice
Convenience stores

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is reminding members of the public to plan ahead for the upcoming Columbus Day weekend, drive in off-peak hours if possible, utilize the appropriate technology tools to make informed decisions, consider public transportation to reach destinations, and bring a face-covering as some municipalities have a mask mandate.
 
"We expect higher traffic volume than normal starting on Thursday, so anyone traveling should allow extra time to reach destinations," said Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver.  "Travelers should also note that the 2021 Boston Marathon will occur on Monday, Oct. 11, and that means some road closures between Hopkinton and Boston and means the MBTA will make some schedule changes and close several stations in Boston. As always, the public should plan ahead and adjust travel times as appropriate for scheduled events, for the weather and to avoid the peak hours when others will be on the roads."
 
Visit www.mass511.com for real-time road conditions.
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