Thursday, October 8, 2020

Stay In! And Celebrate....Columbus Day?!


by Peggy Robin

The event we’re highlighting for the “Stay In!” events column for the coming week is Columbus Day.

“Columbus Day?!?” I hear you say. “No, that isn’t right!”

You must think I’ve forgotten a very pertinent fact: that just around this time last year, right before Columbus Day 2019, the DC Council passed emergency legislation to de-Columbusize the holiday, stripping that colonizing slave-trader’s name from the calendar and replacing it with a day to honor the people of the land who were here ages before the Italian sea captain first showed up and claimed he’d “discovered” them. So the Monday off work in DC is now officially known as Indigenous Peoples Day. We can shorten it to IPD.

No, I haven’t forgotten. The trouble is, whoever is in charge of DPW’s website apparently has.

Take a look:


10/12 Columbus Day à TUESDAY OCT. 13 SLIDE GUIDE

Yes, there he is – Columbus – unreplaced and still stuck on a Monday.

And, y’know, if there’s one thing we all do together in DC to observe a legal holiday, it’s this: We put our trash out, not on the usual day of the week, but we “slide” it over to the next day. That’s our DC way of marking the holiday.

Sure, we may do some other things, too, if we can. Go watch a parade….but that’s not happening in time of coronavirus. Or go out shopping for a new mattress or for any number of other household goods on sale. But we’re all sticking to the internet for that sort of thing, aren't we? Maybe take your high school seniors on college tours? Not happening…’s all virtual touring now. So we’ll just do our trash slide thing and call it a day. Not much of a holiday, is it?

I’m thinking we should just view the whole of 2020 as our do-over year, and hope that by the second Monday in October, 2021, we’ll have planned a whole host of exciting things to do IRL to celebrate the heritage and culture of the Indigenous People who now have a holiday in their honor. Parades, dances, eating and drinking together at crowded tables, maybe even talking up close with friendly strangers from out-of-town and not worrying about what you might catch! And maybe by the time we’re getting ready to do all that, DPW will have put the right holiday name on their PDF Slide Guide.

Oh, by the way, kudos to Department of Human Resources – THEY got it right! See:

Happy  IPD, everyone!


The “Stay In” events column is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.

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