Festival on the Hill focuses on Italian-American heritage as St. Louis ponders Columbus Day name change

Oct 08, 2018 161

BY: Nassim Benchaabane

Italian-Americans here have celebrated their heritage with Columbus Day festivities for 150 years, a tradition this year’s organizers say will continue with or without Columbus. The future of the October holiday and the Christopher Columbus statue in Tower Grove Park are up for debate in St. Louis, the latest of cities and states reckoning with the Genoa-born explorer’s brutalization and enslavement of the indigenous people he encountered in the West Indies.

Italian-Americans celebrating Sunday in the Hill neighborhood of St. Louis say the holiday — and the statue — have a much broader purpose: honoring Italians who have contributed to the country, and not just Columbus himself. “It’s the Italian Heritage day and parade festival on Columbus Day weekend,” said Chris Saracino, president of the Hill 2000 neighborhood organization.

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SOURCE: https://www.stltoday.com

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