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What's Open and What's Closed on Columbus Day

The Monday holiday means many—but not all—banks and government offices are closed, and many shops are open, particularly to have sales.


Columbus Day, a nationally recognized federal holiday, is observed on Monday, Oct. 8 this year. 

Columbus Day remembers Italian explorer Christopher Columbus’ long journey across the Atlantic Ocean to the “New World." The voyage was victorious when land was first spotted on Oct. 12, 1492.

The day is also considered a celebration of Italian heritage, as well as a huge shopping day in the U.S. 

Macy'sSears, and Best Buy are among many local chain stores that will feature storewide sales on Monday. Amazon will have a Columbus Day sale online.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is responsible for making the holiday a federal one in 1937.

But Columbus Day ain't what it used to be, when school kids had Oct. 12 off and government offices closed down. First, the date-observed got moved into the Monday holiday cycle, meaning the Monday closest to the Oct. 12 date would be observed. With school schedules being what they are, many opted to drop Columbus Day in favor of getting more flexibility elsewhere in the school calendar. And Santa Clara County workers had that holiday taken back.

So, what things are open and closed locally on Columbus Day?


Banks (many customer service phone lines are open) 

Federal offices

Santa Clara County Superior Court

California Court of Appeal

California Supreme Court

U.S. Postal Service 


Pacifica City Hall  

San Mateo County offices 

All public schools are open

SamTrans and Caltrain will operate on a normal schedule



Most malls and supermarkets will be open.


Tell us: What are your plans for Columbus Day? 


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