It’s October!

The month of October celebrates Italian, Polish, and German cultures in America. All around the country, festivals and celebrations take place to celebrate, remember, and acknowledge the history and traditions behind these cultures.

Italian-American heritage month was moved from its original month, May, to October to coincide with Columbus Day. In 1985, the weekend-long celebration was set to be held during the entire month of October; with so many events scheduled, a month was necessary for proper honoring of the culture’s different celebrations. Festivities in the U.S. include concerts, film showings, dinners, street fairs and more. The United State’s oldest Italian heritage parade takes place every year in San Francisco, with this year’s event taking place on October 7. The event features floats made by area businesses, groups in the community, and Italian organizations. Other forms of entertainment take place during the parade, featuring musicians and dance performers.

Polish-American History Month was celebrated for the first time in Pennsylvania in 1981. Since then, October has widely been regarded as the culture’s month of celebration and remembrance. Communities across the country host celebrations featuring Polish food, music and entertainment. For example, this year, Polish folk dancers performed traditional dances in Philadelphia’s Vineland City Hall on September 30. Different festivals take place across the country all throughout the month.

Traditionally, German-American History Day is celebrated on October 6. However, the American observance of the German’s Oktoberfest has stretched the cultural celebration out over several weeks during the fall months. Oktoberfest is a German festival that celebrates beer. Annually held in Bavaria, Germany, the fest lasts for 16 days and runs from late in September to the first week in October. The U.S. hosts their own versions of the fest, with Cincinnati and Las Vegas being the most popular locations.

Whether you have roots in Germany, Poland, Italy, or none of the above, make sure to take in, appreciate, and celebrate these heritages this month.

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