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Newton

Newton to hold hearing on proposed Indigenous Peoples Day celebration

Sprinklers watering the baseball field at Albemarle Park in Newton.
Sprinklers watering the baseball field at Albemarle Park in Newton.JOSH REYNOLDS FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Newton’s Parks & Recreation Commission is expected to vote Monday, Aug. 2 on a proposed Indigenous Peoples Day celebration in October at Albemarle Playground, according to officials.

The commission members will take public comments during the hearing, as well as discuss and vote on the proposal, according to a notice sent to playground’s abutters.

The event proposed by the Indigenous Peoples Day Newton Committee would be held on Oct. 11, which is also the date of the former Columbus Day holiday in Newton.

Last November, the City Council voted to replace the day honoring Christopher Columbus with a holiday honoring indigenous people.

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Newton officially stopped celebrating Columbus Day due to criticism of Columbus, who many historians claim mistreated Native people following his 1492 arrival in the Bahamas. Opponents of the change said Columbus Day was a celebration of the city’s Italian-American community.

Newton is among several Massachusetts communities that have ended formal holidays honoring Columbus.

The proposed Indigenous Peoples Day celebration in Newton, if approved, also would coincide with this year’s running of the Boston Marathon. The race route, which begins in Hopkinton, passes through Newton on its way to Boston.

The road race is traditionally held in April, but was postponed due to the pandemic. The 2020 marathon was canceled as a result of the pandemic.

The Indigenous Peoples Day Newton Committee earlier this year called on the Boston Athletic Association to reschedule this year’s marathon. More than 41,000 signatures were collected for an online petition calling for changing the date of the marathon.

Marathon officials said the Oct. 11 date was chosen in coordination with the eight cities and towns along the marathon route.


John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.