Italian American Heritage Month is celebrated every year to honor and recognize the centuries of achievements, successes, and valuable contributions of Italian immigrants and Italian Americans. It occurs in October to overlap with the federal holiday of Columbus Day, which is celebrated on the second Monday of each October. Italian American Heritage Month was first celebrated in 1989 by a special proclamation of both Congress and President George H. W. Bush.
Over 5 million Italians immigrated to the United States between 1820 and 2000. Currently, there are over 26 million Americans of Italian descent residing in the United States. This makes Italian-Americans the fifth largest ethnic group in our nation. Each year Italians around the country take time to celebrate their heritage, history, and culture with festivals and parades. The largest parade occurs on Columbus Day in New York City and has over 35,000 marchers!