PUEBLO — It is Columbus Day in Colorado, which means a big celebration in downtown Pueblo - usually met with protests.
But Pueblo Police Department had extra officers on duty today to keep everyone safe, and they succeeded allowing each group to voice their opinion within their own designated space.
Officers used barricades to create a buffer between the groups.
The protesters were, in large part, indigenous people who wanted to showcase their culture, and demand the holiday be abolished because they say it is racist in nature.
Meanwhile, right across from them, in front of the Christopher Columbus statue along Abriendo Avenue, three different group of Italian heritage organizations hosted a celebration to honor their Italian ancestors and induct four men into the "Pueblo Columbus Day Hall of Fame."
"I think they need some time to sit back and reflect on themselves," said Breeanna Guerra, a Native American Protester, "and you know, ask theirselves [sic] 'Who am I to relate to somebody who has the blood of thousands and thousands of - not only man - but women, baby and children on their hands?'"
Jerry Carleo of the Sons of Italy Lodge 2738 refuted the claims, saying, "Because [of] the significant voyage that Columbus undertook with his crew and the multiple other voyages that followed after, we've had an unbelievable activity to establish the nation of the United States."
This tradition dates back to when the statue of Columbus was first built in 1905.
We will have a full recap of this morning's events coming up on News5 at 5.