Doesn’t it seem impossible to keep up with all of the different holidays that we have in the United States? In truth, there are only about ten federal holidays each year. And yet, with only twelve months in the year, that means we frequently have to adapt our schedules for holidays. Which leaves you wondering things like “which are the open/closed retail stores on Presidents Day 2021?”
What Is Presidents Day?
Presidents Day confuses a lot of people. For one thing, it’s often called Washington’s Day or Washington’s Birthday. However, officially, it is now called Presidents Day. So what’s the story behind this federal holiday?
Presidents Day Used to Always Be on Washington’s Birthday
America’s first president, George Washington, died in 1799. The following year, people honored his birthday, which was February 22nd. The United States unofficially continued to celebrate his birthday for most of the 19th century. In 1879, President Hayes signed into law a measure to formally recognize Washington’s birthday as DC holiday. By 1885, the entire nation recognized it as a federal holiday.
Fun Fact: There were only four other federal holidays at the time: New Years, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Washington’s Day was the first federal holiday recognizing an individual American. This wouldn’t happen again until approximately 100 years later with the creation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Celebrating Other Presidents
In the 1960s, things shifted with the creation of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. In other words, people wanted a three-day weekend. Washington’s Birthday seemed like a good enough excuse. Additionally, Abraham Lincoln also had a February birthday. So that’s when proposals began to rename it Presidents Day. There was a lot of debate and contention. In 1971, Washington’s Day changed from the static date of February 22nd to the third Monday in February. In other words, people could get their three-day weekend every year with this holiday.
Each state varies a little bit when it comes to Presidents Day. Some states celebrate Washington’s Birthday and Lincoln’s Birthday. Other states recognize different presidents on what has come to be known as Presidents Day. For example, Alabama commemorates Thomas Jefferson and George Washington on Presidents Day. The federal holiday remains historically rooted in recognizing the first American president while also acknowledging all other presidents since his time.
Presidents Day as a Shopping Holiday
Today, many people simply see Presidents Day as a shopping holiday. That’s why people ask: “what are the open/closed retail stores on Presidents Day 2021?” Of course, some states use this time to hold patriotic events. And as a federal holiday, many services (banks, for example) close down. However, the average person tends to see it as a day when stores offer deals and sales.
When Is Presidents Day 2021?
Since 1971, Presidents Day has been held on the third Monday of February each year. Therefore, Presidents Day 2021 is on February 15th.
Fun Fact: Four American presidents had February birthdays. However none of them fall on Presidents Day. In addition to Washington and Lincoln, Harrison and Reagan also had February birthdays.
Open/Closed Retail Stores on Presidents Day 2021
Since Presidents Day is often considered a shopping holiday, retail stores generally stay open. On federal holidays, also known as bank holidays, things like the post office, banks, and the stock market close down. However, retail stores often consider these days, especially the three-day weekends, a terrific time to offer sales and deals. Therefore, most retail stores are open on Presidents Day 2021.
Large Retail Stores Open Usual Hours on Presidents Day 2021
Any large retail chain store that you can think of will most likely stay open regular hours on Presidents Day 2021.
Stores that close for major holidays don’t necessarily close for Presidents Day. For example, Sam’s Club closes down for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. They have limited hours on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. But Presidents Day, although it’s a federal holiday, doesn’t make the cut. Therefore. Sam’s Club stays open regular hours on Presidents Day 2021.
Likewise Costco closes for New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. As you’ll notice, Labor Day isn’t on that list. If you’re asking yourself about open/closed retail stores on Presidents Day 2021, chances are stores like this will be open.
Note, however, that many of these types of large stores have additional services operating within them that may not stay open during the holiday. For example, a bank branch instead of a big box store will likely close for Presidents Day even though the store itself stays open.
Large Retail Stores Presidents Day Sales 2021
Many large retail stores have Presidents Day or Presidents Weekend sales deals. In fact, some stores already launched Presidents Day deals in advance of the holiday. This is due in part to COVID-19 restrictions; rather than have everyone try to rush in on the same day for a sale, stores want to keep crowds down. Yet, they still want people to get deals.
BlackFriday.com reports Presidents Day / February sales at:
- Academy Sports & Outdoors
- Big Fig Mattress
- Brooklyn Bedding
- Home Depot
- JC Penney
- Mattress Firm
- Nest Bedding
- Plush Bed
- Sam’s Club
- Stearns & Foster
- World Market
Keep an eye out for additional Presidents Day sales.
Are Small Retail Stores Open/Closed on Presidents Day 2021
Each store makes their own decisions about whether or not they want to stay open on holidays. In particular, small “mom and pop” stores may factor a variety of different things into their decisions about whether or not to open on a particular holiday. From the likelihood of low or high sales to the desires of a small staff to have time off, shop owners weigh the pros and cons.
Notice that this year, Presidents Day falls on Valentine’s Day weekend. Some stores might recognize that sweethearts out traveling together could enjoy Monday shopping. Therefore, they might opt to stay open on Presidents Day. Alternatively, they may decide to close their doors so they themselves can enjoy a Valentine’s Day getaway. You just never know.
Generally speaking, most small retail stores do choose to stay open on Presidents Day. However, if there’s a particular place that you want to shop, then you should check with them in advance about their holiday hours.
2021 Federal Holiday Schedule
Presidents Day is one of ten federal holidays. Two others have already passed in 2021: New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day were both in January. After Presidents Day, the next federal holiday (Memorial Day) isn’t until the end of May. Then the rest of the year will be:
- 4th of July, or Independence Day, which is celebrated July 5th, 2021 since it falls on a weekend this year.
- Labor Day on Monday, September 6, 2021
- Columbus Day on Monday, October 11, 2021
- Veterans Day on Thursday, November 11, 2021.
- Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, November 25th 2021
- Christmas Day, which falls on a Saturday so is observed on Friday, December 24, 2021
- New Year’s Day, which falls on a Saturday so is observed on Friday, December 31, 2021
That’s right – as far as banks and post office closures, both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are honored on their “eves” this year. And that means that technically there is one more federally observed holiday in 2021 than in most years because we recognized New Year’s Day 2020 and will also observe New Year’s Day 2021.
- Here Is the Federal Holiday Schedule 2021
- 2021 Sam’s Club Holiday Hours and Schedule
- What’s Open and What’s Closed on Presidents Day?
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