3rd Annual Day of the Dead Festival
The Day of the Dead Festival in the Plaza District is a cultural event that pays a respectful tribute to the traditional Hispanic holiday of remembrance. The Plaza District has a rich history of cultural diversity, including many Hispanic residents and business owners who have made the neighborhood what it is today. The Day of the Dead Festival provides an opportunity for these neighbors to come together to celebrate their loved ones who have passed, and welcome the broader community to experience this meaningful tradition. The festival is family oriented, open to people of all ages and backgrounds, and admission is free.
This is third year for the Day of the Dead Festival, which drew over 6000 attendees in 2015. The event runs from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the 1700 block of NW 16th St between Indiana Ave and Blackwelder Ave. This year’s sponsors and organizers include the Bomb Shelter Gallery, Folk.Life, and Dig It! Boutique .
LA CATRINA PROCESSION,
The walking procession is to honor the traditional procession held in Mexico City, which holds the world record for the most people decorated as Catrinas or Catrins. In addition, there will be a contest for hand- pulled wagons or strollers decorated for Day of the Dead and a contest for the” Best Catrina” and “Best Catrin”. Erika Reyes, the owner of the district’s Everything Goes Dance Studio, will be honored as the Grand Marshall. The procession will begin at 4 p.m.
Attendees can look forward to Aerial Silk Demos from Magic Tree Studio, dance performances from Everything Goes Dance Studios' “Spirit of Mexico” Folkloric Dance Company, live music from the skeleton costumed band, Los Eskeletos, and DJ's spinning Latin music all day to keep patrons feet moving.
Activity stations for children and adults will include Papel Picado making, skull masks, devotional candle decorating, button making, coloring station, a community art station as well as traditional games such as loteria.
Louis Fowler, from Damaged Viewing, will be returning to The Venue to host his Mexican Monster Movie Marathon. The movie marathon will begin with a showing of 'Book of Life’, a Day of the Dead themed movie for children and adults.
FOOD and DRINK
With the growth of the Plaza District’s restaurant options, the festival’s food selection is plentiful. The local grub and drink selection includes Chiltepe's Latin Cuisine , Empire Slice House, District House, Roxy's Ice Cream, Oak and Oar, The Mule, Saint's Pub, and the district’s two newest establishments, Goro Ramen and The Pritchard. In addition to local restaurants, Big Truck Tacos and two additional food trucks will be present.
ART AND SHOPPING
All the Plaza District's eclectic selection of local businesses will be open and participating in the festival along with a great selection of Day of the Dead themed arts and crafts vendors. A few of the outdoor artisans include Hispanic artist Amanda Martinez of Spiritual Sparkles, hand painted Latin influenced décor from Green Apple Designs, handcrafted Day of the Dead dolls from Angie Spalding, Day of the Dead inspired artwork and accessories from Atomic Kudzu, Mexican and South American-inspired artwork from Bomb Shelter, jewelry and décor from Amelie's Anomalies, Mexican import artwork, masks and accessories from Folk Life and fresh cut marigolds from CommonWealth Urban Farms.
Many shops and galleries will be hosting their own Day of the Dead activities. DNA Galleries will host their annual “Skulliversary” show, Kasum Contemporary will feature Hispanic artist, Narciso Arguelles, Paint and Cheers will host a skull painting class, Savannah Lutrell’s Plaza Studio will host open photo studio shoots, and Tree and Leaf will host live screen printing demos and caricatures, and Graphite Gallery will host a group Day of the Dead themed art show. In addition, the annual sidewalk chalk art show will take place throughout the district.
In keeping with the spiritual aspects of the holiday, participants can walk and view ofrendas (private altars honoring the deceased) throughout the district and participate by lighting candles and leaving notes for loved ones at the community ofrenda. The ofrendas will be located outside along with inside the businesses and attendees can expect to find ones dedicated to lost loved ones, celebrities or historical figures, and even lost and loved pets.
FACEPAINTING, HAIR, and PHOTO BOOTH
This year's selection of talented face painters include Cheeky Smiles, Artistic Temperaments, and Matt'squerade and Velvet Monkey Salon will be hosting a booth where visitors can have their hair styled with flowers, crowns and braids to go along with their complete Catrina or Frida Kahlo style looks. People can immortalize their costumes and day with the official photo booth sponsored by Memory Creations.