Garfield Park celebrates Day of the Dead

By Nancy Price

Guests attending tomorrow night’s First Friday event at Garfield Park will see people in costumes, children with face paint and an alter to remember the deceased.

No, this is not a post-Halloween party. And it’s not even spooky.

First Friday at Garfield Park will celebrate the Day of the Dead festival, a traditional Mexican holiday that is now celebrated around the world. (Submitted Photo)

The Inaugural Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday, however, it is now being celebrated around the world. The holiday is a festive celebration of music and food used as a memorial for lost loved ones. The event is taking place in partnership with the Diversity Committee of the Garfield Park Neighborhood Association.

“Our goal is to increase the amount of multi-cultural events in the neighborhood,” said Kavita Mahoney, manager of Garfield Park Arts Center. “We want to be accessible to more diverse neighborhoods in the area. The event is a really great way for those who don’t know a lot about the holiday to learn more about it.”

Mahoney added that plans are to hold the event annually. This year’s celebration will include music and storytelling from Meztli Cultural, as well as crafts and face painting. Tamales and pan de Muertos (bread of the dead) are traditional Mexican foods available for purchase from local vendors, along with drinks such as hot chocolate, the perfect accompaniment for a chilly fall night.

Performers will not only sing and dance but present education that promotes the holiday. A community alter, set up to remember neighbors in the area who have passed on, is one of the celebration’s biggest traditions. The alter will be on display in the main gallery. As well, A Memorial Wall on the other side of the gallery will include photos in memory of loved ones.

The free community event will be held tomorrow night from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Garfield Park Arts Center, 2432 Conservatory Dr. This event is being presented with support from Garfield Park Arts Center, the Diversity Committee of the Garfield Park Neighbors Association, Friends of Garfield Park and Big Car Collaborative.

For more information, go to gpacarts.org or call (317) 327-7135.