10/21/2013 2:36:00 PM Day of the Dead Celebration returns to Tlaquepaque
This year’s mesmerizing cultural ritual from Mexico and the Southwest gives us a glimpse of how the passing of loved ones is viewed, celebrated and honored by people from neighboring countries. Dia de los Muertos at Tlaquepaque invites the public to take part in this centuries-old observance. Photos by Wib Middleton
DIVOM, lead by pianist and composer David Vincent Mills and his band, will light up the night with their highly-talented fire dancers, jugglers, stilt walkers, belly dancing, a unicyclist, and an aerial artist with their thrilling show starting at 5 p.m. in the Calle Independecia Photos by Wib Middleton
Continuing its 40-year tradition of outstanding fiestas and community events, Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village's Dia de los Muertos Celebration or Day of the Dead is a winner. If you haven't been, it's a must do! This year's mesmerizing cultural ritual from Mexico and the Southwest gives us a glimpse of how the passing of loved ones is viewed, celebrated and honored by people from neighboring countries.
Dia de los Muertos at Tlaquepaque invites the public to take part in this centuries-old observance.
There are wonderful opportunities to experience Dia de los Muertos. The first is unique to Tlaquepaque, and back for the second year: the Marigold Mural Project, running from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2. Residents and visitors alike are invited to express themselves in paint and memorialize loved ones on a huge 26-foot long mural. Painting will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Last year's moving mural of the same size will also be on display. Then on the weekend of Nov. 1-2, 4:30-8 p.m., the stage is set for Dia de los Muertos, a joyful time of remembering and community celebration. Tlaquepaque, fully decked out, resounds with fantastic musical entertainment and fire dancing, while costumed wandering gypsies and delicious traditional food get everyone in the spirit.
Marigold Mural Project
Come to Calle Indepencia, Tlaquepaque's main street and be motivated by last year's inspiring mural. A tent will be set up with brushes and paints you will need. Painting happens daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., concluding Saturday evening, Nov. 2, at the close of the Dia de los Muertos Celebration.
A gorgeous marigold garland with Muertos skulls will frame the large wooden canvas. Created by artist Lovejoy, she is back again helping and guiding the painters during the five-day event.
"Last year was very moving, especially watching people expressing in paint and words their tender remembrances onto the mural. We hope lots of folks will join in again this year," said Wendy Lippman, Resident Partner and General Manager of Tlaquepaque. "You don't need to be artistic. Painting on the mural is a way to create something personal, wonderful and lasting as a community."
Offerings and Celebration
Friday and Saturday (Nov. 1-2) is a time of offering and celebration. The gifted event production team, Showstoppers, gorgeously transforms Patio Del Norte. The main fountain is adorned with seasonal décor.
Colorful altars are beautifully articulated, encouraging everyone to bring offrenda or offerings of photos and objects of remembrance of loved ones no longer here. The tradition of Dia de los Muertos often starts weeks in advance where families gather creating special shrines in the home, preparing personal offrenda, and baking special Day of the Dead bread, Pan de Muerto. Sugar skulls, candles, cempasuchil flowers, paper mache skeletons and plates with the favorite foods of their relatives who have passed are also part of the observance. Traditional Day of the Dead cakes, cookies, time-honored fare, and more will all be part of the festivities. Dia de los Muertos costumes and attitude are encouraged...and don't forget your camera!
Entertainment: music, food and fun
Musical entertainment during Dia de los Muertos Celebration gets better every year. Eric Miller, brings his high-energy Flamenco guitar feats to Patio del Norte from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Gaetano and Friends, a Tlaquepaque Fiesta favorite, delivers heart-pounding flamenco guitar music and dance in Patio de las Campanas from 5-8 p.m.
DIVOM, lead by pianist and composer David Vincent Mills and his band, will light up the night with their highly-talented fire dancers, jugglers, stilt walkers, belly dancing, a unicyclist, and an aerial artist with their thrilling show starting at 5 p.m. in the Calle Independecia.
When hunger strikes you are in the right place to savor delectable South of the Border fare and Muertos drinks from Tlaquepaque's El Rincon Restaurante Mexicano, served in their outdoor booths along Calle Independencia. Desert? Time to suspend all diets. The gifted artists from Sedona Cake Couture will have on hand specially crafted and beautifully decorated sugar skulls, sugar skull cookies, Mayan Chocolate Brownies, hot (spicy) chocolate brownies with marshmallows and some other cookies.
Finally, to really get into the spirit of Dia de los Muertos be sure to head to the free face painting area to be decorated in the dramatic designs of Day of Dead in Calle Independencia from 4-7 p.m. Day of the Dead arts and crafts will be available and several decorated public altars will be located throughout Tlaquepaque.
Tlaquepaque is located at 336 State Route 179 in Sedona, Arizona.
For more information about Dia de los Muertos performance times and other events, visit: www.tlaq.com, www.ShopTlaq.com for online shopping or call (928) 282-4838.