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Dia de los Muertos springs to life on First Friday

Main Street in downtown Carbondale overflows with people as the procession for Dia De Los Muertos makes its way to Thunder River Theatre on Nov. 2, 2018.
Post Independent file

Don’t be spooked if you see a couple hundred skeletons walking down Carbondale’s Main Street Friday night — it’s just this year’s iteration of Carbondale Arts’ Dia de los Muertos festivities, which will coincide with the town’s First Friday.

The procession of “Catrinas” is just one of the planned festivities for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), the traditional Mexican holiday that brings together family and friends to pray for and remember loved ones who have died, and to support them on their spiritual journey.

The festivities will begin at 5 p.m. in Carbondale’s Third Street Center Round Room, which already has filled up with altars that include photos and memorabilia of the departed that are intended to encourage visits by the souls, so the souls will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them.

“We’ll have face painters there who will paint people’s faces in ‘La Catrina’ style,” said Carbondale Arts Director Amy Kimberly. “We’ll also have tamales and hot chocolate, and the Waldorf kids will be singing some songs.”

The Third Street Center portion of the festivities will conclude at 6 p.m. with the Que Viva tradition of people shouting out the name of someone who has passed and everyone else responding “Que Viva!” (That they shall live!).

At 6:15 p.m. the procession will move down Third Street to Main Street and then to the Thunder River Theater, where Aspen Santa Fe Folklorio will give free performances at 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.

“The procession is huge, and anyone can be in it,” Kimberly said. “We’ve been doing this for 15 years, and it’s a very integrated festival.”

Dance of the Sacred Fire and an aerial silk performance will also occur in Fourth Street Plaza at 8 p.m. and there will also be a Catrina costume contest, the winner of which will receive a $100 cash prize from Alpine Bank.

jbear@postindependent.com


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