On November 1st and 2nd all across the nation people of all ages and backgrounds will gather to remember loved ones in outrageously imaginative celebrations of Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. Once confined to countries South of the Border, the Day of the Dead is trending mainstream in the US and becoming enormously popular. Over the last three years Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village has honed its own special multi-day celebration of Dia de los Muertos, from Tuesday October 28th to Sunday November 2nd and everyone is warmly invited! Admission is free and for those coming Saturday, November 1st, free trolley service will be available from the Uptown municipal parking lot.
Come see dramatic, story-telling fire dancers accompanied by the exciting musical ensemble, DiVom, amazing aerial silk artists, jugglers, ghoulish stilt walkers and folks decked out in outlandish Day of the Dead costumes and traditional Muertos painted faces. Heart-pounding flamenco music and dancing, traditional Mexican fare and themed face painting are all part of the weekend celebration Saturday and Sunday November 1st and 2nd.
To set the mood for the weekend and to express love and appreciation for those who have passed on be sure to take part in the Marigold Mural Project – the creation of a 26 x 6 foot colorful mural of remembrances, now in its third year and growing in popularity. Murals from the last two years will also be on display. The project kicks off the Day of the Dead events and activities on Tuesday October 28th at 11:00 am in Tlaquepaque’s Calle Independencia.
This year’s cultural ritual from Mexico is designed to be engaging and participatory at Tlaquepaque where everyone can join in on this centuries-old observance. Traditionally Dia de los Muertos often starts weeks in advance where families gather creating special shrines in the home, preparing personal offerings or offrenda, and baking Pan de Muerto, special Day of the Dead bread, Sugar skulls, candles, cempasuchil flowers, paper mache skeletons and plates with the favorite foods of relatives who have passed are also part of the observance. It is believed that the spirits consume the essence and the aroma of the foods that are offered. When the spirits depart, the family, friends and neighbors that remain share the food together in celebration. Symbolic offerings of real things and past times that the loved one enjoyed in life are placed on the handmade altar as well.
Day of the Dead Activities and Entertainment
Marigold Mural Project runs from October 28th and concludes Sunday, November 2nd at the close of the Dia de los Muertos celebration. Come to Calle Independencia in the arts village from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. Paint and brushes will be provided as well as guidance from Lovejoy, the gifted artist and muralist painter of the striking garlands and skulls framing the 26-foot mural. “For the last two years the outpouring of emotion and love as people paint their messages of remembrance to those who have passed on has been so moving,” reports Wendy Lippman, Resident Partner and General Manager of Tlaquepaque. “We expect the turnout to be even bigger this year, so be sure to find space on the mural. You don’t need to be artistic. Just come and add something personal to the mural. It’s is a way to create something inspiring, wonderful and lasting as a community,” says Lippman.
Offerings and Celebration
Saturday and Sunday (November 1st and 2nd) is a time of offering and celebration. The talented event production team, Showstoppers, will once again be transforming Patio Del Norte and, this year, Patio de las Rosas next to the Secret Garden Cafe. The main fountain in patio del Norte will be adorned with autumnal decor of rusts and golds. Beautifully articulated altars in both Patio del Norte and Patio de las Rosas creates an inviting ambience, encouraging everyone to bring offrenda of photos and objects of remembrance of loved ones no longer here. 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 a little attitude are encouraged…and don’t forget your camera!
Entertainment Saturday and Sunday, November 1st and 2nd: flamenco music, fire dancing, aerial silks, face painting and more…
Musical entertainment during Dia de los Muertos Celebration is high-energy and high drama. And it happens both nights! DiVom, lead by pianist and composer David Vincent Mills and his troupe, will beguile with their primal fire dancers. Performing “Carnaval de la Vida,” a fusion of theater, fire and dance, it is totally original and enthralling! Jugglers, stilt walkers, aerial artists with their breathtaking show is all happening along in Calle Independecia from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
Ready for more? Sedona’s own Eric Miller, brings his high-flying flamenco guitar feats to Patio del Norte from 4:30 to 7:30 pm. Drew Bennett, Grammy-nominated flamenco guitarist, and Native American flutist will be performing in Patio de las Rosas between the Oak Creek Brewery & Grill and Secret Garden Cafe from 4:30 to 8:00 pm each night. And be sure to check out Gaetano and Friends, a Tlaquepaque Fiesta favorite, delivering exhilarating flamenco guitar music and dance in Patio de las Campanas from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.
When you work up an appetite from all the excitement enjoy scrumptious South of the Border fare and beverages from Tlaquepaque’s El Rincon Restaurante Mexicano, in their outdoor booths along Calle Independencia. STAR Seeds will have a tent with delicious nut butters and sinfully special chocolates on hand for your pleasure!
Finally, to really get into the spirit of Dia de los Muertos be sure to head to the free face painting area in Calle Independencia to be made-up in the over-the-top designs of Day of the Dead, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. Day of the Dead arts and crafts will be available as well. And don’t forget to get a jump on holiday shopping by visiting Tlaquepaque’s artful boutique shops and world-class galleries.
Home to more than 47 shops and galleries and four restaurants, Tlaquepaque, the Art and Soul of Sedona, now in its 41st year, is located at 336 State Route 179 in Sedona, Arizona. It is open daily at 10:00 am. For more information call (928) 282-4838, visit: www.tlaq.com.