The 6th Annual Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead Celebration on South Fourth Street will take place on Friday, Nov. 3, from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. near East Chestnut Street. The annual Day of the Dead celebration is presented by El Jimador Tequila and will take place in conjunction with the Republic Bank First Friday Hop. New this year is free parking provided by Fourth Street Live!, the location for the “Official After Party” which will take place from 10 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. and will feature the “World’s Largest Toast.”
The 4,000-year-old holiday, most popularly observed by Mexico and Latin America, offers an opportunity to honor and celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed on with music, art, altars, gifts, and celebration.
In keeping with cultural tradition, a number of temporary altars will be installed along South Fourth Street. Father David Sanchez of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Butchertown will once again be blessing the event as well as the altars, and will be leading a candlelit procession at 8 p.m. South Fourth Street. Traditional style Calaveras (sugar skull) face painting, sugar candy art making, coloring, tissue flower construction stations, and a photographer will be available providing an opportunity to create gifts and tributes for departed loved ones at the public altar. The public altar will be available on the night of the event for anyone to place objects, photos, art, or candles for their deceased loved ones from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.
“Our Annual Day of the Dead celebration grows each year as word gets around Louisville about how much fun it is to embrace this rich cultural tradition, complete with Mexican entertainment, great ethnic food, and beverages,” says Karen Welch, co-owner of CRAFT(s) Gallery and Mercantile on South Fourth Street. “In Mexico, the annual celebration lasts for several days and usually takes place between October 31st and November 2nd, but we’re doing it a bit later as we wanted to celebrate the holiday in conjunction with the Republic Bank First Friday Hop.”
The event will feature plenty of hands-on workshops, including face painting, sugar skull decorating, paper flower making, and much more. Workshops will be staffed with volunteers from U of L’s LALS Program, as well as students from the Kentucky College of Art and Design.
Partygoers are encouraged to dress in costumes, especially as Frida Kahlo, or their favorite “Calaveras” (skeleton).
Free entertainment includes Caminos Flamenco Dancers, Children and Folkloric dancers, Appalatin – a popular, local Latin musical group, Salsa Rhythms Band, Chad Balster – a special fire performer, and street performers from Cirque Louis.
Mi Cocina will feature Mexican food, beer, and El Jimador tequila offerings for sale on the street. Cellar Door Chocolates will also be featuring a traditional hot chocolate, a selection of Day of the Dead themed spicy chocolates and decorated sugar skull shaped white chocolates.
The event is free, and open to the public. The family-friendly celebration is hosted by the South Fourth Street District Association, with Presenting Sponsor El Jimador Tequila. Additional sponsorships include the University of Louisville’s Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) Program, Fourth Street Live!, Capital Construction Services, LLC, al Dia America, Design Web, the Latin American Film Festival, Metro PCS and the Louisville Downtown Partnership (LDP).