By Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media, Photos by Janel Rosales, Museo de las Americas and Latin Life Denver Media. (see photo galleries below)
The night was alive throughout Denver for Dia de los Muertos processions and activities that drew hundreds of participants and thousands of spectators from throughout the city.
Not to be confused with Halloween in any way Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican tradition that celebrates the lives of loved ones who have passed on but still live on in the memories of those who are still alive and now celebrate them on this special day in a variety of special ways.
Numerous activities were held throughout the city in schools, businesses, community organizations and on the streets of Denver. Among all the dead action were three special events.
Crowds lined both sides of Santa Fe Drive the entire length of the procession many with cell phones recording a unique parade procession unlike Denver has every seen. See Video Here
Organized by the Denver Arts District on Santa Fe everyone was welcome to participate and enjoy pan de muerto and hot chocolate while enjoying the festive atmosphere in celebration of Dia De Los Muertos! the unique traditional celebration of life and death.
Throughout the evening Museo de las Americas offered face painting and sugar skull decorating activities along Catrina dancers as well as a Catrina contest where the winner won a trip to Mexico City. See Video HERE
Earlier in the evening a group of culturally-minded individuals had their own Día de Los Muertos procession and celebration. The route stared at La Raza Park at 38th and Osage and wound up 32nd Avenue to North High School. Considered the oldest celebration in Denver this Día de los Muertos the celebration was an open invitation for everyone from every background and walk of life and to those who would appreciate a more authentic celebration. Chief organizer and originator of the event, Nita Gonzales is a well-known Colorado community activator and has curated Denver’s oldest Día de los Muertos celebration in Denver, “We’re proud to continue this commemoration remembering those who have gone on before us with dignity and authenticity.” Ms. Gonzalez went on to say, “…this year we will remember the children who have passed while in detention centers at the border.”
The organizers and descendants of indigenous Americans emphasized that Día de Los Muertos showcases Mexican heritage and love for humanity. “…the dead live on in memory and spirit, anything else is disrespectful of Mexican ancestors.
Not to outdone the Colorado Day of the Dead Fest 2019 took place at DCIS at Fairmont, 520 W 3rd Ave in Denver, this festival sought to create the biggest day of the dead altar in the United State. Put together by Norberto Mojardin and hosted by Latin Fashion Week Colorado the free community event welcomed every culture, race, or religion to their festivities. The event featured an amazing parade, altar’s exhibition, activities and entertainment including mariachi, ballet folklore, story tellers, coco movie characters, a variety of food, live music, special guests and more.
It is the producers mission to help kids and teens with art programs in which they learn how to do paper mache, artistic mask, paintings, create murals and bringing their creativity alive, all this at no cost. We also help kids/teens who been abuse in any type of way to have better self-esteem and overcome any situation. Together we will create the biggest day of the dead altar in the United States
Photos by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media
Photos by Janel Rosales, Museo de las Americas