Dia de Los Muertos is a very popular tradition that is rooted in Mexico, but its celebrations often cross the border, and for good reason. The day celebrates life, and honors those who have passed away. In Albuquerque, this day is acknowledged and celebrated via the South Valley Dia de Los Muertos Marigold Parade and Celebration, and this year’s event (the 23rd annual!) will take place on Sunday, November 1 from 2-6 p.m. It takes place at the Westside Community Center, and will feature music, altars, food, and art vendors.
What to Expect
This celebration draws its influences from Jose Guadalupe Posada’s early-1900s portrayal of personalities and professionals as skeletons of Calaveras. In his portrayals, Posada showed both rich and poor people as skeletons in ordinary, sometimes outrageous, tragic settings. At the event, you can expect to see art inspired by these portrayals, as well as a parade—which starts at 2 p.m. The parade starts at the Bernalillo Sheriff’s Substation at Centro Familiar and Isleta, and after the parade, music, altars, food, and art will be offered at the Westside Community Center.
How to Get There
This year, there is shuttle service available, which is encouraged for visitors to use to avoid congestion on the parade route. The shuttle will pick up at Gateway Park, Bridge and Isleta, at 100 Isleta Blvd. SW, as well as at South Valley Exon Development Corp, at 418 Isleta Blvd. Taking the shuttle will be the most convenient option for most visitors, as parking will be difficult/limited, and streets will be congested or closed entirely for the parade.
Join the Parade
If you want to join the parade, all you have to do is fill out an application and adhere to the guidelines—no gory or bloody masks, for instance. This year’s parade and art theme is “Silence is death: Tambores pasados corazones presentes. Silenced voices rumble, institutions crumble: no somos los silenciados.” Parade floats must display or represent the theme, the tradition of Dia de Los Muertos, or Mexicana, Chicana, or Latina culture. Applications are due no later than October 9.
Want to Be a Vendor?
There’s also an application for becoming a vendor at this year’s celebration. Artisans must present original work; mass-produced or factory-made items will not be accepted. Food vendors are also welcome. Cambio & La Raza Unida, the event’s organizer’s, request a donation of 20% of the evening’s proceeds as well as one item from each artist’s stock for a raffle—these both help cover the costs of the event. Additionally, a $25 fee is being requested, to be submitted on a voluntary basis—this helps make up the shortfall caused by reduced Bernalillo County funding support.