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Louisvillians celebrate Día de Muertos with music, food and remembrances

An ofrenda at Saturday's Dia de los Muertos celebration on Fourth Street Live.
An ofrenda at Saturday's Dia de los Muertos celebration on Fourth Street Live.

On Fourth Street, an ofrenda sits decorated with flowers, candles, candy skulls and images of people who have lost their lives.

Music plays in the background as the smell of tacos wafts down the street.

This is the Día de los Muertos celebration at 4th Street Live. While the actual holiday isn’t until Nov. 1 and 2, Louisvillians celebrated early on Saturday.

Día de Muertos is celebrated in Mexican culture and throughout other parts of Latin America. It’s a day of remembrance and celebration of the lives of lost ones.

“As soon as we walked in, I saw the altar,” said attendee Marla Cabrera. “It looks really, really authentic, I think that’s my favorite part for sure.”

.The event featured a screening of Disney’s “Coco”, a movie centered around the holiday, and activities for kids.

“We’ve got sugar skull cookies they can take home a decorate. We also have some clay where they can make little sculptures. We’ve got material here to make mini little kites and then we also have small-miniature sugar skulls,” said Christie Perez who was working the event.

Vendors set up tables with food, candy skulls and clothing.

“Coming to Fourth Street, I love to share this with everyone else to let them know what is important to us and what it really means,” said Estephania Oliver, whose family has sold items at the Día de Muertos celebration for many years.

This year’s event was largely scaled down from past years. COVID-19 completely canceled the 2020 celebration.

Instead of taking up most Fourth Street with artists, dancers and vendors, the event stayed contained to the Fourth Street Live entertainment section of the road. 

Asly Toro performed at the event. She sees it as an important way to educate people.

“It’s embracing the culture because some people aren’t exposed to it. I would never know about American culture if I didn’t see Michael Jackson on TV,” Toro said.

Perez added these sorts of events are equally important for younger people within the culture.

“It also helps them to learn about possibly their heritage or their background and we want to keep those things alive in every and any culture,” Perez said.

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.

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