On Tuesday, November 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. community members are invited to the Día de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”) celebration. The annual festivities will take place in the commons area of the Estes Park High School and is free and open to the public.
The Day of the Dead is an ancient tradition from Central and South America. It is an especially beloved holiday in Mexico when families honor their ancestors. The Mexican-American community of Estes Park comes together annually to celebrate and they welcome everyone to participate with them. It is a wonderful exchange of culture and integration that educates students and their families about Mexican customs and has been a successful event for five, consecutive years. In Mexico, Day of the Dead is celebrated from October 31 to November 2, however in Estes Park, the event is conducted later to allow children and families rest from the excitement of Halloween.
Day of the Dead is a happy occasion. It is a way for parents and grandparents to educate their children about their deceased family members and ancestors. They do this by telling stories, playing music, and eating traditional food. Another custom is to exhibit photographs and favorite belongings of the deceased in an ofrenda or altar. Traditionally, ofrendas are exhibited in the home and gravesites are cleaned and decorated with bright flowers, marigolds in particular, to lead a bright path for the spirits of their ancestors to visit one day of the year.
Special food is prepared, such as pan de muerto. In addition to the sweet bread, the community celebration in Estes Park will offer a feast of delicious Mexican food. Preparations have been thoughtfully made by a team of parents who enthusiastically wish to share their traditions with their families, the school, and greater community of Estes Park.
In addition to excellent food and festive decorations, a lively Mariachi band, Sol de mi Tierra, will perform throughout the evening. The whole event is an authentic representation of Latino culture and community.
Special thanks to the organizing committee of dedicated Latino parents, District Community Liaison Jose Almeida, Estes Park School District, Village Thrift Shop, Town of Estes Park, Estes Park Elementary PTO, Estes Park Education Foundation, El Mex-Kal Family Mexican Restaurant, Chelitos Mexican Restaurant, Poppy’s Pizza and Grill, and La Cocina de Mama.