Downtown Marion’s Dia de Muertos festival for 2020 kicks off Saturday with a three-week art exposition.
Starting in 2017, downtown Marion has hosted the annual Dia de Muertos complete with mariachi music, traditional Mexican foods and drinks and games for children. This special event, a tradition in Mexico, helps people honor the memories of their loved ones who have passed away. For three years, the event has been held at the City Stage at Marion’s North Block. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous festivals have been cancelled or postponed, including the WNC Bigfoot Festival and Mountain Glory here in Marion.
Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Dia de Muertos will take place but it has been reimagined as a three-week long cultural event and “an opportunity to celebrate the lives of those we love and miss while sharing in the traditions of our diverse community.”
The festival has an art exhibition called “Always Alive in Our Hearts.” It will feature the photographs of Edgardo Mendez and art associated with Dia de Muertos.
Dia de Muertos is an annual tradition across Mexico celebrated on Nov. 1 for remembering and honoring babies and children and Nov. 1 is to remember and honor adults.
Different parts of Mexico celebrates it their own way. Some might just remember their departed loved ones, light up a candle next to their picture and set a flower bouquet, set up a traditional “ofrenda” at their homes, or possibly gather together with their family at the graveyard to decorate the tomb. Although the holiday’s name is translated as “Day of the Dead, it is a time to celebrate life by remembering and honoring those we have lost, according to a news release.
In Mexico City, there is a big parade for Dia de Muertos, where “catrinas” dance and are dressed up in different kinds of gowns, funny sugar skulls dancing to the beat of the music. You can also see humongous alebrijes full of colors and creativity. Many museums set up big ofrendas too. Bakeries sell “pan de muerto,” a type of sweet roll with sugar sprinkled on top.
This Mexican tradition has been gaining popularity all around the world and the city of Marion has hosted this festival for four years now. This is a living tradition that brings together two cultures by sharing one thing in common, the love we feel for our beloved ones.
Each year the festival brings more people to downtown Marion, and it’s possible thanks to MACA, Beam’s Funeral Home, Golden Services, Burrito Bros., Tres Hombres store, Artesana Ice Cream and Flavors on Main General Store, who shared why they support the festival, City officials said they embrace the cultural diversity of Marion and are proud to support this great event, according to the news release.
This year’s festival has been reimagined to fit the guidelines established by the Health Department to keep everyone safe.
Starting on Saturday, people can enjoy a photograph exposition about Dia de Muertos in Mexico and some landmarks of Mexico City. These pictures were taken and donated by Edgardo Mendez, who is a photographer by hobby. There will also be an art exposition and contest, inspired by Dia de Muertos, where people will be bringing a mini “ofrenda” or an alebrije.
On Saturday, Nov. 7, will be the last day of the exposition and the winners for each contest will be announced on Facebook and contacted by phone. If people would like to add more fun to the “Art Walk,” they can participate in a scavenger hunt by locating the different items in some pictures. Whenever people complete it, they can take it to Golden Services, located on Main Street, to claim the prize after turning in their scavenger hunt paper.
The art exposition “Always Alive in our Hearts” will be located in five stores: Artesana, Burrito Bros., Flavors on Main, MACA and Tres Hombres.
“Thank you to all sponsors, participants, and to the city of Marion for embracing diverse cultures,” said organizer Silvia Martin del Campo.
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