In many parts of Mexico, South America, and the United States, El Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a time to honor and celebrate deceased loved ones. Community participation is essential to this holiday that is full of life, reflection, food, family and fun. The celebration demonstrates how a diverse community can come together to share a common desire – to honor our ancestors and keep their memories alive.
Longmont’s annual Día de los Muertos celebration is the largest in the state of Colorado; the exhibition and family celebration at the Longmont Museum alone attract more than 6,000 people from across the region. Día de los Muertos in Longmont has expanded to become an entire City affair. The Longmont Museum partners with a host of individuals and community organizations with cultural expertise to create an experience for Día de los Muertos that is rooted in respect, authenticity, and celebration.
The latest collaboration gives visitors an opportunity to “dance, stay, and play” for Día de los Muertos weekend November 2 – 3, 2018. Visitors can dance the night away Friday night at the Catrina Ball, stay overnight in Longmont with a group discount at either the Fairfield Inn or Candlewood Suites, and then play all day at the Longmont Museum’s family celebration on Saturday.
Exhibition: At the Longmont Museum Oct. 13 – Nov. 6; free admission
In partnership with the Mexican Cultural Center, the Longmont Museum is proud to showcase Xólotl: Dios Perro, a monumental, 14-foot alebrije sculpture by renowned Mexican artist Oscar Becerra. Alebrije are brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures. Altars for the dead created by community members are also a central part of the exhibition.
Gigantes Procession and Catrina Ball: At the Firehouse Art Center and Dickens Opera House, Friday, Nov. 2, 5 – 10 pm; free for procession, $10 Catrina Ball
The fiesta begins at the Firehouse Art Center with skull face painting. Partygoers will follow the procession of gigantes (traditional giant puppets) to the Dickens Opera House for the Catrina Ball, featuring live music, dancing and much more. The Firehouse is also hosting an exhibit on Amalia Hernández, Founder of Ballet Folkórico de México, throughout the month.
Family Celebration: At the Longmont Museum Saturday, Nov. 3 , 11 am – 3 pm, free admission
Enjoy live music and dancing, sugar skull decorating, traditional food, community altars, paper flower making, face painting and more. Come dressed in your finest calaca (skeleton) apparel.
And there’s more: The Longmont Museum is hosting the Day of the Dead film “Coco,” an evening of storytelling focused on death and remembrance, a panel on cultural appropriation, and more, all in conjunction with Día de los Muertos. Learn more on the Longmont Museum website.
Explore even more altars for the dead created by community members at businesses throughout downtown Longmont during the month of October. Get tickets for a guided walking tour hosted by the Longmont Downtown Development Authority that includes a roundtrip trolley ride to the Museum’s Exhibition Opening Reception. Or, grab a map and take a self-guided walking tour at your leisure.