Edinburg Arts presents Los Muertos Bailan—A celebration of Dia de los Muertos
By Bryan Ramos
The greatest way to honor lost ones is to celebrate life, and Edinburg Arts and the City of Edinburg invites the community to do so with a free night of culture, tradition and fun as it hosts the fourth annual Los Muertos Bailan—A Celebration of Dia De Los Muertos.
Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican tradition that dates back thousands of years in which people celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed. Dia de los Muertos spans from Oct. 31 – Nov. 2.
Edinburg City Hall and Courtyard will be filled with dance, live music and food Friday night, Oct. 27, as the festival offers an opportunity to learn about and embrace the Mexican tradition that is Dia De Los Muertos.
Los Muertos Bailan is South Texas’ largest day of the dead festival with over 4,000 attendees, and Soledad Nùñez, the arts coordinator for Edinburg Arts, is hoping the addition of a couple new components will continue the growth of the celebration of Mexican culture.
“I know a lot of times Dia de los Muertos gets a bad rap because people think, ‘muertos, day of the dead, you celebrate the dead,’ but it’s more of a celebration of life,” Nùñez said.
“That’s why we named our festival Los Muertos Bailan, the dead dance, because we celebrate life, so we hope people come out and enjoy the music and support the community.”
The festivities start at 6 p.m. with a colorful Calenda (street parade) featuring music, dancing and puppets beginning on the McIntyre St. side of City Hall, which will lead into high school folklorico dancers continuing the celebration.
Following the Calenda will be a Catrin and Catrina costume contest for both children and adults, which will present the winner with an opportunity to leave with a prize and bragging rights.
“We’re going to have a Catrin and Catrina costume contest for kids and adults, so everybody that wants to dress up in their best Catrin or Catrina costume can enter for a chance to win a goodie-basket and trophy,” Nùñez said.
At about 8:45 p.m., a delegation from Oaxaca will present La Guelaguetza, an annual cultural event showcasing traditional dances that takes place 800 miles away in Oaxaca, Mexico. There will be a mixture of about 80 people from Oaxaca on hand, including folklorico dancers, business professionals and artists to take part in the festival.
Throughout the night, there will be Mexican Artisans, colored sand street murals and an altar exhibit, as well as vendors selling crafted creations and plenty of food and beverages … yes, adult beverages, too.
“It’s one of our biggest festivals and one of our most well attended,” Nùñez said. “We’re trying to get more people involved with Dia de los Muertos so they can see it in a positive light instead of such a negative light, so we’re going to have a lot of great stuff. We’re looking forward to it being bigger than it was last year.”
The event is free to everybody and will kick off at 6 p.m. and run through 11 p.m. at Edinburg City Hall and Courtyard, located at 415 W. University Dr. For more information about the event, contact Soledad Nùñez at (956) 383-6246.