When Mayor Steve Adler announces a citywide Día de los Muertos celebration later this month, it’ll signal a momentous step forward for many community leaders who for years have been working toward boosting the visibility of Austin Day of the Dead events.
Austin Día de los Muertos, a two-week extravaganza from Oct. 21-Nov. 4, will highlight existing annual events with new ones under one marketing campaign.
“We’re excited about bringing awareness of Latino culture to a wider audience,” says Lesly Reynaga, executive director of Austin Day of the Dead. Reynaga says Adler will serve as the honorary chair of an Austin Día de los Muertos committee that’ll explore ways to continue building momentum for the festivities.
Some of Austin’s beloved Day of the Dead events, honoring the dearly departed, include the Mexic-Arte Museum’s Viva la Vida Festival and Parade, which is the city’s largest and longest-running Day of the Dead festival. Its grand procession begins at noon on Oct. 28 and ends at the festival on East Fourth Street. Festival-goers can expect hands-on art activities, artist demos, traditional Mexican food, local artist and retail booths, live music, and a low-rider exhibit. In honor of the 110th anniversary of Frida Kahlo, this year’s festival will be dedicated to the Mexican artist.
Fans of the holiday should also check out the annual Día de los Muertos festival at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center on Oct. 21, which will feature live music and entertainment as well as family art activities. Leading up to the festival, the cultural center will host sugar skull workshops on Oct. 7, 14, and 21.
New to Austin this year will be the Mariachi USA festival on Nov. 4 at the Austin360 Amphitheater at Circuit of the Americas featuring elite mariachi groups such as the Grammy-nominated Mariachi Los Arrieros and the all-female group Mariachi Las Alteñas. The show will feature Día de los Muertos music and fans will be treated to a stage that’ll be transformed into a giant Day of the Dead altar. Doors open at 3 p.m.
The Easterseals Central Texas will hold its fifth annual Día De Los Muertos Festival at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater on Nov. 4. This year’s lineup includes local funk masters Grupo Fantasma as well as party instigators Bombasta, all-sister band Tiarra Girls, James Keith and the Moondogs and DJ King Louie of Peligrosa. The festival will help the nonprofit launch its inaugural Disability Awareness Day.
Tickets, which cost $30, can be purchased at austindiadelosmuertos.com. Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Easterseals Central Texas, which focuses on supporting children and adults with disabilities as well as their families and caregivers.
Find out about the various citywide celebrations from concerts to fireworks displays at austindayofthedead.com.
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