by Callie Enlow
The festive weekend event includes concerts, food, public art and an intriguing procession filled with dances, drums and puppets. There's also a living altar contest, with 2,500 SF of altars on display, each hoping to win the $2,000 cash prize. Faith Radle, helping to produce and organize the festival, said last week "We've been overwhelmed with our altar response ... I've been blown away." The meeting itself featured representatives from some 30 participants or teams. We spied SA-famous musicians, street artist Shek Vega (teaming up with artist Louie Chavez for a joint entry), Robot Creative graphic designers, social activists and many more last weekend and talked to a few of them about how altar virgins can start an tradition at home. If you still need inspiration, you can view the altar displays starting today (Fri) at 5 p.m. through 11 p.m. tomorrow (Sat) night. The winners of the altar contest will be announced Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. While the concerts at Arneson River Theatre are ticketed, the surrounding Día de los Muertos festivities, including the altar displays, are open to the public.
1. "Start early ... Early enough to see what works and what doesn't" —Louie Chavez
2. "Make it personal. It could be anything. It could be a picture in a frame that you put mementos and flowers around." —Carrie Avery
3. "You've always gotta have their favorite foods, candies, sweets and drinks, because it's all about them." —Fabian Diaz
4. "Traditionally, it's a three-tiered altar with candles, sage, incense and food." —Prichie
5. "Whoever you're dedicating it to, have their favorite foods, items ... and glasses of water because they'll be traveling on their journey ... Sage or incense smoke [represents] your prayers for them going up to heaven." —Patricia Castillo