NORMAN — Sugar skulls, altars and Latin music set the scene Friday evening as hundreds gathered on the University of Oklahoma campus for the second annual Day of the Dead Street Festival.
Hosted by OU’s Student Life in conjunction with the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, the event included a variety of hands-on activities, vendors and live performances in front of the museum.
Day of the Dead is a holiday recognized in many Latin American countries that celebrates the lives of ancestors with food, music and art.
Interactive activities included remembrance altars people could add objects to, traditional face painting and decorating sugar skulls. Other activities included laser tag. A variety of food trucks and vendors were also available.
Yumare Mexican Folkloric Dancers Inc. performed several traditional dances during the event. Jasmine Davis, a dancer with the group, said she hoped the event helped those unfamiliar with Mexican culture learn more, and she wished there were more events like this in Oklahoma.
This festival was held in conjunction with the museum’s “Libertad de Expresión” exhibit, highlighting Latin American art from the Cold War period.
Inside the museum during the event were lectures about Day of the Dead history and free arts and crafts activities.
Dozens gathered inside a museum classroom to make colorful tissue paper flowers and traditional paper banners.
“It’s a wonderful way of honoring cultural traditions and putting an emphasis on families — it’s all about honoring your ancestors,” said Susan Baley, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art director of education.
All proceeds from the event go to the OU Latino Alumni Association and help support scholarship funds.