“It’s a great way to expose yourself to cultures without going too far from home,” Garcia said.
Day of the Dead is a holiday recognized and celebrated in many Latin American countries and communities, and celebrates the lives of ancestors with food, music and art, Garcia said.
OU’s free festival will include a variety of hands-on activities, vendors and live performances. Garcia said she is anticipating between 1,500 and 2,000 people at this year’s event.
Performances include different kinds of cultural music, such as mariachi bands, and a folkloric dance group. There will also be a parade that will culminate in front of the museum. The day will culminate with a performance by band Making Movies out of Kansas City, Mo.
Interactive activities include remembrance altars that people can add objects to in the tradition of Day of the Dead, traditional face painting and decorating sugar skulls. The face painting and sugar skulls are available at a minimal cost.
Other activities include bounce houses and laser tag. A variety of food trucks and vendors will also be available. All proceeds from the event go to the OU Latino Alumni Association and help support scholarship funds.
This festival is held in conjunction with the museum’s “Libertad de Expresión” exhibit, highlighting Latin American art from during the Cold War period.
Susan Baley, museum director of education, said they view the exhibit and event as simultaneous ways to celebrate Latin American cultures.
The museum is hosting two free activities inside the museum during the event, including tissue paper flowers and banners.
Student Life is also hosting brief talks inside the museum every hour about Day of the Dead traditions.
Baley said the day is appropriate for all ages and interests.
"Traditionally Day of the Dead is really a family event, so I really see it as being something for everybody. Last year they said they thought only kids would want to have their face painted, but of course adults wanted it, too."
Garcia said she hopes the festival continues to grow every year.
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