The Dia de los Muertos festival at Montie Beach Park will not be happening like it did last year, with folkorico dancers, live performances and vendors. For the safety of the community during the pandemic, the Montie Beach Civic Club cancelled the festival, but didn’t forgo a type of celebration.
This year, an art installation will be set up on the hill at the park, 915 Northwood St., called “Ofrenda at Montie Beach Park,” from Saturday through Monday, Nov. 2 as a safe way to hold to the Dia de los Muertos tradition.
“It was important not to completely cancel to keep the cultural significance,” said Arturo Gutierrez, who is a member of the civic club. “We think it’s important to continue the tradition.”
An ofrenda is an altar dedicated to a deceased loved one. During Dia de los Muertos, it’s intended to welcome the spirit back from the dead.
The display will feature ofrendas, lights, papel picado, full floral display and more. To engage kids to participate, the civic club purchased 100 Ofrenda Kits from Casa Ramirez Folkart Gallery, 241 W. 19th St., to give away for free. The kit comes with a sugar skull that can be decorated and four items that represent earth, wind, fire and water.
“Dia de los Muertos is not about grieving,” Gutierrez said. “It’s more about the celebration of life.”