UPDATE: Dayton’s Dia de Muertos celebration moves to Halloween

Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), will be celebrated on Sunday, Oct. 24 from noon to 6 p.m. CONTRIBUTED/TOM GILLIAM
Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), will be celebrated on Sunday, Oct. 24 from noon to 6 p.m. CONTRIBUTED/TOM GILLIAM

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Organizers of Dayton’s Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), the longest-running celebration of its kind in the state of Ohio, according to event organizers, has moved the event to Sunday, Oct. 31. due to impending wet weather, according to the group’s Facebook page.

The festivities were originally scheduled for Oct. 24 from noon to 6 p.m. across downtown Dayton. The celebration is expected to include many Mexican traditions “with some unique Gem City twists.”

“This is our big return since the pandemic and we are quite shorthanded and really working with a skeleton crew — Get it?? Skeleton crew — to pull it together,” stated the Dia de Muertos release. “Dia de Muertos is a unique and colorful holiday observed across Mexico, the southwestern United States, Latin America and right here in Dayton, Ohio.”

The Mexican holiday encourages people to reminisce on the lives of loved ones who have died by creating and sharing ofrendas, or Day of the Dead alters, cooking traditional food, and taking part in traditional dances while wearing sugar skull painted faces and bright costumes.

Grand marshals for the event will be representatives from the Dayton Book Fair. “Due to a generous community grant in 2019, we are able to continue the event despite limited fundraising opportunities over the past two years,” the release said.

Here’s the schedule for this year’s Dia de Muertos:

Noon to 2 p.m. — Gather for the pre-parade activities at 5th and Jefferson streets, which include expert face painting and the new 2021 Dayton Dia de Muertos T-shirt for sale. Food Truck, and Billie Gold Bubble Tea will be there for refreshments.

2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The Dayton Dia de Muertos Parade departs 5th and Jefferson and proceeds through the Oregon District in Downtown Dayton to Dutoit Street, with arrival at the Missing Peace Art Space.

3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Music, food, and a celebration of the lives of our friends and family members who have passed. Orgullo Mexicano (student dancers), Leslie Perez and the Alacran de Durango (Mexican folk music), and Team Void (Lucha Libre Surf Rock) will perform. Rev. Cool of WYSO’s Around the Fringe show will MC the event and DJ high energy traditional and not so traditional Latin dance beats between sets and to finish the evening.

In addition, traditional foods will be available from vendors. New this year will be a recreation of a Mexican cemetery featuring community ofrendas (altars).

For more information, go to www.facebook.com/diademuertosdayton.

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