“Day of the Dead”, Mexico’s most famous holiday, will once again be celebrated along the South Fourth Street Retail district in Downtown Louisville between the Seelbach and Brown Hotels on Friday, Nov. 7th from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., and will take place in conjunction with the Republic Bank First Friday Trolley Hop.
The 4,000-year-old holiday was established so that people could pray for and honor loved ones who have passed away. The family-friendly affair is sponsored by the South Fourth Street Retail District, the University of Louisville’s Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) Program, and the Louisville Downtown Partnership (LDP).
In keeping with cultural tradition, a number of temporary altars will be installed along South Fourth Street. The University of Louisville will be creating altars to Nelson Mandela and Maya Angelou, while the soon-to-open Hilton Garden Inn will erect a shrine to honor celebrities who have died in famous hotels. South Fourth Street radio stations will build altars devoted to famous deceased musicians, and a special altar will be erected to honor artist Frida Kahlo. In keeping with tradition, a public altar will be available on the night of the event for anyone to place objects for their deceased loved ones.
“Our annual Day of the Dead celebration grows each year as word gets around Louisville about how much fun it is to embrace this rich cultural tradition, complete with Mexican entertainment, great ethnic food and beverages,” said Karen Welch, owner of CRAFT(s) Gallery on South Fourth Street. “In Mexico, the annual celebration lasts for several days and usually takes place between October 31st and November 2nd, but we’re doing it a bit later as we wanted it to align with the Republic Bank First Friday Trolley Hop,” Welch added.
The event will feature plenty of hands-on workshops, including face painting, sugar skull decorating, paper flower making and much more compliments of the LALS Program. Party goers are encouraged to dress in costumes, especially as Frida Kahlo or their favorite “calavera” (skeleton). Organizers are seeking to gather the largest collection of Frida Kahlo look alikes ever assembled for a photo.
Free entertainment includes Caminos Flamenco Dancers, Arcoiris Latino Dancers, Appalatin -- a Latin musical group, and Chad Balster – a special fire performer. La Cocina de Mama and Meta will have Mexican food, beer, wine and margarita offerings for sale for festival attendees. The event is free, open to the public, and family friendly.