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Dia de los Muertos Oct. 30 in Granite Shoals

Quarry Park in Granite Shoals transforms into a dynamic colorful spectacle Saturday, Oct. 30, in celebration of the city's first Dia de los Muertos Festival, coupled with a trunk-or-treat.

The trunk-or-treat is 3-5 p.m. Kids are invited to wear their costumes to fill their bags with treats. Churches, nonprofits, and others who want to decorate and fill their vehicles with candy to hand out are asked to contact Recreation Coordinator Angela Jackson-Gallardo at recreation@graniteshoals.org to sign up. Include the names and birth dates of each person volunteering and the number of vehicles in your group. Bring candy for 100-200 children.

The Dia de los Muertos Festival starts at 4 p.m. with face painting and food trucks. At 5 p.m. is the Day of the Dead La Calavera Catrina Pageant followed by a performance by Round Rock Folklorico at 5:30 p.m. Mariachi Espuelas performs at 6 p.m. followed by the pageant crowning at 7 p.m. and the Parade of Lanterns at 7:15 p.m.

The cost to enter the pageant is $10. Cash prizes will come out of the entry fees. Sign up in advance online or by emailing Jackson-Gallardo.

Jackson-Gallardo has attended Dia de los Muertos events in other cities and wanted to offer this festival in Granite Shoals.

“Half of the people who make up this community are Hispanic,” she said. “I’ve been going with my family to Dia de los Muertos in Fort Worth. They are really tied to their culture. We see that in this area. I wanted to bring a festival like that to this area. It’s a celebration of color and culture and food and remembering those who are lost.”

While many Dia de los Muertos events are tied to religion, Jackson-Gallardo said that won’t be an emphasis at Quarry Park. People can still participate at the Ofrenda, where written notes, marigolds, and pan de muerto, or bread of the dead, will be set up to honor loved ones who have passed.

“We’ll have food and cookies so they’ll have substance on their journey,” Jackson-Gallardo said. “There will be time set aside to remember our ancestors. Really, it’s the main promise of the festival. You can write notes to loved ones or put photos out.”

The street dance begins after the Parade of Lanterns is finished.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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