Featured photo: Dancers line up during the Dia de los Muertos Celebation hosted by Voces Castellanas at Columbia Park in Shreveport.
Voces Castellanas, a local organization that describes itself as “a group to promote the Hispanic culture in the Ark-La-Tex,” will host its 10th Annual Dia de los Muertos Celebration at Columbia Park in Shreveport at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. The event, which organizer Janine Demerath describes as “a celebration of life,” is presented in partnership with the Multicultural Center of the South. The day will include traditional folk dances and art exhibits including sugar skulls, masks, altars and more. Admission is free, though donations are requested.
“This celebration is a Mexican celebration of life,” Demerath said. “What we try to do is honor the people who have passed away, and remember the lives of those people. The sugar skulls and skeletons and altars – they’re not meant to be scary. They’re meant to be colorful, cheery and happy.”
Highlights of the program include La Danza de los Viejitos, a traditional men’s dance associated with Dia de los Muertos celebrations, as well as a grand finale involving dancing skeletons and giant sugar skulls. For the first time, the 2016 celebration will include a pet altar paying tribute to beloved pets that have passed away. Less a festival than a cultural exhibit, the Dia de los Muertos party at Columbia Park is another example of the kind of free, family-friendly and authentic cultural encounter that can be found with increasing regularity in Shreveport’s historic Highland neighborhood.