Without a doubt, Halloween is one of the most popular holidays here in the United States. Every year, individuals and families of all ages spend many weeks and many dollars preparing for a night of spooky festivities. But in our ever-changing society, traditions are taking on new forms, especially as rapidly growing populations from Mexico and Latin America bring with them their own unique customs. One of these native traditions is the yearly celebration of "El Dia de los Muertos," or the "Day of the Dead," which is the focus of an exhibition this month at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (KMAC).
From October 1 until November 6, in recognition of Day of the Dead, the KMAC will feature stunning altars crafted by many different Louisville artists and dedicated to a variety of honorees. These altars have been built in tribute to both famous historical figures, such as Frida Kahlo, and individuals of special interest to the artists, like four late community leaders being recognized by the University of Louisville's Latin American and Latino Studies Program.
On Friday, November 4, however, the real fiesta begins! From 5p.m. to 10 p.m., during the First Friday Trolley Hop, the KMAC will celebrate Dia de los Muertos in festive fashion: food from Los Aztecas will be available for purchase, live music will be performed by the band Appalatin, and a cash bar will be serving the "Paloma," a signature tequila drink courtesy of Brown-Forman. In addition, free activities for revelers of all ages will include a sugar skull-making workshop and face painting, and entertainment will be provided non-stop from Flamenco dancers and an unbelievable skeleton marching band. In what promises to be the most contemplative moment of the night, a candlelit procession will travel down West Main Street in memory of loved ones past.
A saying among Day of the Dead observers is that, at the end of our lives, we experience "three deaths:" one when the body ceases to function, one when the body is lowered into its final resting place, and one when no one remains alive in this world who remembers us. With this in mind, the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft invites you to ensure that our memories of those departed will never die.
The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft is located at 715 West Main Street. The Day of the Dead Celebration is being held on November 4, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.