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Day of the Dead Comes to Oakdale Memorial

With altars dedicated to deceased loved ones, Oakdale Memorial celebrates the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos.

Oakdale Memorial Park will host its inaugural Dia de los Muertos Cultural Festival Sunday, Nov. 4 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday which gathers families and friends to pray for deceased loved ones and celebrate their lives.  The actual holiday falls on Nov. 1, and usually includes private altars for the deceased and festive visitations to the cemetery.

But while some participants may paint their faces like skeletons or decorate with altars with sugar skulls and skeleton dolls, Victoria Portugal, event publicist of Oakdale’s Dia de los Muertos, said the holiday is more of a celebration of life rather than focusing on the spooky aspects.

“Families will create altars for their loved ones and put things like their favorite foods, items and photos, all in hopes that their loved ones will be there in spirit,” said Portugal.

The free event is open to the public and will include arts and crafts for children, food trucks, vendors selling Day of the Dead jewelry and art, Mariachi music, and performances by ballet folklorico and Aztec dance groups. Featured Mexican-born artist Hector Silva will exhibit some of his work.

The community is also invited to enter in an altar contest.

For more information, visit www.dayofthedead-oakdale.com.

Gloria October 29, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Is all the above to take place at a Oakdale? If so, I greatly resent it. The cemetery is a place of quiet, peaceful rememberances, not mariachi music and dancing, FOOD? FOOD TRUCKS? (give me a break!) and children running over graves of our love ones. Bad idea!! HAVE SOME RESPECT! Will all other funerals stop while this party is going on?? P.S. if you do this for one culture, then other groups will demand the same type "celebrations".
MellowMaverick October 29, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Dia de los Muertos is a celebration of the departed and the lives they led and how they positively impacted the lives of those still here. This kind of "celebration" happens in many cultures...such as the Irish. Since California has a massive Mexican-American population, I see nothing wrong with sharing this celebration with them. Until this event happens, one can't assume any disrespect will be shown. In my experience with Dia De Los Muertos, the participants are very aware of the respect the dead deserve. It may be time for some people to try and be a little open-minded towards all cultures.
Envy1723 October 30, 2012 at 05:57 AM
Like the article says, its a "holiday which gathers families and friends to pray for deceased loved ones and celebrate their lives." What a wonderful thing to remember our family member and all the goodness they brought into our lives rather than just thinking of their death. I think this is a wonderful event. I'm looking foward to this...to remember, celebrate and honor the loved ones.
Delia Lopez October 30, 2012 at 03:29 PM
As someone intimately involved in the preparations, I can also share that this event takes place right at the entrance of the cemetery where there are NO graves. The biggest thing we do is respect the lives of those that have passed and nothing is ever done in areas where there are graves. This area is an open patch of grass right next to the chapel. All parking and traffic is being managed so that event visitors can enjoy the event and park visitors wishing to visit their loved ones will be able to do so without any problems. Please try to be open minded and remember that the park does celebrate other holidays like Veterans Day as well. We hope that all will come to experience it for themselves.
Mikey's Mom November 01, 2012 at 03:49 PM
I am looking forward to it. I am sure it will be done in good taste and with the utmost respect.
Emilio S November 04, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Very Well Said Sir! :D
Emilio S November 04, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Agree, Life is death and death is life!! lets celebrate both :D

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