Wyandotte residents are invited to attend the fifth annual Day of The Dead festival centered at 1120 Central Avenue, KCK, on Sat. Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

Edgar Galicia, executive director of Central Avenue Betterment Association (CABA), the event sponsor, said the Dia De La Muertos (Day of The Dead) Festival is one of CABA’s biggest events of the year, with an average of 15,000 partipants expected to attend. 

The day will feature a variety of events, with something to interest almost anyone.  

A low-rider car show sponsored will be sponsored by the Olathe Leadership Low-Rider Club with registration on site and by donation.  The top prize will be a Day of the Dead decorated low-rider bike.  Proceeds from the show benefit the Low-Riders Bike Club. That show begins at noon. 

Participants are encouraged to register to be in the ofrenda contest with a top prize of $300.  Ofrenda is  a Mexican tradition which involves an offering placed in a home altar during the annual Day of the Dead Celebration. This contest has a registration fee of $75.

Participants must produce their offerings and take pictures.  A panel of judges will make select the prize winners. 

More than 60 food vendors will  be on site.  Galicia said some vendors will also sell Day of the Dead bread, also known Pan de Muerto, a traditional Mexican sweet bread associated with the Day of the Dead holiday.

Up to 3,000 participants can receive a face painting between 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

There will be musical performances on stage between 2 to 6 p.m. The music genres will range from mariachi, better known sad love songs and Cumbias, a traditional blend of African, Amerindian, and European sound including drums, flutes, or maracas. 

Twenty women will dress up like La Catrina, an elegantly dressed skeleton that is perhaps the most recognizable symbol of Day of the Dead.  The women will walk around and take pictures with participants between 3 to 6 p.m.

The Day of The Dead Parade will begin at 6 p.m with decorated vehicles, floats, and dance segments.

Galicia said CABA loves to invite everybody to come and reassures this festival is not a celebration about death. “This is a celebration of life and memories of loved ones,” he said. 

“We all have someone living in our heart that we would love to see one more time. If they live in your memory, they are still alive,” he said.

Although the event is free to attend, donations are greatly appreciated.

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Simone Garza

Simone Garza is a reporter in our Kansas City office. In addition to general reporting on Kansas City’s African-American community, she reports on economic inclusion for the African American community....