WACO, Texas – There’s no shortage of events happening this weekend in Waco. Silobration continues at Magnolia. Baylor is taking on Texas. And for the first time in Waco history, Dia De Los Muertos will be celebrated with a parade and festival.
Dia De Los Muertos, otherwise known as “Day of the Dead,” is a Hispanic holiday commemorating loved ones who have passed away. Although it sounds like a solemn day of mourning, it’s actually a joyful celebration, and one you can take part in on Saturday evening!
“We honor our lost loved ones. We kind of remember them as they were in life, how they impacted our lives,” says event organizer Eric Linares.
This tradition dates back more than 2,000 years, and is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd by building “altares,” or home altars called “ofrendas.”
“We’ll put pictures of them. We’ll place offerings that they enjoyed when they were alive, things like if they liked Coca, if they liked breads and sweets, we will place those on the ofrenda, as well,” Linares says.
“Personally, for me, this is a time that I can think about my grandparents who have passed. And it’s just something that we hold dearly to our hearts during this time,” says Saphiana Zamora, PR and Marketing Intern at the CENTEX Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Saturday’s event allows the community to celebrate the Hispanic Holiday with costumes, music, arts, vendors and food. The event will also feature a fashion show, traditional dances, and a special tribute to the Queen of Tejano Music – Selena.
“The Hispanic community in Waco is a significant portion. We’ve definitely grown during the years, and having a moment where we can show that representation of the culture, show that kind of like histories and traditions, and share it with the greater Waco community, because that’s the best way of creating and bridging those gaps between communities and areas around town. Is by opening up your culture. By sharing your food, your music, your festival,” said Linares. “We wanted to have a representation of this culture and this festival at a larger scale.”
Organizers say this is an event you won’t want to miss.
“We’re not just Magnolia. We’re not just Baylor, you know? There are so many more people out there. And so many more people that have so much input to this town. And so, it’s just a great way to bring everybody together,” said Zamora.
The parade kicks off Saturday at 4:00 p.m. from Indian Springs Middle School, and ends at Indian Springs Park by the Suspension Bridge. The festival starts after the parade at 5:30 p.m., at the Indian Spring Park Amphitheater by the river.
“Having that ability to share that culture, and share that idea, and that festival with the greater Waco area, it’s something that we are really proud of,” added Linares.
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Written by Nohely Mendoza