The second annual Dia de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead)was celebrated under a beautiful clear sky on Saturday at Marion’s North Block. Día de los muertos is translated literally as “day of the dead,” but it is really a time to celebrate life by remembering and honoring those we have lost. As last year, the festival featured the music of North Carolina’s own Mariachi Guadalupano. Crowds gathered around the City Stage to hear them play and sing authentic mariachi music for the festival and some even danced. The community ofrenda memorial display was again set up on the City Stage, where festival goers placed photos and other items, such as flowers or favorite foods, in memory of their departed loved ones. The festival had traditional Mexican food and drink such as pan de muerto, and hot Mexican punch, a catrinaart contest with prizes, crafts such as paper flowers and papel picado, free calaveras skeleton face painting, a photo booth, and live music. Many participants, children and adults alike, enjoyed having their faces painted. Some of the Marion businesses participating in the festival included Burrito Bros., Flavors on Main, Mountain Marquee Cinema, the Crooked Door Coffee House, Centro Unido Latino Americano, the Corpening Memorial YMCA, Dos Mundos Two Worlds Coffee Shop, Artesana Ice Cream and Beam Funeral Service. Mountain Marquee had a special screening of the animated film “The Book of Life” on Saturday before and after the festival. MACA had a craft event for the young people. Marion’s Dia de los Muertos celebration began as a passion project for local teacher Silvia Martín del Campo, who is originally from Mexico City and teaches second grade at Eastfield Global Magnet School. She and many others feel it is a great way to share this traditional Mexican day with the entire local community.

MIKE CONLEY/MCDOWELL NEWS

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