Thanksgiving Point in Lehi will celebrate the traditional Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos to remember family and friends during Day of the Dead festivities on Nov. 1 and 2.
The celebration includes artisan vendors, food, altar displays, crafts and folklore and dance presentations. Festival goers can experience traditional skeleton face painting for an extra fee.
“The best part of Dia de los Muertos is that it’s a culturally rich event celebrating loved ones who have departed,” Britnee Johnston, communications manager, said. “It’s a very festive event with bright colors, upbeat music and beautiful decorations. It’s a great way to have a happy occasion in honoring past loved ones through family altars featuring pan de muertos, marigolds, photos and mementos of the person.”
The Day of the Dead celebration is the first of its kind at Thanksgiving Point.
“There are a number of smaller celebrations across the state, but we’re the first in Utah to put on a Dia de los Muertos celebration to this scale,” Johnston said. “We’ve received a positive response so far on the event with many groups collaborating to put on the event such as Latinos in Action and Artes de Mexico of Utah.”
BYU students looking for festivities and cultural enriching experiences would enjoy the Day of the Dead festival explained Johnston.
“BYU students will enjoy the event in the same way that they enjoy other cultural events around the valley such as the Holi Festival,” Johnston said. “It’s a new culture they get to experience and they’ll find that there are entertaining things to do and see at Dia de los Muertos. It’s a great event to bring a date, family or friends.”
Michael Chavarria, president of the LAZOS club on campus and vice president of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, said he enjoys celebrating Dia de los Muertos with his family.
“My favorite part of the holiday is getting together with family members and remembering the family that’s passed,” Michael Chavarria said. “We would laugh at stories about family history.”
Day of the Dead celebrations happening throughout Utah display a rich culture in the the Beehive State.
“There are a lot of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Utah,” Lili Blackwell, adjunct faculty in the Spanish department, said. “We are proud of our celebrations. We like that people are interested in our celebrations and what we do.”
Day of the Dead at the Thanksgiving Point Show Barn in Lehi starts 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 1. The two-day festival continues on 11 a.m. on Nov. 2. Admission is free for children 12 and under and $7 for adults. More information, including a schedule of events, can be found at the Thanksgiving Point website.