Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a holiday when family and friends gather to remember and honor loved ones who have passed away. There are two festivals in Ogden this fall to celebrate Dia de los Muertos.
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS EN OGDEN
This festival is organized by Ogden Friends of Acoustic Music (OFOAM), Ogden Midnight Runners and the Ogden School District.
“It’s a much needed event in Ogden as 32% of our population is Latinx or Hispanic. It’s a great way to bring a sense of belonging to everyone, including those who may be living in the shadows – our undocumented immigrants,” said Arlene Anderson, Chair of Dia de los Muertos en Ogden.
The free event includes a mercadito vendors’ market, food trucks, a student art exhibition, a Spanish-language film festival, the Ogden Midnight Runners Car Show and a live musical and cultural performance by Ogden School District students and community members.
A children’s area will feature 300 sugar skulls, makeup tutorials, and hand warmers provided by Weber State Ballet Folklorico and WSU’s Hispanic Area Council.
“We are honored that a local Hispanic artist is making paper masks for the children,” Anderson said.
In addition, the Odgen School District will host workshops for parents from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as part of its Parenting Elevated program. Classes cover topics ranging from communication and higher education to mental, social, and emotional health. “We are excited to be face-to-face this year and to offer a range of courses and resources to meet the needs of our students and their families and empower them through education,” said Ogden Diversity Commissioner and School Counselor Monica Gil .
The main attraction of the event will be music headliner Suenatron, playing at 7pm, sponsored by OFOAM. The group has been around for 10 years and plays a combination of pop, cumbia, norteño and rap. Two of the band members are brothers Mexia and Giovanni Hernandez, who followed in the footsteps of their father Heran Hernandez of Los Tigres Del Norte.
A portion of the event’s proceeds goes to the Dreamers Awards, scholarships for undocumented students.
“Education is so important. Many of our students in our district are undocumented and want to pursue further education after high school. They’re often the first generation of college students in their families,” Anderson said.
Saturday, October 8, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., at Ben Lomond High School (1080 9th Street), free.
DAY OF THE DEAD YEAR 4
The event is hosted by Nurture the Creative Mind, Wimpy & Fritz, Ogden Union Station and the Utah Division of Arts and Museums.
“This is our fourth year. We have a community altar or ofrenda where anyone can come and participate. You can bring a gift or souvenir to honor and remember the departed loved one. You can also bring letters or photos,” said Amir Jackson, board member and owner of Nurture the Creative Mind. “The Ofrenda will be placed two weeks before the event for community members to add to it,” Jackson added.
The committee will also place five large 4½ foot fiberglass skulls around Ogden. “They’re like the horses that line up for the rodeo in town every summer. They’re hand-painted by community members,” Jackson said.
The event includes food trucks, vendors selling crafts, live performances by local ballet and lyrical dance groups, and local salsa bands Rumba Libre and Cumbia Llegal. Legacy Tattoo’s Fredo Rivera will host a car show, and there will also be an art exhibit submitted by Latino and Hispanic community members at Union Station.
“In addition, there will be an art exhibit featuring 25 different ofrendas decorated by individuals specifically for their family members,” Jackson said.
At the end of the evening there will be a joint candlelight vigil. “Some words will be spoken by community poets, and then we will have a moment of silence for our loved ones who have passed,” Jackson said.