Downtown Louisville’s annual Day of the Dead celebration will be scaled back this year due to the rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant.
In past years, the celebration has included children’s workshops, several performances and a candlelight procession to the Dia de los Muertos altar, at which participants traditionally place photos and other keepsakes in honor of their loved ones who have died. More than 8,000 people attended in 2019.
The festival is still happening this year on Saturday, Oct. 30, but the performances have been nixed, and materials for hands-on activities will only be available for pick-up. There will still be an altar, although there isn’t a procession scheduled. The celebration does include a free screening of Disney Pixar’s “Coco” movie, and downtown retailers are invited to participate in the festivities by decorating their stores and offering sales, specials and activities throughout the month of October.
“We’re thrilled to welcome students, families and community members from across Louisville to participate in such an important cultural celebration on a smaller scale this year,” said Frank Kalmbach, director of finance and operations at the Louisville Downtown Partnership, said in a statement. “We look forward to the day that we are able to bring this event back on a larger scale, but until then public safety needs to be our top priority.”
Dia de los Muertos is a 3,000-year-old holiday observed in Mexico and other Latin American countries “to honor and celebrate the lives of deceased loved ones with art, music and gifts,” according to the LDP, which is organizing the event in connection with the city’s Office for Globalization.
For those who want to participate in the DIY Day of the Dead activities, supplies will be available for pickup at Fourth Street Live on Oct. 30 between 2 and 5:30 p.m.. For more information about Louisville’s Day of the Dead and a downloadable activity set, go to dayofthedeadlouisville.com.