2018 Celebraciones de la Gente ©


Celebrate Mexican cultural traditions at the 15th Annual Celebraciones de la Gente ©, a lively Day of the Dead festival. Rooted in community, this weekend-long event is presented in partnership with Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces. Don’t miss fine art and unique crafts, music and dancing, colorful and elaborate ofrendas (altars), insightful heritage programs and Day of the Dead inspired crafts for the kids.

2018 Festival Information

Member Preview: Friday, October 19, 6 – 8 pm

Weekend Pass: $18 adult, $12 youth
Daily Admission: $12 adult; $8 youth (11-17), student & American Indian (with ID); children under 10 free.

Courtyard After Dark Saturday, October 20, 5-8 pm
Enjoy an evening viewing of the community ofrendas (altars) against a backdrop of candlelight and strolling mariachi music. Mexican hot chocolate and pan dulce (sweet bread) available for purchase. Dress warm!
Courtyard After Dark Admission: Included with festival admission or $6 per person. Children under 10 free.

Participating Artists & Organizations

Gina Santi (Photography)

Terri Rodriguez (Jewelry)

Irene Dominguez (Mixed Media)

Rick Pacheco (Paintings)

Umbrella Project (Nonprofit)

Casa of Coconino County (Nonprofit)

Schedule of Events



9:10 am Sugar Skull Decorating with Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces

10:00 am Ballet Folklorico de Colores de Flagstaff

11:30 am Mariachi Sol Azteca

1:00 pm Los Matachines

2:30 pm Fiesta Mexicana

4:00 pm Los Diamantes

5:00 pm- 8:00 pm Courtyard After Dark



9:10 am Sugar Skull Decorating with Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces

10:00 am Jesus Higuera

11:15 am Ballet Folklorico de Colores de Flagstaff

12:00 pm Jesus Higuera

1:30 pm Mariachi Sol Azteca

2:45 pm Fiesta Mexicana

4:00 Los Matachines

Heritage Insights (Ethnology Gallery)


10:45 Memento mori: Mourning Rituals and Visual Symbols of Child Loss with Dr. Dolores Bahti 

Part I Child loss from poverty, malnutrition, and epidemic disease in late nineteenth-century Mexico devastated rural communities whose vulnerable populations lacked resources and medicines to reduce infant mortality. This discussion will review the artists and artistry that generated photographic views of child loss and became icons alongside saints and ancestors on domestic altars.

12:15 Quinceanera’s: Coming of Age in the 21st Century with Victoria Samudio-Rodriguez

A discussion of the significance, symbolism and meaning behind this Chicanx/ Latinx coming-of-age-tradition and celebration of womanhood.

1:45 Chicano Photography in the Now: Border Crossers, Time Travel, Cosmic Imagery with Dr. Dolores Bahti 

Part I Bahti will review the history of Chicano photography in Arizona, highlighting significant photographers including Louis Carlos Bernal, and Delilah Montoya. Visitors will gain a deeper understanding of how the photographic connection between physicality and spirituality is crossing the border into Arizona territory.

3:15 Day of the Dead Decoded: Ofrendas 101 with Delia Ceballos Muñoz

A centuries-old tradition, Ofrendas are an integral aspect of Day of the Dead. In this interactive discussion, Muñoz will discuss the origins of these ritual alters, the symbolism behind them and demonstrate the process of building a refuge for the tired souls of lost loved ones.



1:00 Memento mori: Mourning Rituals and Visual Symbols of Child Loss with Dr. Dolores Bahti 

Part II This presentation will review the work of two renown photographers, one in Mexico and the other in Arizona, whose work, inspired by Italian-born photographer Tina Modotti, led to a late twentieth-century turning point in Latinx photographic history.

2:15 Caleveras or Costumes with Nuestras Raíces 

A panel discussion led by Nuestras Raices board member Frank Moraga exploring the differences between Halloween and Dia de los Muertos.

The second presentation.

3:30 Chicano Photography in the Now: Border Crossers, Time Travel, Cosmic Imagery with Dr. Dolores Bahti

Part II In this presentation, Bahti will review Mexican art and iconography that transmits powerful messages of migration, cultural identity, Millenial fragility, physical endurance, water scarcity, regional landmarks, and social justice.

Food Vendors All Weekend


Goodtimes Rolling

2018 Annual Sugar Skull Workshop

Oct. 5 — Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces presents annual Sugar Skull-making workshopFLAGSTAFF — Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces will present its annual Sugar Skull-making workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5 at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church Cultural Arts Center “The Basement,” 224 S. Kendrick St., Flagstaff.

Come learn the secrets of turning water and sugar into skulls for upcoming Día de Los Muertos / Day of the Dead celebrations.

Class led by Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces, presenters of the annual Celebraciones de la Gente at the Museum of Northern Arizona (Oct. 19-21).

$10 for a completed sugar skull and decorating supplies. Bring your own beverage. Snacks provided.

Visit www.FlagstaffNuestrasRaices.org or send an email to president@FlagstaffNuestrasRaices.org or info@FlagstaffNuestrasRaices.org for more information.

2018 Cinco de Mayo Celebration

May 5FLAGSTAFF — The American Legion Auxiliary and Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces will present a “Cinco de Mayo Celebration — Dinner, Dance,” on Saturday, May 5 at American Legion Post No. 3, 204 W. Birch St., Flagstaff.

The Dinner will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. — $10 per person for the three-item combo plate

The Dance will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. — $10 per person for the dance

There will also be raffles and split the pot.

Tickets available from American Legion Auxiliary and Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces.

Send an email to help@flagstaffnuestrasraices.org for more information.

Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces remembers veteran, Hispanic pioneer Tomas Vega

2017 Tardeada — Tomas Vega
Tomas H. Vega, front row far right, stands at attention while being honored with other veterans during the 2017 Flagstaff Summertime Tardeada.
Tomas Vega
Tomas H. Vega during World War II.

FLAGSTAFF — Members of Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces would like to remember the contributions of Tomas H. Vega, a Flagstaff native, who passed away on March 14 at the age of 96. Mr. Vega was a regular at many of the group’s functions, including the annual Summertime Tardeada at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and the annual Celebraciones de la Gente at the Museum of Northern Arizona.

He was a part of America’s “Greatest Generation,” landing on Omaha Beach during the Normandy invasion in June 1944.

He will be honored, along with other Hispanic veterans, during the 2018 Armed Forces Day Parade in downtown Flagstaff.

For more on his remarkable life, please visit the Arizona Daily Sun story HERE.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration 2017 to be held Dec. 11-12

Photos by Frank X. Moraga / AmigosNAZ ©2016

FLAGSTAFF — The annual Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11 with a procession from Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel, 224 S. Kendrick St., to  San Francisco de Asis Catholic Church, 1600 E. Route 66.

After a brief stop for a hot food and drink potluck at the Flagstaff Fire Department Station No. 2, the procession will proceed up the hill along Ponderosa Parkway to San Francisco de Asis Catholic Church for a Mass at 7 p.m.

Festivities will begin the next day at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12 with a Rosary, Mananitas at 6:30, Mass at 7, followed by Café y pan at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church.

The church will be encircled by an estimated 300 luminarias, placed there by members of Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces.

Activities will conclude with a community potluck at 8 a.m, Dec. 12 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church Cultural Center “The Basement.”

“Monday evening is the vigil of the celebration of the patron saint of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe,” wrote Father Patrick Mower in the parish’s Dec. 10 bulletin. “There is a beautiful celebration and procession from OLG Chapel up to our church on the mesa. We stop at the fire station (at the bottom of the hill” for a short rest with refreshments before we head up the hill. There are dancers, songs and prayers as we honor our Lady. Although many may thing this to be a “Hispanic” event, our Lady is the patron of all the Americas, not just Mexico and Central America. How nice would that be if the crowd doubled in size and race as we all walk in procession to celebrate Mass in honor of Mary together as a Church, the people of God, not divided but united in Christ. There is a bus that will leave here at 5:15 p.m. to take people down to OLG so that your cars will be here waiting for you after the Mass. We start the procession at 5:30 p.m. The whole trip is only 2.2 miles. Hope to see you there. God’s blessing on you all, you are loved.”

See slideshow from 2016 Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration

Photos by Frank X. Moraga / AmigosNAZ ©2016

Fourth Annual Flagstaff Summertime Tardeada Festival to be held June 24 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Mariachi Mass set for June 25

June 24-25

FLAGSTAFF — To celebrate and recognize Flagstaff’s Hispanic roots, Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces invites the public to attend its fourth annual “Flagstaff Summertime Tardeada — Mariachi and Folklorico Festival” from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 24 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 224 S. Kendrick St., Flagstaff. The event is free and has drawn upwards of 400 visitors in past years.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church is a significant historic site because it was the pride and centerpiece of the Hispanic community when it was built in the late 1920s by Flagstaff Hispanic pioneer families, who had strong bonds to the church.

What is a Tardeada? It’s a vibrant afternoon festival and social dance celebrating Flagstaff’s Hispanic culture and community history. The Coconino County Board of Supervisors is the premier sponsor.

The festival’s goal is to celebrate the legacy of Flagstaff’s Hispanic culture through entertainment, music, dance, art, food and exhibits. The entertainment stage will feature Ballet Folklorico de Colores – Flagstaff; Desierto de Colores Ballet Folklorico — Holbrook; Mariachi Herencia Musical and Mariachi Inspiración from Tucson, and Northern Latin Express.

The event will also include a tribute to Hispanic pioneers and Hispanic veterans in the region, a recognition of the 90th anniversary of the church, an “Oldies” car show (from the early ’60s back to the 1940s) and a raffle. Mexican and regular barbeque food will be sold as a fundraiser for the Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces’ Cultural Heritage Fund. A recuerdos lecture focusing on the history of the Hispanic community in the region will also be held at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church Cultural Center “The Basement.”

So escape the triple-digit temperature in most of Arizona, bring your chairs and canopies and enjoy the cooler mountain breezes of Northern Arizona.

A Mariachi Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 25 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church.

The public is invited to both events. Visit www.flagstaffnuestrasraices.org or send an email to help@flagstaffnuestrasraices.org or info@flagstaffnuestrasraices.org for more information.

Click here to see photos from 2016 Summertime Tardeada

Click here to see photos from 2016 Mariachi Mass