Community celebrates in-person return of Celebraciones de la Gente

CLICK HERE to see photos from 2021 Celebraciones de la Gente

CLICK HERE to see photos from previous Celebraciones de la Gente

FLAGSTAFF — Celebraciones de la Gente, the annual Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead celebration, returned to the Museum of Northern Arizona on Oct. 23-24 with an appreciative crowd who strolled around the historic Jaime Golightly Courtyard to view family ofrendas / altars, view workshops on creating ofrendas, a presentation honoring the more than 400 people who died due to COVID-19 in Coconino County, dance performances by Ballet Folklorico de Colores — Flagstaff and music by Mariachi Tradición de México from Tucson and Los Alambrados Flagstaff.

The 18th annual event, which was hosted by the Museum of Northern Arizona, in partnership with Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces, was presented virtually in 2020 due the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’d like to thank everyone who helped make this celebration possible and to everyone who joined us yesterday and today to remember our family and friends!!,” museum officials stated on its Facebook site, which also featured a variety of photos and videos of the presentations.

A segment on the event was also aired this week on NAZ Today.

During the two-day event, museum’s Jaime Golightly Courtyard was transformed into a beautiful lit setting, with intricately cut papel picado (pierced paper) and lovely arrange ofrendas (altars) to welcome past loved ones to the party.

On Saturday evening the courtyard stayed open into the night, as the full impact of the candlelit ofrendas was be enjoyed, along with Mexican treats and soulful strolling Mariachis.

The Courtyard After Dark event on Oct. 23 included a candlelit ceremony honoring the memory of those who have lost their lives during the pandemic presented by members of Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces, with opening remarks by Museum of Northern Arizona Executive Director Mary Kershaw.

Celebraciones concluded with the traditional blessing of the altars/offrendas closing ceremony.

Please click on link above for the annual traditional closing ceremony anniversary dance with Lupe and Loretta Velasco.

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