Museum of Northern Arizona 3101 N. Fort Valley Road, Flagstaff, AZ
The 19th Annual Celebraciones de la Gente Festival is an unparalleled opportunity to experience the history and culture of Mexican, Mexican American, and LatinX communities in Northern Arizona. Also known as the Day of the Dead, this event is a celebration of life, music, dance, food and heartfelt remembrances.
Throughout the weekend visitors can enjoy cultural dances and music, browse the intricately decorated Ofrendas that line the courtyard, and gain insights during presentations by cultural experts.
On Saturday evening the courtyard stays open into the evening so the full impact of the Ofrendas can be enjoyed, along with sweet treats and hot drinks.
Don’t miss this fall festival. Invite your friends and family, from this world and the next!
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.
FLAGSTAFF — Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces celebrates the in-person return of Día de los Muertos / Day of the Dead when the 18th Annual Celebraciones de la Gente is presented at the Museum of Northern Arizona on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 23 and 24.
Celebrate the history and culture of Mexican, Mexican American and Latin@ communities in Northern Arizona at this annual fall event, which will include music, dance, food and heartfelt remembrances.
In partnership with Flagstaff’s Nuestras Raíces, the museum’s Jaime Golightly Courtyard will be 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 will stay open into the night, as the full impact of the candlelit ofrendas can be enjoyed, along with Mexican treats and soulful strolling Mariachis. Don’t miss this fall festival. Invite your friends and family, from this world and the next!
Some of the scheduled events each day include sugar skull-making workshops, “Ofrenda 101” creating an altar workshops, performances by Ballet Folkorico de Colores — Flagstaff and Mariachi performers from Tucson.
The Courtyard After Dark event on Oct. 23 will include 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 will be held from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, concluding with the traditional blessing of the altars/offrendas closing ceremony.
While we can’t enjoy a traditional Celebraciones de la Gente, members of Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces have been busy with a number of virtual Día de los Muertos projects.
Members visited the Museum of Northern Arizona on Oct. 7 to live stream and set up the community altar during the presentation “Day of the Dead Decoded: Ofrendas 101.”
Click here or visit facebook.com/musnaz/live_videos to see by presentation by Nuestras President Lydia Anaya and Treasurer Becca DeLap providing viewers the basics of setting up their own altars/ofrendas at home.
FLAGSTAFF — The 17th Annual Celebraciones de la Gente at the Museum of Northern Arizona has been postponed until 2021. Originally scheduled for Oct. 24-25, 2020, the Day of the Dead festival was rescheduled for the health and safety of all of our artists, visitors and staff.
Rooted in community, this weekend-long event has been presented at the museum in partnership with Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces. It features 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.
Members of Nuestras Raices are currently working on virtual Celebraciones de la Gente programming for this year. Details to come shortly.
Other museum heritage festivals that will be rescheduled until next year include the annual the Navajo Festival, the Hopi Festival and the Zuni Festival. A Fall Heritage originally scheduled for this year has also been postponed until next year. Click here for the latest information on the museum’s heritage programs.
See below for links to photos/stories from previous Celebraciones activities:
FLAGSTAFF — Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces joined other major nonprofits such the United Way of Northern Arizona, The Literacy Center and the Flagstaff Community Band to secure 1st place in the non-profit category at Cococnino Community College’s virtual 2020 4th of July Parade.
“Thank you again for your participation in the first ever Shoebox Fourth of July Parade. As of right now, the video for the parade (with nearly 60 entries) has been viewed almost 1,500 times,” said April Sandoval, assistant to the CCC president. “We are so appreciative for the many community partners across the county that took the time to make a float. You all made the parade something really special, and we were astounded by your creativity and community spirit. The parade is on our YouTube channel and can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkwFQq_RrZg&t=6s.
The Nuestras Raíces float can be seen around the 5:30 minute mark of the video.
“Our District Governing Board members reviewed each float and judged them based on creativity, spirit, and presentation,” Sandoval said. “It was a close call in many categories and you’ll see a few ties in the results. The winners were:
Grand Prize/Best in Show: Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library
1st Place for Each Category:
Business – Ken’s Tours
Coconino Community College – three-way tie
Admissions and High School Programs
Small Business Development Center
PR/Marketing and Foundation
Education – two-way tie
Flagstaff Unified School District
The Lowe Family
Nonprofit – four-way tie
Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces
Flagstaff Community Band
The Literacy Center
United Way of Northern Arizona
The judging was so close in a number of categories so we also decided to recognize a few Honorable Mentions.
Kinney Construction Services, Inc.
Alpine Academy Preschool
Neighbors – Crafting Sisters
The Hall Family
Family and Friends of Patrice: Carter Sisters and Lulu
FLAGSTAFF — Members of Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces and the wider community of Flagstaff were sadden this week to hear of the passing of Christina Anaya, a life-long community advocate in the region.
Christina was serving as president of Flagstaff Nuestras Raíces and presided over the planning of the 2017 Flagstaff Summertime Tardeada, the group’s participation of the 2017 Celebraciones de la Gente at the Museum of Northern Arizona and the 2017 Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration.
She was a volunteer for a number of community groups and organizations, including the Flagstaff Police Department, a member of Sociedades Guadalupanas at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff.
“It is with great sadness today (May 15) the Flagstasff Police Department learned they lost a friend and family member. Ms. Christina Anaya,” the department stated on its Facebook site. “Christina volunteered her time at the PD for more than 12 years. She has worked in Records, National Night Out and other community events and assigned to the Detective section going through pawn slips! Her smile and fun attitude will surely be missed. Thank you for your service and commitment to our community. We are all lucky to know you.”
Christina received the 2015 Big Award, one of three volunteers from Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Flagstaff recognized for their work with the organization, according to an article in the Arizona Daily Sun.
She will be missed by all who have known her.
Rosary is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday, May 20 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 224 S. Kendrick St., Flagstaff. Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, May 21 at San Francisco de Asis Catholic Church, 1600 E. Route 66, Flagstaff. The burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery, and please join us for a reception at San Francisco parish center, 12:30 PM.
See the Arizona Daily Sun story of May 18 for more information.
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.