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Sunday, April 20, 2014
Parks & Recreation: Life In Death Festival

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2013 Calavera Contest Release Form (PDF) >>

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2013 Ofrenda Rules & Agreement (PDF) >>

 

 

 

 

Clark County Parks and Recreation presents “Life in Death: Day of the Dead,” a two-day festival featuring displays, an art exhibit, performances, craft sales and food vendors at Winchester Cultural Center and Park, 3130 S. McLeod Drive. The event will explore cultural traditions relating to the Mexican holiday of El Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Admission to the festival is free.  

Clark County Parks and Recreation presents “Life in Death: Day of the Dead,” a two-day festival featuring displays, an art exhibit, performances, craft sales and food vendors at Winchester Cultural Center and Park, 3130 S. McLeod Drive. The event will explore cultural traditions relating to the Mexican holiday of El Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Admission to the festival is free. Clark County Parks and Recreation presents “Life in Death: Day of the Dead,” a two-day festival featuring displays, an art exhibit, performances, craft sales and food vendors at Winchester Cultural Center and Park, 3130 S. McLeod Drive. The event will explore cultural traditions relating to the Mexican holiday of El Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Admission to the festival is free.  

The festival will feature “ofrendas,” or altars built by families and other groups in memory of deceased relatives or other beloved individuals. The ofrendas are elaborate works of art, detailed and sometimes large in size and will be displayed outdoors in Winchester Park. Ofrendas will be judged in three categories including most traditional, most creative and best theme, and an award will be given in each category.  

Performances in the park each day will feature Mexican dance troupes and readings of “calaveras,” or “skulls,” which are satirical poems written to commemorate people who are still alive. The poems treat the menace of death with good-natured humor and offer a chance to poke fun at prominent celebrity and political figures. Judges will award calaveras winners prizes.  

Authentic Mexican crafts will be offered for sale and a variety of food vendors will be on site, and free samples of special Day of the Dead bread ­‑ made only once a year ‑ will be given out to festival attendees. Demonstrations of traditional embroidery, as well as children’s activities and workshops on basket making and sugar and clay skull decoration, are offered free of charge.  

On the stage, traditional Mexican folkloric dance performances are presented by well-known local groups and touring groups.  

The Winchester Cultural Center Gallery will host an exhibition of various artists.

No ATM on site.

Those interested in “Life in Death: Day of the Dead” can call Winchester Cultural Center at (702) 455-7340

    

Life in Death Festival Poetry Awards

Read the 2011 Calavera Poetry Winners Here (PDF)

Poets Maile Chapman, Alejandro Mozqueda and Jairo García have won the calavera competition for Clark County’s Life in Death Festival, which will celebrate the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition at Winchester Cultural Center on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 1 and 2. A calavera is a satirical poem, part of the tradition of the Day of the Dead.

Poets Maile Chapman, Alejandro Mozqueda and Jairo García have won the calavera competition for Clark County’s Life in Death Festival, which will celebrate the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition at Winchester Cultural Center on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 1 and 2. A calavera is a satirical poem, part of the tradition of the Day of the Dead.

The judges, Dr. Alicia Rico and Dr. Jorge Galindo of UNLV and Dr. Priscilla Rocha of the Clark County School District, also selected nine finalist calaveras: a second one by Jairo García, one each by Rigoberto Cárdenas, Ofelia Zamorano Ruelas and Hugo Rios, three by Laura Serrano García and two by Leo Zamorano Ruelas. The finalists are invited to read their work at the festival at various times the on evening of November 1.

A calavera (the word means “skull” in Spanish) is a poem that usually satirizes the wealthy and prominent by reminding us that, no matter how grand humans become, everyone dies. The traditional calavera is written as a memorial to its target, summing up the person’s life and death, as if they have passed away, even though the target is usually still alive. Recent calaveras sometimes break tradition as Cárdenas’ poem does; he wrote about the late Apple founder, Steve Jobs.

The three winners will read their work and be awarded their cash prizes by Bunkers Mortuaries at 8 p.m. November 2.

First Place winner Maile Chapman’s poem is in English, lamenting the budget cuts at UNLV and satirizing a political target. The other two winners are in Spanish; Alejandro Mozqueda portrays Death (a woman, as is usual in the Mexican tradition) coming to Las Vegas, assuming that, in the middle of the recession, the city will be filled with easy targets, but being frustrated by the courage and optimism of Las Vegans. In Jairo García’s Third Place poem, Death is celebrating her day, but eats a chili pepper that is just too hot and has to run for the hills.

   

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