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