The Dia de los Muertos Festival is a collaboration between many local businesses and community partners, and is inspired by the “Day of the Dead” holiday where people throughout Latin America gather to celebrate the lives of departed friends and family.
The Third Annual Dia de los Muertos Festival will start with a procession from downtown on the evening of October 24 ending at the Gesa Power House Theatre for live music and dance, and continues with an all-day street festival on Sunday, October 25. Admission to the festival and all activities will be free and open to the public. Food vendors will be setup nearby.
At the center of the festival is the popular “Steamroller Print Project” led by Whitman College Art Professor Nicole Pietrantoni. Reliefs are carved into wooden blocks depicting iconic Dia de los Muertos images (skulls, skeletons, harvest, and nature), and a steamroller is used as a printing press to create giant prints which will be on display and for sale throughout the festival.
Other free activities will include face-painting, a Shakespearean-themed “Pageant of the Dead” performed by local student groups, music, dance performances and more.
Shakespeare Walla Walla will create Dia de los Muertos lesson plans and classroom activity ideas to engage local schools and teachers. A small number of teaching artists will be available to lead in classroom art and education projects leading up to the festival.
Gesa Credit Union stepped forward with generous support as the title sponsor for the festival. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Shakespeare Walla Walla. Last year’s festival drew more than 2000 attendees. This event is also made possible through grant support from the Washington State Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Blue Mountain Community Foundation.
The street in front of Gesa Power House Theatre will be closed to accommodate the festival (6th Avenue from Rose to Sumach).
More information will be available at www.shakespearewallawalla.org.