Carbondale celebrates Dia de los Muertos
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
A tradition borrowed from Mexico, Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, has become an annual gathering for the town of Carbondale.
A holiday that dates back hundreds of years, Dia de los Muertos is a time for families and friends to remember family members who have died.
“So many of our families have Latin American backgrounds. It’s a good way to recognize that at a community level,” Valley Settlement Executive Director Jon Fox-Rubin said.
The Roaring Fork Valley celebration, which began as a fairly small event over a decade ago, has grown over the years.
The collaboration of the community now includes Carbondale Arts, Valley Settlement, Thunder River Theatre Company, SOL Theatre, The Third Street Center, Mezcla Socials and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklorico.
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“It is a time to honor those who have passed on. For Carbondale it is also an opportunity for our different cultures to come together,” Carbondale Arts Executive Director Amy Kimberly said. “That is one of the most wonderful things about Dia.”
Carbondale Arts will bring the community together on First Friday, as festivities will begin at 5 p.m. at the Third Street Center where altars made by families honoring the departed will be on display.
“It is very colorful. The altars are all very moving and honor something or someone who has passed,” Kimberly said. “It is a great mix of traditional altars and then artful altars that are very nontraditional.”
There will be dance performances and Que Viva, where loved ones will take a moment at the altars to say the names of anyone who died in the past year.
At 6:30 p.m., a procession of more than 200 people will go from the Third Street Center through town to Thunder River Theatre.
A giant Katrina puppet and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklorico will lead the procession with participants dressed in traditional costumes and dancing.
According to Fox-Rubin, it is an opportunity for children and adults to dress up and partake in some of the historical traditions.
There will be two performances by Ballet Folklorico at Thunder River Theatre at 7 and 7:45 p.m.
The evening will close with a fire/aerial silk show at the Fourth Street Plaza on Main Street by Dance of the Sacred Fire Troupe, which is new to this year’s event.
“What’s neat about Carbondale is we have two dominant cultures side by side, the historic Anglo culture and the newer Latino culture,” Fox-Rubin said.
“It’s a neat way to engage all ages and folks from different backgrounds together.”