Day of the Dead celebration returns to LOVE Park

PHILADELPHIA PARKS & RECREATION

Starting with its kick-off event this weekend, Philadelphia will once again host Celebración de Día de Muertos (or Day of the Dead) at Love Park, featuring cultural events, a monumental altar installation and community bike ride.

“Our office is proud to support this authentic and mesmerizing display of Dia De Muertos at Love Park,” said Amy Eusebio, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Office of Immigrant Affairs, in a statement.  “We recognize that as a welcoming city it is critically important that we celebrate and elevate the traditions of the many immigrants who have made Philadelphia their home.”

The celebration—made possible by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, in partnership with the Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia and the Mexican Cultural Center—will begin with the inauguration of the “Entrance to the Underworld” altar, created by renowned Mexican artist and muralist Cesar Viveros. Visitors will enjoy cultural performances by musical group “Los Guachinangos” and dance performers “Calpulli Kamastle Xiuhcoatl”. The kick-off event will take place on Friday, Oct. 15, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at 1600 JFK Boulevard.

PHILADELPHIA PARKS & RECREATION

There will also be a Day of the Dead bike ride on Sunday, Oct. 31, from 5 to 7 p.m. Riders are encouraged to dress up as Catrinas or Calaveras and decorate their bikes with Day of the Dead accessories for the 3.5-mile bike ride.

Día de Muertos is a popular Mexican holiday that honors loved ones that have passed away and is traditionally commemorated on Nov. 1 and 2. Families and friends gather to create ornate altars, usually made up of at least three levels, with diverse elements on each level.

Viveros’s “Entrance to the Underworld” altar will be on display in the center of Love Park’s iconic fountain from Friday, Oct. 15 through Tuesday, Nov. 2. The structure was first installed in Love Park in October 2019, and is returning this year to mark Philadelphia’s Mexican heritage.

“We are pleased to have this opportunity to share with residents of Philadelphia one of our most important traditions: Day of the Dead,” said Consul of Mexico Carlos Obrador. “An altar is an important element of this holiday, it is the way of honoring our past love ones. Through events like this one, is one of the many ways the City of Brotherly Love makes immigrants feel welcome and Mexico is delighted to be part of it.”

All events and activities are free and open to the public. Cyclists who want to join the Day of the Dead bike ride are welcome to bring their own bike or use an Indego. Interested participants can RSVP to icompean@mexicanculturalcenter.org.

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