Countdown Underway To Day Of The Dead
by Ariela Martin | Oct 26, 2012 8:25 am
Posted to: Arts & Entertainment, Fair Haven
Hector Hernandez periodically tapped his iPhone, referencing an image of an elaborately painted mask. He patiently retraced and decorated a life-size mask as Spanish Ranchera music played in the background.
Hernandez along with Enedelia Cruz, originally from Mexico (both pictured above), were prepping for New Haven’s annual Day of the Dead Parade and Celebration.
John Jairo Lugo, an activist in the Latino community and organizer of the event, also joined along in the artistic endeavor, as he too decorated masks. The preparation, planning, and artistry have been in the works for over two months.
The parade and celebration will commence Saturday at Bregamos Community Theater at 491 Blatchley Ave. and follow a 2-mile route through the streets of Fair Haven, ending back at the theater.
The celebrations will continue until midnight, with dancing and music by “Sabor Tropical” and “Chavos de Fuego!”
Click here to read last year’s celebrations. The parade was unfortunately rained out, though the celebrations “lived” on.
This year’s Day of the Dead celebrates the fifth anniversary of the New Haven ID Card. Click here to read about the five-year anniversary.
“They [the cards] were created as an answer for the lack of identification for many people in New Haven, especially for immigrants. City Hall created as a way to include all communities and allow all people to have it,” said Lugo. “For the immigrant community, it was a big accomplishment. This is to celebrate it.”
Since the inception of the ID cards, Lugo added, “they’ve cut back on robberies. People used to carry their money on them because they didn’t have a bank account. It’s made Latinos feel more a part of the city.”
Lugo, pictured above, colored in one of the many masks that will be put up and displayed on telephone polls along the parade route.
Six years ago, an altar was put up on the Green to commemorate the Day of the Dead, for an intention of celebrating the dead. “It’s our culture to remember those who have passed, and to remember them,” said Lugo. “Most importantly, it’s to celebrate the people that died while crossing the border to America.”
“Many people say we don’t belong in this country. We owe the celebration and parade to the Latin communities.”
The city funded a portion of the festivities, while the rest of the associated costs have been donated by the community, including local artists and Yale’s Dumpsters.
Help and participation are still needed and would be much appreciated for the parade. If interested, please contact Megan Fountain, volunteer and event organizer, at 203-479-2959.
Tags: Day of the Dead, John Lugo, Bregamos
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Are we celebrating a holiday, or celebrating politics?
Why conflate the two?