ROSWELL, Ga. — Roswell is inviting locals to celebrate the holidays and memories of loved ones in its inaugural Dia de los Muertos Festival and parade. Festivities will be held Saturday, Nov. 2, from 2-8 p.m., at the City Hall grounds at 38 Hill Street.
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday traditionally celebrated Oct. 31-Nov. 2.
“The event will feature an afternoon and evening filled with fun, remembrance and community spirit,” said Roswell Community Relations Coordinator Karen Zitomer. “The holiday is centered around remembrance of lost loved ones, as communities come together to celebrate their memory and pray for their safe spiritual journey.”
The event is being presented by Atlanta Creative Events in collaboration with the City of Roswell’s Special Events Committee.
Atlanta Creative Events Owner Jim Shumake said he was inspired to bring the festival to Roswell after participating in a Dia de los Muertos celebration in Mexico.
“The colors were brilliant, the food was absolutely fantastic, and the spirit of the holiday was something I knew we had to share with our friends back in Atlanta,” Shumake said. “We have been planning, working with local experts and researching just how to bring an authentic experience here.”
The team behind the festival has met and collaborated with the Latin American Association, the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Mexican Consulate.
Roswell has a 16 percent Hispanic population, according to Roswell Special Events Manager Chris Ward. Roswell reached out to Atlanta Creative Events to serve as host city for the event.
“The hope is that people who are not familiar with the traditions of Dia de los Muertos will walk away with a sense of understanding (and in awe) of just how lovely it is to celebrate lost loved ones with wonderful colors, beautiful music and dance and amazing food and drinks,” Shumake said.
During the day, the festival will contain street performers, a Mexican ballet group, live mariachi band and face painting. The event is free, and on-site vendors will sell Mexican cuisine, including empanadas and tamales.
At dusk, around 7:30 p.m., the festivities will culminate with a lantern parade led by a marching band along marigold-filled streets. Visitors are encouraged to join by bringing their own lanterns or purchasing a lantern kit at the event.
Roswell’s Dia de los Muertos Festival will also include a tequila tasting experience, with a souvenir cup and access to a mixologist who specializes with tequila cocktails. Tickets for the tasting can be purchased in advance at $45 per person.
In the days leading up to the festival, Roswell will host workshops on how to create papier mache marigolds that will line the streets during the lantern parade. The last workshop will be held Oct. 30. Tickets are $45.
For more information about the Dia de los Muertos festival and to purchase tickets for the tasting or workshop, visit DayoftheDeadATL.com.