El Paso prepares for Día de los Muertos

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Michaela Roman

Woman walks around Concordia Cemetery last year on Día De Los Muertos.

Amanda Guillen, Managing Editor

In some cultures, death is not where life ends, it is where it begins. Starting on Oct. 31 and ending on Nov. 3, the celebrations of the Day of the Dead, or typically called Día de los
Muertos, begin.

In El Paso, this traditional Mexican holiday is celebrated with events and observances every year.

Concordia Cemetery is one of the go-to places in El Paso for events during this season.  Concordia is a Texas State Historic site cemetery, founded in 1853 and  said to be one of the most haunted places in El Paso.

The Paso del Norte Paranormal Society hosts their annual Día de Los Muertos festival at Concordia. This year it will take place on Saturday, Nov. 1 from 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Investigator at the Paso del Norte Paranormal Society, Heather Shade, said this celebration will offer something for just about everybody.

“We will celebrate the day in the cemetery in the traditional style, which involves sharing happy remembrances of those who have departed, using food, music, offerings, gifts and other celebrations for the dead,” Shade said. “The festival will include live music, performers, face painters, food trucks, vendors, ghost tours, a loteria tournament, exhibits, altares and much more.”

Founder of the Paso del Norte Paranormal Society, Henry Flores, said that these events are important and that they help preserve one of El Paso’s most haunted landmarks.

“It’s important because not only are we helping the general public understand about the Latin holiday and how to properly celebrate it, this event also helps the Concordia Heritage Association to fund the preservation of Concordia Cemetery,” Flores said. “We’d like UTEP to know about the history of El Paso through the eyes of the cemetery. With over 65,000 residences, Concordia Cemetery is El Paso’s city of the dead.”

Tickets for this event are $5 for adults 17 years and up, $1 for children and students, and $2 for seniors and military, including their dependents.  For more information, you can call 915-274-9531 or email [email protected]

Other events around town include El Mercado del los Muertos: A Celebration of Life, which will be held at the Alamo Ballroom on Nov. 1-2 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. This event is hosted by the Borderland Fridas, the Alamo Ballroom and Dos Lunas Tequila.

Ballet Folklorico will have performances along with a presentation of 20 of the best Día de los Muertos-inspired artists from around the region. Admission is free of charge.

On Nov. 1 at Café Mayapan from 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. there will be a celebration of Día de los Muertos Oaxaca style. A Catrina contest, altar exhibits, and traditional Oaxaca dancers and music will be provided.
Admission is free.   

Amanda Guillen may be reached at [email protected]