Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACT: Angelica Nuñez, Director
Dia de los Muertos Windsor
Dia de los Muertos Celebrations Return with Live October Events in Windsor
The popular Sugar Skull Workshop for Children and the family-friendly Dia de los Muertos Celebration on the Town Green are set to return to Windsor in October as live, in-person events.
This year’s theme, “Entierra la Pandemia,” was the choice of nonprofit Dia de los Muertos Windsor board members and volunteers working hard to resurrect the popular family-centered events, said director Angelica Nuñez.
Volunteers have been putting on the traditional Latin-American celebration in Windsor since 2011. The Windsor event grew steadily over the following years until 2017, when the Tubbs Fire burned through Mark West and Santa Rosa and forced its cancellation. Then in 2019, the Kincaid Fire forced the evacuation of the town of nearly 28,000 and cancelled the grand finale evening event and its Latinx and indigenous dance, music and procession.
Then came the Covid-19 pandemic and quarantine efforts in 2020. County health regulations against group gatherings forced the cancellation of most of Windsor’s Dia de los Muertos events again. The annual children’s Sugar Skull workshop transitioned to a drive-through event offering take-home skulls and decorating kits.
During the hiatus, volunteers organized and launched an independent nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, Dia de los Muertos Windsor, to seek arts grants and fundraise for Windsor’s annual Muertos events. The group is currently rounding up business sponsors for Dia de los Muertos Windsor 2021 and steaming ahead with event planning. Popular favorites are set to rise on the green once again, along with new events.
The Windsor events are open to all – you don’t have to be Latinx to attend and enjoy them. “Dia de los Muertos Windsor is dedicated to creating an authentic annual celebration with events firmly rooted in the traditions that honor our ancestors. But we also want to welcome all of our neighbors to learn about our traditions surrounding Dia de los Muertos and celebrate with us,” Nuñez stressed.
The Dia de los Muertos Windsor 2021 Schedule
Ancestor Arts on the Green
6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Oct 2 on the Windsor Town Green.
Free Children’s Sugar Skull workshop, 6 p.m. - REGISTRATION CLOSED AS OF SEPT. 15
Advance registration is required; only 350 skulls are available. Children will receive a Calaca – a palm-sized skull made of sugar. Volunteers will be on hand with sequins and colored icings to help children make the brightly-decorated skulls that are a part of traditional Dia de los Muertos altars and displays. Children must bring an adult to participate.
Alebrijes with Artist Irma Rodgriguez, 6:30 p.m.
This new event is a folk art class. Cost is $25; all materials included. Advance registration and payment required. Limited seats available. Alebrijes are brightly painted, multicolored clay birds, animals, and spirit figurines; the style originates in Oaxaca, Mexico. The class is intended for adults; artistically confident teens may also attend. Rodriguez will teach participants to make a picture/photo frame in the alebrijes style, suitable for display on a Dia de los Muertos ofrenda (altar).
Free Screening of the Disney movie “Coco," 7:15 p.m. The hit film, centered around the Dia de los Muertos holiday, will screen outdoors on the Green. Viewers are encouraged to bring low-backed beach or camping chairs. Vendors will have snacks for sale.
Ofrendas on the Green
Saturday Oct. 2 through Monday Nov. 1 on the Windsor Town Green.
This is a new event Dia de los Muertos Windsor launched in 2020, and it proved extremely popular with residents and visitors, Nuñez said. Local families create traditional “Ofrendas” at tables around the green. The displays include photos, flowers, artwork, candles and other elements of family or friends now among “Los Muertos” – the dead. The tradition is meant to honor and remember relatives and ancestors: who they were and the things they enjoyed in life. The family Ofrendas are also a public display of Latinx folk art and traditions. Visitors can stroll the Town Green and view them days or evenings throughout the month of October.
Dia de los Muertos Windsor 2021: Entierra la Pandemia!
5:30 p.m. Saturday Oct. 30 on the Windsor Town Green.
The 2021 Entierra la Pandemia! grand finale celebration is full of family-friendly food, displays, music, dance, and a traditional (electric) candle-light procession in honor of Los Muertos. The event starts with a low-rider car show and competition on Market Street, complete with a DJ playing vintage music. Vendors will have food, beverages, arts and crafts for sale. Face painters will be on hand to paint traditional “Calaveras” designs – brightly colored skull faces.
Shortly after sunset, Danza Xantotl indigenous dance troupe of Santa Rosa will perform a traditional indigenous blessing and dance honoring the ancestors. The drummers and dancers will then lead participants on an electric candle-light procession, a slow walk around the Town Green with participants honoring friends, family and ancestors who’ve passed away.
The procession will return to the Town Green stage for performances by the Luther Burbank Center Mariachi Ensemble and Ballet Folklorico Jazmin. Both are youth performing arts groups.
Covid-19 Vaccination Booth
In a nod to the pandemic, both the Oct. 2 and the Oct. 30 live events on the Town Green will have a Covid vaccination booth available for anyone who still needs or wants a vaccine. “We thought these events might be a good place to reach out to community members who may not have had access to the vaccine yet, or who still have questions about the vaccine,” Nuñez said.
The full schedule of events is available on the organization’s website: www.windsormuertos.org.
Those interested in Dia de los Muertos Windsor or any of its events are encouraged to follow the organization on Facebook or Instagram or sign up for its e-mailing list through the website to receive updates about the events or any last-minute changes to events.
Anyone wishing to be a sponsor or donor to Dia de los Muertos Windsor can contact the group at email@example.com.