The Mexic-Arte Museum joined with the City of Austin to sponsor the 30th annual Viva la Vida festival and parade. The purpose of this event was to share Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) traditions with the local community.
Originating as an indigenous holiday in Mexico, Day of the Dead is now celebrated in various countries throughout the world. During the days between October 31 and November 2, families honor their deceased family members and friends through prayer, story-telling, church and cemetery visits, and the creation of altars called ofrendas. Symbols related to the holiday include catrinas (skeletons), sugar skulls, and Mexican marigold flowers.
Fifth Street near the Mexic-Arte Museum was closed all day for this free street festival. A stage was set up for live music, food trailers served traditional food, sugar skulls were for sale, and children were kept busy with fun activities. Brightly-colored ofrendas, catrinas, and paper marigolds decorated the festival grounds.
Sixth Street and part of Congress Avenue were closed in the early evening for the Grand Procession parade. Many of the marchers were dressed as catrinas or in traditional Mexican costumes.
Dancers and musicians including mariachi bands and drum corps participated in the procession. Local dignitaries including congressman Lloyd Doggett rode by. Even the recently-ubiquitous Metro-Rapid super-bus was decorated for the celebration.