Capitol Square Celebrates Day of the Dead Fiesta

Capitol Square businesses invite the community to enjoy Mexican food, music and festive activities for all ages during the 5th annual Day of the Dead Fiesta on Sunday, November 1, from 4 to 6pm, in East Arlington.

In Mexico, Day of the Dead — or Dia de los Muertos — is celebrated to honor the lives of ancestors and people in our lives who have passed on, with joyful images of flowered skulls and dancing skeletons. In Capitol Square, it means a fiesta along Mass. Ave. with Mexican food from Arlington’s favorite restaurants, live Mariachi music and an artistic celebration of the Mexican tradition.

Tastes of Mexico will be provided by Arlington’s popular Acitron Cosina Mexicana, La Posada Restaurante, and the Menotomy Grill & Tavern. The spirits will dance to Mexican folk music as Mariachi band “Mariachi Estrellas de Boston” roves from store to store throughout the evening.

As a special addition to this year’s fiesta, Mexican-American artist and musician, D. Oraxana, will be busking at Luv and Other Gifts after presenting her handmade memory altar — or ofrenda — which will be hosted at Derby Farm Flowers & Gardens. Guests are welcome to learn about the ofrenda tradition, and add heartfelt memories of their own departed loved ones to the altar.

Mexican craft making will be in full swing at Artbeat, where all ages can make paper flowers and decorate paper crown mirrors, while enjoying cookies provided by Quebrada Baking Company.

A Tazo Mexican-chocolate tasting will be held at Maxima Gift Center, where there will also be giveaways.

Dia de los Muertos wouldn’t be complete without a population of colorfully decorated sugar skulls — or Calaveras. Participating businesses throughout the Square will offer guests authentic sugar skull candies to sample, and sugar skull face painting for all ages will be at Luv and Other Gifts, beginning at 4pm. Also at Luv, guest will enjoy a spirited reception as well as a “deadly” gift with every purchase.

At 13FOREST Gallery guests will find a festive reception with a traditional memory altar, pan de muerto, and works at the gallery that specifically explore the holiday’s themes of personal history, ritual, and memory – as seen in its current exhibit, Reveal, which features the work of printmakers Grace Bentley-Scheck, Prilla Smith Brackett, and Nina Wishnok.