Longmont celebrates Dia de los Muertos!
Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a time to celebrate our deceased loved ones and keep their memories alive. Running since the year 2000, it’s the longest-standing Day of the Dead exhibition and celebration in Colorado and attracts more than 6,000 people annually. Community participation is an essential part of this holiday full of life, reflection, food, family, and fun. The Family Fiesta will be held on Saturday, October 14th, in Downtown Longmont. The Firehouse’s October Exhibit will also open that day.
Volunteer at the Firehouse for Dia de los Muertos
There are also many volunteer opportunities- volunteers help make this event special and possible. Please consider volunteering!
The Firehouse Gigantes
The Firehouse Gigantes Procession occurs at the end of the Longmont Dia de los Muertos Family Fiesta on October 14th, 2023. We invite the community to process through Downtown Longmont led by Aztec dancers and the Firehouse Gigantes. Gigantes, or Mojigangas, are giant puppets made of papier mâché or cardboard materials. They are approximately 10- 15 feet tall and originated from Spain, but were brought to Mexico around the 1600s. The head and bust of the puppet are made of papier mâché, which is then mounted on a tall supporting A-frame structure.
Call for Artists and the Community’s help with fixing our current Gigantes and making 2 new ones!
In 2016 the Firehouse Art Center partnered with local artists to create the first gigantes for the procession. After 7 years of use and storage, these gigantes need a little love! We also want to create a few more to introduce to the community at the 2023 Gigantes Procession.
We are calling on the community to help us!
- don’t mind getting messy and love creating with your hands
- are a problem solver (any physics or construction minded people who can help us make the gigantes lighter, sturdier, more moveable but also easier to store- we need you!!!)
- can create with a sewing machine or a paint brush
- have experience cretaing with paper mache, or pvc pipes, etc.
- have newspaper, tissue paper, acrylic paint, fabric, gems, etc to donate
- love the Dia de los Muertos celebration and want to continue Longmont’s history of presenting a culturally authentic and appropriate event
- want to just donate to support the making of the gigantes, please donate through the “I would like to donate” ticket!
WE NEED YOU!!!
This is an open studio time, where a monitor will help direct the creation of the gigantes. Each table station will be devoted to eiter fixing a current gigante, or creating a new gigante (the final design will be represented by a drawing, but the design is a crowd sourced creation, so the design is open to brainstorming how to make it better). Please reserve based on total time you plan to be in the studio so we can assess space and supplies.
This is an experience that is beginner friendly, designed for all ages (no kid drop off though- adults need to remain), and requires no previous experience with paper mache.
For more info and registration, please click here- Gigantes Paper Mache Open Studio
OPENS AT 11AM ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2023
Oct. 14 – Nov. 5; free
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday Noon–5 p.m.
Main Gallery and South Gallery
Catrinas and Mask Auction Exhibit to benefit the Firehouse’s Outreach Education classes
Call for Artists to participate in Catrina painting and Mask Making-
The Firehouse Art Center invites local artists to create their representation of La Calavera Catrina. La Calavera Catrina is a zinc etching by the Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada. Originally a commentary on the Mexican natives who, Posada felt, were aspiring to adopt European aristocratic traditions. She has become an icon of the Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead. The Catrina exhibit will open on October 14th, during the Dia de los Muertos Festival, and will be on view until November 5, 2023. There will be select Catrinas hanging at the Longmont Public Library as well.
One of the most iconic traditions of Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is the use of vibrant and elaborate masks. These masks play a significant role in the celebration, as they represent the souls of the departed and allow the living to connect with their ancestors. Each mask tells a unique story and holds deep cultural significance. The tradition of wearing masks on Dia de Los Muertos dates back to ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, such as the Aztecs. These indigenous cultures believed that death was just a continuation of life, and the souls of the departed would journey back to visit their loved ones. Masks were used as a way to bridge the gap between the living and the dead, allowing individuals to embody and honor their ancestors. Skulls and skeletons, often portrayed with a joyful and whimsical aesthetic, are central to Dia de Los Muertos masks. They represent the cycle of life and death, reminding people that death is a natural part of the human experience. These symbols also serve as a reminder to celebrate life and cherish the memories of the departed.
You are invited to join us at a clay mask making art session at the Firehouse. Clay, paint and glazes will be provided. We will have fake flowers and other materials also available, but feel free to bring gems, feathers, fabric, etc. to add!
Click here for more info and to register! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/clay-mask-making-for-dia-de-los-muertos-tickets-695039340377
Day of the Dead Family Celebration
Saturday, Oct. 14, 11 am–3 pm; free
Downtown Longmont at 4th Avenue and Main Street
Like last year, the Día de Muertos Family Celebration will open the season on Saturday, Oct. 14 in Downtown Longmont. This street festival will include music and dance performances, art and craft activities, cultural education, delicious food, downtown business altars, and the Gigantes Procession. Park downtown or at the Longmont Museum and take the free shuttle between locations so you can enjoy all the exhibitions and activities of the day.
Saturday, Oct. 14, 2pm-
The Firehouse Art Center Gigantes Procession, During the Family Celebration- join us as we Parade through the streets and alleys of Downtown Longmont starting on 4th Avenue
Catrina Ball and Auction
2023 Catrinas and Masks will debut at the Family Fiesta! Auction closes at the end of the Ball.
Saturday, October 28 7 p.m.- 10 p.m.;$15 pre-purchase, $20 at the door
The FIrehouse and our sponsor, Roots Restaurant and the Dickens Opera House, invite you to honor your loved ones with song, laughter, dancing and revelry in Downtown Longmont! Come dressed as a Catrina or Catrin, or get your face painted at the event and get ready to dance, dance, dance!
Performance by Nahucalli Mexican Folkloric Dance Troupe and the SVVSD Combined Mariachi Band.
Where do the proceeds for the Catrina/Mask Auction and Catrina Ball go?
The funds raised support free art education provided to marginalized communities. This year we are putting the funds towards continuing Art Attack. Your ticket price and bids support art in your community and make Longmont a more creative and better place for us all!