The 18th Annual Dia de los Muertos Marigold Parade has been scheduled for Sunday, November 7. The parade will begin at 4:00 from the County Sheriff’s Office on Isleta S.W. and go north on Isleta past Arenal to the West Side Community Center. Altars, venders and food will be shared with the community until 8:00 PM. Live music at the event begins at 5:00 PM with the sounds of Mala Maña and Jade Masque.

Leading up to the parade Art Workshops will take place every Saturday throughout the months of September and October. The workshops will be held from 12:00 to 4:00 PM at 805 La Vega S.W. Workshops themes include altars and their significance, skull and skeleton crafts, parade prop construction, papel picado, t-shirt and other arts and crafts. All workshops are free and the public is welcome.

This event is free to the public and is organized by La Raza Unida and Cambio. This project is made possible in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment of the Arts, The Rio Grande Development Corporation and the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice.

Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is an Indigenous Mexican tradition that has combined European Catholic beliefs and practices about remembering and honoring those that have passed. The tradition takes many forms, spiritual, festive, or artistic. In the last fifteen years Dia de los Muertos Commemorations, parades, artistic altars, and the revival and practice of spiritual traditions have become more popular in the United States in Chicano and Mexicano communities. Albuquerque now is host to numerous Dia de los Muertos events every year. The Marigold Parade is one of the oldest Dia de Los Muertos Activities in Albuquerque.

The public is encouraged to come dressed as a skeleton paying tribute to their favorite dead person. NO BLOOD OR GORE, PLEASE. And, no Halloween costumes. Although this day falls during the same time of year and may seem similar to Halloween, it is not. Instead of Freddy Krueger, Pokemon or Brittney Spears, people dress solely as skeletons (calaveras) to honor the people that have passed on; the people we can no longer touch. We may see famous images of Frida Kahlo, Che Guevarra, and Cesar Chavez. However, there are many others whose names we do not know. Brides, grooms, homecoming queens, slick vatos and homies dance to the sound of mariachis.

In Mexico family and friends visit cemeteries, during All Souls Day to clean and clear gravesites. They are then ornamented with altars and adorned with several treasures, such as papel picado and marigolds. Favorite foods and belongings are offered to loved ones. Candles are lit; song and chants are sung in hopes that spirits will hear our mortal voices and join us in celebration. Others affectionately create altars to their loved ones in their homes. The marigold parade is part of this yearly tradition. Marigolds are used in the procession to guide the spirits to the festivities. After the festivities these flowers give the dearly departed a path leading them back to “the other side.”

The Marigold parade often brings attention to the reasons many people have passed on from wars, individual violence, and other reasons. Floats are often themed around fairness for all. This has become an important tradition within the parade.

For more information or to register for the parade or a booth e-mail us at or call Rusita at 244-0120 or Cambio at 344-4028.