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Funeral Party

Artist Jerry Vigil makes a compelling point about hosting a Día de los Muertos celebration in a funeral home: “When you think about it, what better venue is there?”

And this party is far from a typical funeral home gathering: Following the Mexican tradition, Day of the Dead is not a lamentation of death so much as an acknowledgment of it, along with a celebration of those who came before. “These cultures are very close to the earth,” says Vigil, who organized the event. “And they’re not afraid of the idea of death. You live and you die.”

Aside from the Aztec dancers, live music and children’s workshops on how to make sugar skulls — the baddest-ass candy ever — the festivities will have as their centerpiece six altars, or ofrendas, by six local artists, traditional works of art that commemorate the dead. In Mexico, they’re as common as nativity scenes; at the show, however, they’ll be a little more artsy than is traditional. “These are more contemporary ofrendas, more artwork than a tribute to an individual,” Vigil explains.

The free shindig runs today from noon to 4 p.m., with a variety of activities interspersed throughout, at Olinger Crown Hill Mortuary, 7777 West 29th Avenue in Wheat Ridge. For more information, visit
Sat., Oct. 30, 12-4 p.m., 2010


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