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KCK Day of the Dead parade gathers momentum in just two years, honors loved ones who have passed

Posted at 5:37 PM, Nov 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-08 10:11:58-05

KANSAS CITY, KAN. -- Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a beautiful holiday filled with vibrant colors, vibrant memories, and vibrant people on Central Avenue.

The Central Avenue Betterment Association held its 2nd annual event, which was met with a large crowd despite the rain. Participation doubled from last year.

Dozens of volunteers dressed up in traditional outfits, painted faces, and launched floats Saturday evening.

The parade has gathered momentum in an area that typically doesn't see much community involvement. Organizer Edgar Galicia says people from all walks of life lined the street to take part in the festivities.

To invite the spirit back to earth, family members will construct altars, or ofrendas, decorated with pictures of their loved one and all their favorite things they enjoyed in life. Several businesses along Central Avenue participated in a competition and put up their own ofrendas.

Dia de los Muertos is celebrated every October 31 through November 2 in Mexico, although anyone can take part. The holiday is not a sad one; rather it honors and celebrates loved ones who have passed on.

Brightly decorated skulls, or calaveras, are iconic symbols in the holiday; the skull serves as a connection to the dead and a reminder that we will all die someday. That's why you'll see faces painted like skulls and women dressed up as La Catrina, the tall skeleton lady with fancy clothes. You'll see marigold flowers everywhere in Dia de los Muertos celebrations, as they are believed to guide the spirits back home.