celebrating the dead in 2023


The remnants of ancient celebrations bubbled up in the heart of America in a weekend long celebration for the dead filled with food, drinks, music, and dancing along about six blocks of Central Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas.

Cultures from every corner of the city came together to enjoy the day, in spite of the gray and moody skies that occasionally dripped on attendees.  Art, souvenirs, and activities like face painting continued throughout every block; the latter enabling youth and adults to join in the look of the day.

The most delicious, original, homegrown food appeared at every turn along the route. Sampling a pambazo for the first time proved a superbly tasty experience!  A fresh tamale and pastry later, coupled with a luscious Horchata, satisfied an appetite constantly teased by the smells in the air.

Numerous memorials appeared regularly honoring those that had passed on stood out nearly as often, shining as brightly colored displays of love, longing, and happiness surrounding the life that had been shared.

Beautiful vehicular art on display, freshly waxed, shined through rain drizzling off and on throughout the afternoon into the evening. Proud owners beamed as brightly as the reflecting steel.

Variations of Mictecacihuatl wandered up and down Central Avenue, dressed in their very best, emanating a light of their own.  They paused for photos for any and all that asked, patiently waiting as adults and children enthusiastically posed with them.

The day of music, food and fun culminated in an evening parade stretching for miles, displaying slowing floats, extravagant costumes, dancing, fire and electronic arrays.  Smiles spread wide and bright as culture from across the city merged as one to lay the dead to rest for another year.


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