South Fourth Street will come alive celebrating Day of the Dead on Friday

Attendees are encouraged to come in costume. | Photo by Jael Harrington, courtesy of Dia de los Muertos

For the seventh straight year, the South Fourth Street Retail District will come alive Friday, Nov. 2, by celebrating Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The 4,000-year-old holiday is a Mexican and Latin American tradition that honors those who have passed from our lives.

The event, which takes place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., includes children’s workshops, Flamenco dancers, salsa dancing, Cirque Louis street performers, food, drinks and even a candlelight procession and blessing of the altars by Father David Sanchez of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

New this year will be a public altar to honor pets that have died.

Calaveras costumes are popular during Day of the Dead celebrations. | Courtesy of Dia de los Muertos

“Our annual Day of the Dead celebration grows each year as word gets around Louisville about how much fun it is to embrace this rich cultural tradition, complete with Mexican entertainment, great ethnic food and beverages,” said Karen Welch, co-owner of CRAFT(s) Gallery & Mercantile.

“In Mexico, the annual celebration lasts for several days and usually takes place between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2, which perfectly coincides with the Republic Bank First Friday Hop,” she adds.

CRAFT(s) will be hosting an exhibit opening that same night as well, titled “La Vida, la Muerte y el Amor (Life, Death and Love),” that features 13 artists whose work is often influenced by the holiday.

Artists include J. Cobb, Jeral and Sarah Tidwell, Lillian Welch, Penny Sisto, Diane Kahlo, among others. It’ll continue through Nov. 16.

Participating retail shops and galleries include Regalo Gifts, Cellar Door Chocolates, Block Party Handmade Boutique, Big City Styles Barbershop and many more. And if you come hungry, you’ll find some street vendors selling locally made Mexican cuisine. The event is sponsored by El Jimador Tequila, so expect to find some of that as well, if you’re over 21.

The event is free and family-friendly.