Firehouse Art Center’s 5th Annual Catrina Ball Celebrates Day of The Dead

The Firehouse Art Center will host their 5th Annual Catrina Ball at the Dickens Opera House, 300 Main St., on Friday, Nov. 3 starting at 7 p.m. It will be a party to die for … or at least an event to celebrate the lives of those who have already made the journey to the Great Beyond.

The Catrina Ball commemorates Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a widely observed holiday in Mexico and other Latin countries. It is a time when the living remember and honor departed relatives. But rather than doing so in a gloomy manner, as the name may suggest, the Day of the Dead is a time of festive celebration.

The name, Catrina Ball, refers to the Calavera Catrina – a sort of female, skeletal version of the Grim Reaper. Her image was created by Mexican illustrator José Guadalupe Posada around 1910 and remains a central figure in Mexico’s cultural identity.

Jose Guadalupe Posada’s original “La Calavera Catrina” depiction circa 1910.

Attendees are encouraged to come dressed as Catrinas – with fancy clothes and faces painted like skulls. The Dickens Opera House will be decorated with candles, marigolds and papel-picado and will feature an exhibition including a community “ofrenda” (altar), a community sugar skull wall and a Catrina wall with drawings by local artists. The $5 admission includes deadly drinks, festive food, live music and an art auction. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Guests can also have their faces painted at the Firehouse Art Center, 667 4th Ave., prior to the ball to prepare for an evening of dancing and celebration.

Photo: ZGraphix Productions

In addition to the Catrina Ball, the Firehouse Art Center will host a Gigantes (giant puppets) Fiesta & Procession beginning in St. Stephen’s Plaza, southeast corner of 5th Avenue & Main Street, in downtown Longmont starting at 5 p.m. Enjoy live entertainment and festive fun, then join the lively procession as they walk from St. Stephen’s to the Dickens Opera House for the Catrina Ball.

One of three Gigantes joining this year’s procession. Photo: Stephanie Hilvitz

Longmont is home to the largest Día de los Muertos celebration in the state of Colorado. The Longmont Museum & Cultural Center’s 17th Annual Day of the Dead exhibit is open October 14 through November 7. Their popular Family Celebration will be held the day after the Catrina Ball, Saturday, Nov. 4 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. This free event will offer live music and dancing, sugar skull decorating, traditional food, community altars, paper flower making, face painting and much more. Find out more about the Museum’s Day of the Dead programming here.

For more information about the Catrina Ball, the Gigantes Fiesta & Procession and other special events please click here.

The mission of the Firehouse Art Center is to promote cultural awareness of the arts in the community by: diverse educational programs, events and curation of local, regional and national exhibits. For more information about this and upcoming exhibits, events and programs, please visit firehouseart.org.

The historic Firehouse Art Center building was built in 1907 and served as a fire station until 1971. The Firehouse Art Center has been located there since 1987.

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