Here’s how you can celebrate, honor your loved ones for Day of the Dead in Charlotte

·3 min read

Charlotte artist Rosalia Torres-Weiner of Red Calaca Studio is creating a Dia de los Muertos ofrenda, or altar, for the public to view on Albemarle Road, where people can honor loved ones they’ve lost, particularly those who have died from COVID-19.

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday celebrated Nov. 2 to connect with family members who have died.

“We have lost a lot of members of our community due to COVID,” said Torres-Weiner, who often calls herself an “artivist” as she connects culture to the community through art. “We go through this grief and sadness of losing a loved one, then you learn through this Mexican tradition how you can honor their life and be with them — It’s a beautiful tradition.”

In addition to the event featuring a traditional ofrenda on Oct. 28 from 4-6 p.m., Torres-Weiner is inviting community members to write down the names of their loved ones, and they’ll honor them that night.

There will be a selfie station and kids activities at the family-friendly event at Four Seasons Plaza, 6323 Ablemarle Road. Participans can also enjoy live music from mariachi singer Maria Elena Valdez.

“It’s something so we can honor our loved ones — this is a huge thing in our Latino/LatinX community. It’s also cool to share this with non-Latinos,“ Torres-Weiner said.

She worked with Tim Miner of Charlotte is Creative to create the concept for the event, which is part of the city of Charlotte’s Ablemarle Road/Central Avenue Corridors of Opportunity program.

“This is a great opportunity for me to share my culture, my traditions — to make my Mexico here in Charlotte,” Torres-Weiner said.

Rosalia Torres-Weiner owns Red Calaca mobile art studio, a 24-foot truck she uses to connect people with art in underserved areas in Charlotte.
Rosalia Torres-Weiner owns Red Calaca mobile art studio, a 24-foot truck she uses to connect people with art in underserved areas in Charlotte.

Activist artist weaves stories of Charlotte’s Latin American people into her work

Celebrate Dia de los Muertos with Rosalia Torres-Weiner

Location: Four Seasons Plaza, 6323 Ablemarle Road, Charlotte, NC 28212

Neighborhood: Idlewild Farms/East Charlotte

When: Oct. 28, 4-6 p.m.

What: Public ofrenda, live mariachi music, kids activities

Cost: free

More Day of the Dead celebrations

There are other Dia de Los Muertos activities planned in the area, as well. Check out these events:

Dia de los Muertos at Camp North End

Location: Camp North End, 300 Camp Road, Charlotte, NC 28206

Neighborhood: Greenville/Genisis Park/Druid HIlls South

When: Nov. 7, noon-5 p.m.

What: The Latin American Coalition and Levine Museum of the South have partnered to present the 17th annual Dia de los Muertos celebration at Camp North End. The event will showcase altar displays with traditional requirements – earth, wind, water, fire, marigolds, skeletons, photos and grooming items. Visitors can also browse vendors while enjoying food, music and more outdoors. Mask wearing for COVID-19 safety is encouraged.

Cost: Free

Dia de los Muertos in Marion

Location: Downtown Marion

Neighborhood: Marion

When: Nov. 6, noon-2 p.m.

What: View 10 community ofrendas, hear mariachi music and enjoy free pan de muerto (bread of the dead).

Virtual Dia de los Muertos at Gaston County Museum

Location: online

When: ongoing

What: Learn about the history and culture surrounding the Mexican celebration in English and in Spanish. You can also explore the art and music of the festivities via videos and craft suggestions.

Cost: free

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