Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a special holiday celebrated annually in Mexico and parts of the United States honoring deceased loved ones. It embodies the belief that death is a natural and necessary part of life, inviting participants to celebrate rather than mourn. During the celebration, families and friends of departed loved ones create a space for them to return to the world of the living and celebrate those things which they enjoyed in life. 

Saturday, October 7

10:30 a.m. - Parade begins in Overton Square in the Tower Courtyard

12:15 p.m. - Festival begins at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

The museum, along with Cazateatro and Danza Azteca, holds this biennial event, where families are invited to honor ancestors and celebrate the cycle of life and death.

Admission is free. 

The inaugural Dia de los Muertos Parade begins with a short performance in the Tower Courtyard at Overton Square at 10:30 a.m. with floats and performers making their way to the plaza at the Brooks Museum beginning at 11 a.m.

Click here to download all the information about road closures, suggested routes and a street map.

The community celebration at the Brooks will offer art-making activities, face painting, music, costumed performers, dance performances and a Frida Kahlo costume contest. Please come dressed in your best Frida-inspired attire! The contest has four age categories: 6 and under, 7-12, 13-18 and 18 and over. The winners will be announced at 1:30 p.m.

Performers include Stax Music Academy, Inner City South, Herencia Hispana, Cazateatro, Alejandro Walls, Mariachi Guadalajara, Danza Azteca Quetzalcoatl de Memphis and Tropical Fusion.

The festival begins at the Brooks at 12:15 p.m. and ends at 3 p.m. and admission is free. There will be a small charge for face-painting. Festival-goers can also purchase lunch from Cafe Brooks by Paradox or the several food trucks which will be parked near the plaza.

Throughout the day, Mariachi Guadalajara and several Catrinas (opulently dressed skeleton figures based on José Luis Posada’s icon of death) will also appear at the Brooks. Memphians are invited to join the celebration by bringing a copy of a photograph of a deceased loved one to place on a community altar. Please make sure the photograph is not the original copy.

Click here to download the parade route and traffic information.

Click through this album to see photos from the 2015 celebration:

2015 Dia de los Muertos Community Day