A community event marking Dia de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”) will take over downtown Walla Walla on Sunday.

A collaboration between many community partners and local arts associations including Shakespeare Walla Walla, Whitman College and ArtWalla, the festival is celebrated across Latin America and Europe where people come together to celebrate the lives of friends and the deceased family.

Sunday’s event celebrates Hispanic culture with live music and dancing, kids’ face painting and crafts, food vendors, art and history.

At the heart of the festival are the family altars, colorful and vivid tributes to departed loved ones. Visitors are encouraged to bring small keepsakes and photos of their honored dead to include in a community altar.

In a statement, Caleb Agee, vice president of Shakespeare Walla Walla, said that since the inaugural event in 2013, the festival has attracted hundreds of participants, growing year on year, supported by local school districts, advocacy groups and more specifically local Hispanics. community.

This year a live concert by the Villalobos brothers, sponsored by the Walla Walla Symphony, local folk ballet performances and a special presentation on Latin American music and sculpture by Samuel Becerra, among others.

Agee said the catalyst for the first festival was the “Steamroller Print Project” led by Whitman College art professor Nicole Pietrantoni. This popular project begins with reliefs carved from wooden blocks depicting iconic images of Dia de los Muertos (skulls, skeletons, harvest and nature), and uses the city’s steamroller as a printing press to create giant prints. which will be on display throughout the festival, “he said.

At this year’s festival, Main Street will be closed between Third Avenue and Fifth Avenue to accommodate the Steamroller Print Project as well as many local food vendors and plenty of family activities, Agree said.