NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Because of its growth in attendance and popularity, the annual Día de los Muertos Fiesta, or Day of the Dead festival, is moving to a different downtown location this year to accommodate larger crowds.
The 5th annual celebration is slated for 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, behind the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Nacogdcohes Public Library and the Nacogdoches CVB have joined the School of Art and College of Fine Arts in sponsoring and coordinating the event.
The new location means the role of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and its art galleries has shifted, according to Lisa Steed, events coordinator for SFA art galleries.
“The event just got too big for Church Street,” Steed said, referring to the street that runs alongside The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House. Church Street and areas around Cole Art Center is where the fiesta has been held since its local beginning.
The CVB’s Pilar Street stage, equipped with sound and lighting capabilities, is more conducive as a performance venue, specifically for the popular Chikawa Aztec Dancers and other musical entertainment, Steed said.
“The Chikawa Aztec Dancers will be returning for our 5th annual event,” she said. “They will perform earlier in the evening than in the past due to requests from many parents.” The dancers will go on stage shortly after 5 p.m.
Based in Conroe, the Chikawa Aztec Dancers with their colorful costumes are always a crowd pleaser, Steed said.
Also performing will be SFA faculty members Jeana-Paul and Juan Carlos Ureña at 6 p.m., followed by the internationally renowned Los Llaneros performing the energetic and haunting music of the savannas of Colombia and Venezuela at 7:15 p.m.
The Friends of the Visual Arts will sell official Día de los Muertos T-shirts, along with ceramic bowls made by SFA art students. There will be other booths, including those with children’s activities, and food booths and food trucks. The festivities will also include a Day of the Dead-themed costume contest with prizes.
Streets will be blocked off and booths and food trucks will be located around three sides of the CVB, with Main Street remaining open to traffic.
For more information, contact Steed at (936) 468-6557.