Mexic-Arte Museum is host to Austin’s largest and longest-running Dia de Los Muertos event and this 34th annual La Vida Festival and parade features various activities for the whole family and special highlights.
Make plans to spend the afternoon and early evening in downtown Austin on Saturday, Oct. 28 taking pictures with parade props that include large-scale moving sculptures and “mojigangas” or finding a special place along the parade route to view the grand procession from noon to 1 p.m. All the while, the street festival will feature artist vendors, live music, food trucks, a costume contest, an Austin Low-rider exhibition and showcase, casket artwork, plus a Dia de Los Muertos Mercado, from noon through 8 p.m..
If you want to be more than a spectator of the procession, you are welcome to participate with any of the sections of the parade, which include pre-Columbian, Mexico Lindo, Juan Gabriel, and Austin Weird. People of all ages (individuals, families or groups) are invited to dress in calavera or skeleton costumes, carry a portable altar and noise makers and even bring their Chihuahua dogs. Aztec, samba and Ballet Folklorico dancers, as well as colorfully decorated cars, are invited to be a part of the joyful procession. This year, the parade will dedicate a special section to Frida Kahlo in honor of the 110th anniversary of her birth.
There is no fee to participate, but parade registration is required ahead of time. The parade staging is at 10 a.m. (5th St. between I35 North Frontage Road and Waller Street) and it begins moving at noon, traveling west on 6th Street to the festival location at the corner of 4th Street and Congress.
Educational activities will also be offered from noon to 6 p.m. the same day for free at the Frost Bank Tower Plaza, 401 Congress Avenue.
Mexic-Arte will also offer several exhibits running through November 26. “Love to Death: Community Altars” is an opportunity for artists, community groups and individuals to create commemorative altars dedicated to the lives of influential figures who served the Austin community, figures from popular culture and loved ones who have passed. The altars will be on exhibit at the museum’s North Main Gallery and Annex Gallery during museum hours.
The exhibition of “Diego and Frida: A Smile in the Middle of the Way” features photography that presents the encounters and discussions of this famous couple of the twentieth century through works by Guillermo Kahlo, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Edward Weston, Peter Jules, Ansel Adams, Nicholas Muray, Leo Matiz, Guillermo Zamora, Juan Guzmán, and others from the Museum House-Studio Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Mexic-Arte Museum will celebrate the 110th anniversary of Frida Kahlo through an altar and special silkscreens of the artist. The exhibit is open during museum hours at Mexic-Arte’s South Main Gallery.
Viva La Vida is co-sponsored by the City of Austin. For more information on volunteering, vendor applications and other details, please visit mexic-artemuseumevents.org.