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Day of the Dead Celebration in Southwest Detroit

There's no better place to celebrate Dia de los Muertos than in Mexicantown. See ofrendas Oct. 13-Nov. 9, 2014, and join in a 5K/10K run Saturday.

This time of year, Halloween presents plenty of frightening images focused on, well, dead (and even "undead") creatures. But in reality, while death can be sad, it doesn't have to be scary – or even taboo. That's what fuels the traditional Day of the Dead – aka Dia de los Muertos – honored in early November each year in Mexico (it coincides with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day). And, here at home, it's being celebrated in Southwest Detroit from Oct. 13-Nov. 9, 2014, with Nov. 1-2 being prominent days, the Southwest Detroit Business Association notes.

You can explore the ofrendas on display throughout the Mexicantown area. These private altars honor deceased relatives and friends, and they're decorated "using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed," the SDBA explains in a press release.

In 2014, there are numerous ofrendas to discover at area restaurants, community centers, churches and stores. Watch for altars honoring local neighborhood residents – even one for the famous painter Frida Kahlo, SDBA notes. You can find a list of locations and time frames for seeing the ofrendas on the Savoring Southwest Detroit website under the Day of the Dead event.

Speaking of getting moving: On Saturday, be sure to take part in the annual Run of the Dead at Patton Park Recreation Center. It takes off at 9 a.m. (registration check-in begins at 7 a.m.). The 5K/10K run, which is open to adults and kids, takes participants through two historic cemeteries and features entertainment, the event website notes. The event wraps up by noon.

Looking for a good sampling of the holiday all in one spot? The Mexicantown Fiesta Center hosts seven altar exhibits, lectures, a short film and outdoor "cemetery," according to the SDBA. It will have hours between Wednesday, Oct. 30 and Tuesday, Nov. 4. During Nov. 1-2, it is open 1-5 p.m. The entry cost here is $2/adults, and groups must register, the SDBA says.

For more information on the Day of the Dead 2014 activities in Southwest Detroit, check out the Metro Parent listing.

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