Sunset Park to celebrate Dia de los Muertos

November 8, 2012 Denise Romano
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Although the celebration will be a week late, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, La Casita/Trinity Center for the Arts, Education and Social Justice is hosting the second annual Dia de los Muertos Brooklyn exhibit.

Although the first event was held in Williamsburg, community activist David Galarza and local artists have been creating an installation in Sunset Park that celebrates and honors loved ones who have passed on.

“We are just honored to host it because the Sunset Park community in particular has a huge Mexican population and this holiday has a special meaning,” explained Galarza. “Unlike Halloween, where images are meant to scare people, this is an event to honor the dead, to praise them and invite them to join the living and partake in some of their favorite past times and traditions.”

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Local artist Adrian Roman has been working hard on the exhibit. He and fellow artist Benjamin Rojas constructed an eight-foot cube structure which has a drawing of a “sugar” skull on the outside and a community altar on the inside.

Attendees are encouraged to bring little mementos of what their loved ones used to enjoy, such as flowers, candy, cigars and cigarettes, fruits and vegetables, drinks and personal items such as lighters, hats and books to place on the altar.

“Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased using skulls, marigolds, and the favorite food and beverages of the departed as gifts,” Galarza noted.

Roman said that he has collaborated with local stores and shops that donated items to build the altar and will provide candles to light in honor of loved ones.

“It’s a big community effort to get people to be involved,” he said, adding that La Casita will also be accepting donations for victims of Sandy, such as clothes, non-perishable foods and water.

Dia de los Muertos will take place on Friday, November 9 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at 411 46th Street. For more information, visit

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