At the Altar
Local park invites Austinites to celebrate Día de los Muertos with a community ofrenda
In Austin, there’s way more than one Día de los Muertos; at Waterloo Park, specifically, there’s two. Community members are invited to join the festivities November 1 and 2, remembering friends and family while connecting with the ones here at the Waterloo Greenway.
The Moody Amphitheater, always ready for a quick change for an event, will become a community ofrenda, where anyone can place the things they would put in a home altar, or something more community-minded. Traditional items include images of loved ones who have died, pan de muertos, flowers, and several other commemorative items. Past years have set the bar for quite a spectacle at the altar, this year designed by Tejana florist and activist Yliana Lara.
Visitors may recognize a friend or a neighbor, or see a creative offering that sparks a memory or inspiration. It’s a good time to embrace the weirdness of Austin with a loved one’s favorite drink, or a special artwork. Visitors can also honor pets at an alebrijes altar, sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and designed by local artist Ernest Ramirez.
Once visitors have made their offerings, there is plenty to celebrate, including live music and art by painters Carmen Rangel and Ruben Esquivel, and lots of dancing — both folk performances and DJ sets on the amphitheater stage. Kids can have their faces painted, and community partners (cultural nonprofit organizations) will be on site to connect. A market will feature local artisans and food vendors, and a beer garden sponsored by Dos Equis will offer themed cocktails and bites.
Visitors can stop by the altar at Waterloo Park anytime from 6-9 pm on November 1 and 2. More information on programming is available online at waterloogreenway.org.