Albuquerque Marigold Parade and Festival

  • 01 of 26

    Calavera Skull

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Day of the Dead, Danse Macabre and More

    Although it sounds as though it might be a somber affair, Day of the Dead is anything but. The Albuquerque Marigold Parade celebrates the dead by having the living gather for music, dance, food, art and visiting with family and friends.

    There are altars, or ofrendas, built in memory of those who have passed away, covered in flowers, often marigolds, and decorated with skulls and other calavera art. Once the parade is over, the festival begins, and there are few parties in Albuquerque that match the happy revelry of this annual event.

    The 2015 parade takes place Sunday, November 1, beginning at 2 p.m.

    The parade starts at Centro Familiar and Isleta (at the Bernalillo Sheriff's sub station), and ends at the Westside Community Center, 1250 Isleta SW.

    Shuttle service is NOT available for 2015.

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    Alth...MOREough it sounds as though it might be a somber affair, Day of the Dead is anything but. The Albuquerque Marigold Parade celebrates the dead by having the living gather for music, dance, food, art and visiting with family and friends.

    There are altars, or ofrendas, built in memory of those who have passed away, covered in flowers, often marigolds, and decorated with skulls and other calavera art. Once the parade is over, the festival begins, and there are few parties in Albuquerque that match the happy revelry of this annual event.

    The 2014 parade takes place Sunday, November 2, beginning at 2 p.m.

    The parade starts at Centro Familiar and Isleta (at the Bernalillo Sheriff's sub station), and ends at the Westside Community Center, 1250 Isleta SW.

    Shuttle service is now available. Park at Gateway Park at 100 Isleta Blvd., or at the South Valley Economic Development Center at 318 Isleta Blvd., and take the shuttle to the parade.

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  • 02 of 26

    Dia Paradegoers

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    The annual South Valley Marigold Parade celebrates the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos. There is nothing somber about this festival. There is a parade and then a gathering, where dance, music, art, food, and a general celebration of life takes place.

    Parade watchers make their way to the festival, dressed in the traditional calavera (skull) attire. Some call it the festival of bones, but no matter what it is called, it honors those who have passed away, remembering them, on November 1, the day after Halloween. But in Albuquerque, the festivities take place for several weeks.

    While everyone who came to the Marigold Parade came to see the floats, musicians and dancers, they also came to be part of the dead. Wearing calavera costume, parade goers make their way to the festival grounds to take part in the party.

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  • 03 of 26

    Musician Trio

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    These gentlemen made music for the Aztec dancers, and were loud despite there only being three of them.

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  • 04 of 26

    Aztec Dancers

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    The Aztec dancers dress in ancient costumes and dance in a large circle to the sounds of beating drums. The dancing is athletic and colorful, with staffs, feathers and headdresses glistening in the sun.

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  • 05 of 26

    Calavera Puppet Child

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    Of all the calavera costumes at the festival, this was the most imaginative. A child dressed to the bones seemed to be hanging from strings, while a parent moved her about.

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  • 06 of 26

    Calavera Bike Rider

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    At the festival, many people dress in calavera costumes. Some ride bikes, such as this woman, and decorate them with skeletons and skulls. Women wear hats, many of which are large, and colorful skirts and dresses. There was great irony in this woman in skull costume while smoking a cigarette.

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  • 07 of 26

    Calavera Cat

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    This skull faced cat appeared somber beneath her mask. Calavera costumes were more plentiful than everyday wear, testament to the popularity of the Marigold Parade.

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  • 08 of 26

    Emperor of the Dance

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    There is usually an emperor at the dance macabre, and I took this gentleman to be just that. His costume set him apart from everyone else, and his hat, though comic, had a regal air. The emperor traditionally leads the dance macabre, pulling behind him the living and the dead.

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  • 09 of 26

    The Danse Macabre

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    The dance macabre, or danse macabre, has been a part of history since the 1400s. What started in the days of the plague and black death has continued until today, reminding us that only a moment or a breath separates the living from the dead. In the macabre, the living dance with the dead.

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  • 10 of 26

    Calavera Costumes

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    Albuquerque is small enough to ensure you'll see friends when visiting local events. We saw many friends at the Marigold festival, but Mel and Sophie were the only ones dressed in calavera costumes. They looked great in their white face and hats.

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  • 11 of 26

    Calavera Tuba Player

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    Somehow it seems fitting that the tuba be a grand part of the danse macabre and the music that brings together the living and the dead. The tuba's sound is at once both deep and lighthearted.

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  • 12 of 26

    Dance Macabre Band

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    The dance macabre was made possible by the calavera band. The calavera costumes were lighthearted and fun.

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  • 13 of 26

    Dance Macabre Musicians

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    The musicians made everyone want to dance.

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  • 14 of 26

    The Emperor's Queen

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    The emperor had his lady, the queen, and they danced the night through. Happy, aren't they?

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  • 15 of 26

    Calavera Wolf

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    We mustn't forget the animals, this skeleton seemed to say. Once a wolf, he stood sentinel for a local wolf rescue group.

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  • 16 of 26

    Calavera Wedding Art

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    The calavera art that celebrates the day of the dead often depicts couples such as these. Calavera wedding portraits remind happy couples that life, wonderful as it is at such moments, is short.

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  • 17 of 26

    Calavera Couple

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    Like the wedding couple, this couple recognizes their togetherness is temporary.

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  • 18 of 26

    Flower Calavera Art

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    This calavera picture was "painted" by using colored flower petals. I was told it was made in memory of a young teenage girl who had died.

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  • 19 of 26

    Calavera Motorcycle

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    Decorating cars, bicycles and even motorcycles, takes on a special kind of artform with calavera style.

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  • 20 of 26

    Calavera Art Display

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    The theme of the 2009 Marigold Parade was Slum Dogs, Gatos, Gordos and Hood Rats. The style carried over into many images of cats, dogs and rats. Many of the art pieces were made in workshops by community children.

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  • 21 of 26

    Calavera Baseball Teams

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    The rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees carried over into this paper mache calavera display.

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  • 22 of 26

    Ofrenda for a Young Girl

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    Many families build altars, or ofrendas in memory of loved ones who have died. The center of the altar has a picture of the deceased, and the art surrounding the altar often contains symbols of what was special to that person. This altar was in memory of a young girl, and displayed the traditional flowers and sugar skulls associated with Day of the Dead.

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  • 23 of 26

    Folk Dancers

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    These young girls took a break from their dancing to do what young girls love to do: mingle with the boys.

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  • 24 of 26

    Folk Dancers Take the Stage

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    Inside the community center, more celebrations take place. There are ofrendas on display, art for sale, music, and many groups of folk dancers. These took the stage to dance to Mexican music.

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  • 25 of 26

    Ofrenda to All

    © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    This ofrenda was decorated with the skulls of ancestors and had religious icons as well as the bright colors associated with Day of the Dead.

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  • 26 of 26

    Dia de los Muertos Festival

    Musicians at Large. © Aileen O'Catherine

    Albuquerque has many Day of the Dead festivities, but none compare to the annual Marigold Parade. This festival celebrates the living while honoring the dead.

    At the festival, there are musicians everywhere. This trio made impromptu music and people soon gathered to dance.