The Cleveland Community celebrated its 19th annual Day of the Dead, Nov. 4, 2023, at the Cleveland Public Theatre, Church, Parish Hall and surrounding areas in Cleveland's Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood.
Family and friends gathered to honor those who have passed and to enjoy this treasured holiday, traditionally celebrated Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. The focus of the festival was the Gordon Square area and nearby streets, filled with decorations and people dressed for the occasion. Adding to the atmosphere were bands, food trucks, altars of those who have passed, and the parade.
The event also had many vendors there to support Day of the Dead and those looking for volunteers or those wanting to audition for other Hispanic events.
“Teatro Público is the Spanish speaking chapter of CPT (Cleveland Public Theatre) and we have plays in Spanish and English twice a year,“ said Luis Ramírez-Alonzo, an ensemble member. “You can come and audition for the plays as we are always looking for new Teatro público members.”
Teatro Público de Cleveland (TPC) was launched by the Cleveland Public Theatre in 2013. It is Cleveland’s first Latina theatre company that creates performances and storytelling.
Teatro Público de Cleveland's next play, Alter, will be from Feb. 8-24, 2024.
The Day of the Dead celebration also included several bands performing in the church grounds. Dueto Maravilla sung popular Mexican romantic ballads, and Mi Quetzalenses performed marimba music of Guatemala.
Several food trucks, including La Katrina Mexican Cuisine and Freaky Fruits were parked in the street. Nearby restaurants decorated their interiors with Day of the Dead motifs to celebrate the holiday and had specials on several of their items. La Playa Fresh Seafood having $5 ghost margaritas all day.
The parade started at 3:30 p.m., led by women dancing in their folklorico dresses. Many people wore big sugar skulls and women dressed as Calavera Catrina (Elegant Skull). Marching bands playing upbeat music and a few tall skeletons wearing stilts joined the parade. People even brought their pets to join the parade with sombreros and skull masks.
Many of the people appreciated the support that Cleveland brought to the Spanish community and the celebration of Day of the Dead.
“I loved how the Hispanic community celebrated this holiday originally from Mexico as it is a part of my culture, “ said Maricela Martinez, dressed in her own Day of the Dead makeup. “It's a celebration of the life of our loved ones and I loved that everyone participated as it's a nice thing to have in the Cleveland Community”
Next year the community is anticipating an even bigger as it will be the 20th annual Day of the Dead celebration, promising more fun and music to all who come.