NORMAN – A centuries-old Latin American holiday that celebrates the lives of departed family and friends will meld old and new traditions when University of Oklahoma Student Life and the OU Hispanic American Student Association host their version of Day of the Dead – or Dia de los Muertos – from 2 to 10 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Lloyd Noble Center, 2900 S. Jenkins Avenue.
A performance by singer Roberto Tapia will highlight the OU Day of the Dead Street Festival. Tapia hit the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Latin Album list with his 2012 album El Muchacho. He also was one of three coaches on the first two seasons of La Voz Kids (The Voice Kids), a Spanish-language version of The Voice on Telemundo.
Dia de los Muertos traditions include ceremonial processionals and remembrance altars, where deceased loved ones are honored with sugar skulls, marigolds and their favorite foods and beverages. In addition to those traditional elements, the OU Day of the Dead Street Festival also will offer live music and dance performances, sugar skull decorating, face painting, carnival rides, customized lowriders and food trucks.
“Day of the Dead is a festival of remembrance for deceased family members and friends,” said OU Student Life assistant director Matthew Cancio. “While identified primarily as a Mexican celebration, it now is held in many countries in Central and South America, as well as the United States. It’s a privilege for OU to host this event to promote and emphasize Latino culture and create unity across campus and beyond regardless of race or ethnicity.”
The festival’s performance schedule is:
- 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Banda Gabachos
- 4 - 5 p.m. Mariachi Orgullos
- 5:15 - 6:15 p.m. Grupo Norahua
- 6:15 - 6:45 p.m. Grand Processional
- 7 - 8:30 p.m. Roberto Tapia
- 9 - 10 p.m. LED/Fire Dancers
Born in Southern California but raised in Sinaloa, Mexico, Tapia studied clarinet at the Sinaloa school Difocur. He made his professional debut at age 17 in Tijuana, Mexico, alongside el Lobito de Sinaloa. Tapia released his first album, Roberto Tapia, which mixed touches of hip-hop and electronica, in 2002. It was followed by Los Amigos del M (2008), El Nino de la Tuna (2009), La
Batalla (2010) and El Corrido del Niño and a live album, both in 2011. El Muchacho, released in 2012, cemented his popularity as a top performer.
Admission to the OU Day of the Dead Street Festival, which is for all ages, is free. Participants are encouraged to wear traditional Day of the Dead costumes.
All proceeds will support scholarships for the Association of Latino Alumni and Friends.
For more information, contact Cancio at (405) 325-3163 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the 2017 OU Day of the Dead Facebook page.