A day for the dead
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and by those of Mexican heritage. The holiday serves as a celebration of family and friends who have died, as a way to honor their lives.
According to National Geographic, Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties and activities the dead enjoyed in life. The holiday recognizes death as a natural part of the human experience, a continuum with birth, childhood and growing up to become a contributing member of the community. On Dia de los Muertos, the dead are also a part of the community, awakened from their eternal sleep to share celebrations with their loved ones.
The Greater Patchogue Foundation will host their annual Dia de los Muertos event on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Stereo Garden on Railroad Avenue in Patchogue. The celebration in Patchogue will benefit the Lakeview Cemetery, which is a collection of five cemeteries, originally beginning in the 1790s. The celebration is usually held at Lakeview, but this year will held, for the first time, at Stereo Garden.
The cemeteries, which had seen decay in the late 20th century, are now taken care of by the Cemetery Restoration Committee. Its mission is to secure the restoration and preservation of the burial grounds, and to provide new landscape as well as architectural features that meet the needs of generations to come.
But the grounds are quite expensive to maintain, officials say, which prompted the committee to develop the annual fundraiser celebrating the deceased, while also raising money to care for their eternal resting places.
“We’re really celebrating the people who are buried in the cemetery,” said Jacqueline Hensley, an organizer of the event. “These people deserve the respect of being cared for.”
The celebration will be a festive event with food, drinks, a taco bar, mariachi music, a tarot card reader, portraits, a face painter and more. There will also be auctions and raffles available to purchase. Organizers encourage attendees to dress up in Sugar Skull regalia, but it is not required, and there will be a contest for the best dressed. Stereo Garden will host an after-party beginning at 10 p.m., and anyone who attends the main event will receive free entry.
Tickets are $65 in advance and $75 at the door. A cleanup of the cemetery will also take place on Nov. 3 and a restoration event will take place on Veterans Day. For more information, visit patchogue.com.
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