Day of the Dead Returns to Downtown Aurora

dia de los pic

There will be dancing in the street on Sunday, November 1. There will also be sugar skulls, marigolds, and overflowing altars in downtown Aurora as part of a Day of the Dead celebration that starts on Benton Street and then travels to the new library.


It’s all the vision of local photographer Jose Torres, who has planned Aurora’s Day of the Dead festivities for the last few years with the backing of Alderman Juany Garza and many sponsors.


This year, Torres is bringing the Mexican holiday back to downtown Aurora after a couple of years at various Aurora locations, including Jefferson Middle School. Torres worked with both SciTech Hands On Museum and Santori Public Library to offer a day of activities for the community to enjoy.


The celebration starts along Benton Street between Stolp Avenue and River Street with Aztec dancers, food vendors, and traditional Day of the Dead activities from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. SciTech is open with indoor activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Traditional ofrendas, or offerings, placed on altars will be on display at the library from 1 to 5 p.m. Ofendas, favorite items such as candy, baked goods, fruit, and photos, are placed on makeshift altars to honor the deceased. The library will host the ofrenda display from Nov. 1 until Nov. 7.


Since Day of the Dead, or “Dia de los Muertos” in Spanish, is really about celebrating and honoring the dead, it’s fitting that the festivities will bring the community together for a lively, colorful holiday.


To help children get ready for Day of the Dead, Downtown Auroran Magazine is hosting a free paper mask workshop at Culture Stock bookstore, 43 E. Galena Blvd., from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28. Volunteers will assist children of all ages in decorating masks to take home.


Other spooky activities in downtown Aurora include the library’s Zombie Crawl on Thursday, Oct. 29, and Basement of the Dead, two haunted houses behind Ballydoyle Irish Pub and Restaurant that are open through Nov. 1.


SciTech, 18 W. Benton St., is currently displaying pumpkin art that will be auctioned off come Halloween, which coincides with Super SciTech Saturday this year. SciTech hosts Pumpkin Patch Party with a costume parade, games, prizes, and more from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31 .