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Dia De Los Muertos: Where to Go to Wake the Dead in Pilsen

By Chloe Riley | October 30, 2013 8:39am
 Day of the Dead makeup by Leticia Rodarte. Just one Dia De Los Muertos event happening this weekend in Pilsen.
Day of the Dead makeup by Leticia Rodarte. Just one Dia De Los Muertos event happening this weekend in Pilsen.
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DNAinfo/Chloe Riley

PILSEN — Once Halloween’s over, the celebration of the dead begins with Dia De Los Muertos, the annual Hispanic tradition of honoring the deceased.

Through sugar skulls, alters to the dead and skeleton processions, relatives and friends who have passed away are remembered over the three-day period including Halloween and All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day.

Here’s a few places where the plugged in Pilsen-ites will be getting down with the dead:

Day of the Dead Procession at ElevArte: Join Pilsen arts group ElevArte for an evening of spectacle and Day of the Dead remembrance. Giant pole puppets will lead a procession around the neighborhood, and participants are encouraged to come in costume. Prior to the procession, there will be face painting and circus performers at 3:30 p.m., with the procession starting at 6 p.m. After the procession, the Minneapolis-based The People's Cook will be serving refreshments. Nov. 1, 3:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Procession starts at Dvorak Park, 1119 W. Cullerton St.

Redmoon Theater's Sonic Boom
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DNAinfo/Chloe Riley

Redmoon Theater’s Boneshaker and Skelebration Parties: Pilsen’s newly opened Redmoon Theater offers two party experiences over Day of the Dead weekend, for both families and adults. Redmoon Artistic Director Frank Maugeri guarantees Boneshaker — an interactive experience — will be the “best Halloween party in the city of Chicago.” Skate on an indoor roller rink, grill hot dogs on a fire candelabra and star in a two-minute live feed movie. Entertainment includes a 30-person punk marching band, a fire organ that blowtorches in time to music, and two DJs spinning on the “Sonic Boom,” a giant, movable sound system that guests can climb and slide down. The $75 ticket includes food, four bars, and rocking into the wee hours. Costumes encouraged. Nov. 1, 9 p.m. 2120 S. Jefferson St.

At Skelebration, the theater’s event for children, kids and adults have the opportunity to watch Laika’s Coffin, a ten-minute puppet show about the first dog to go into outer space. There’s no set schedule at the two-hour event, kids are free to ride bikes, swing on oversized swings, and ride mini motorized cars around a track. There will also be stations where kids can make skeleton masks for a parade around the space, shoot a pretend bear with a marshmallow cannon, or throw on some roller skates and take a few laps around the disco ball rink. Whole Foods, Cabot Creamery Cooperative and Glazed and Infused Donuts will provide snacks, included in the ticket price, $20 for adults, $12 for kids. Free for children 3 and under.  Nov. 2-3, with show times at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday. 2120 S. Jefferson St.

Skeleton Face Painting at Reciclarte: Get your professional Dia De Los Muertos makeup done by artist and gallery owner Leticia Rodarte. $25 for women, $15 for men. Hurry, though, Rodarte’s openings are filling up fast. Call 773-916-7610 or email recicilartestudio@gmail.com for an appointment. 1846 S. Ashland Ave.

Day of the Dead Art and Masked Ball at the National Museum of Mexican Art: This year marks the 100th anniversary of the death of José Guadalupe Posada, the Mexican artist who created the famous “La Catrina” Day of the Dead illustration. The museum is celebrating with an exhibition of altars, installations and pop art all paying tribute to Posada. On Nov. 2, the museum hosts the Dia De Los Muertos Ball, a dance fiesta and costume masquerade with music by Chicago Mexican folk group Sones de Mexico Ensemble. Guests will also have the opportunity to taste pan de muertos (bread for the dead) and learn sugar skull decoration and “calaveras,” which is poem writing for the dead. The Posada 100-year art exhibition is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sundays through Dec. 15. The Dia De Los Muertos Ball is Nov. 2, 7-10 p.m. Tickets are $35. 1852 W. 19th St.

Efebina’s Cafe: Starting at 6 p.m., the coffee shop will have appetizers and drinks alongside face painting and arts and crafts for kids. Clothing and jewelry from La Fashionista On The Go mobile boutique will be on display as well as mixed media paintings from Pilsen artist Mister e. FiltheeRich and others. An open mic and live music follows at 8 p.m. Dia De Los Muertos attire is encouraged. Nov. 1, 6-10 p.m. 1640 S. Blue Island Ave.

Dia De Los Tamales: The tamale joint will have face painting and Pilsen artist Teresa Magaña will be on hand to paint skull magnets for kids. Fall specials include chicken parmesan and pumpkin spice latte tamales. Nov. 1, open 11-10 p.m. 939 W. 18th St.