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Wander Minnesota: Dia De Los Muertos

Over the last couple of weeks, I took a look at Halloween events around the Twin Cities. This week, let's take a look at another type of celebration occurring this weekend.

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican tradition that dates back many decades. It's meant to help people celebrate and remember loved ones who are gone. But unlike a funeral, which is a sad occasion, Dia de los Muertos is a time of happiness and festivity, with music and food. Who couldn't appreciate that?

To learn more about this celebration, the Minnesota History Center offers a family friendly program on Sunday from noon - 4 p.m. There will be music, folk dancing, puppet shows, art workshops that teach participants how to make traditional Day of the Dead art pieces, and hot chocolate and Day of the Dead bread.

Northeast Minneapolis's Altered Esthetics is holding its eight annual Dia de los Muertos celebration on Saturday during gallery hours, with a reception from 7 - 9 p.m. Stop by for to visit the special exhibition and take part in the celebration.

In St. Paul, El Burrito Mercado has events planned both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday is Family Day from 12:30 - 3 p.m., with face painting and food. Sunday is a special Dia de los Muertos dinner (reservations required) with authentic food, sugar skull painting and live music.

The Parkway Theater in Minneapolis is holding Festival de las Calaveras on Saturday. There's a family event from noon - 2 p.m, then live music from 8 p.m. - 1 a.m.

Bedlam Theatre Lowertown in St. Paul offers Dia de los Muertos on Saturday from 7 p.m. - midnight. Live music, storytelling, art displays and traditional foods will be available. The public is encouraged to wear a piece of clothing of a loved one who has passed and bring remembrance items to place on an ofrenda altar.

Finally, Bryant-Lake Bowl finishes off the festivities on Sunday night with Naked Girls Reading Presents: Day of the Dead. Day of the Dead and burlesque girls reading spooky tales -- not family friendly, but sometimes the grown-ups get to have their day, too.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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