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Folklife Center to celebrate Day of the Dead

MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Folklife Center will host its second annual Middlebury celebration of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on Friday, Nov. 1, from 6-9 p.m. in the upstairs gallery at the VFC headquarters in Middlebury. This event is free and open to the public. Donations are appreciated.
The event features homemade Mexican food, a Día de los Muertos altar constructed by Irma Valeriano of the University of Vermont, and a performance of Mexican banda music by the Burlington-based brass band Brass Balagan.
Día de los Muertos is a Mexican cultural celebration that honors friends and relatives who have died. The celebration traditionally includes food and music, and focuses around family and community altars built out of remembrance of lost loved ones. The Día de los Muertos altar typically features photographs, drawings, specialized decorative objects, traditional cakes and sweets, and other offerings of food. Altar construction for this year’s celebration will take place in the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 31. Visitors are encouraged to join us and ask questions as the altar is being assembled. Images of last year’s Día de los Muertos altar are available at http://bit.ly/SFWi98.
For many Mexicans, Día de los Muertos holds important cultural significance, serving as a time for celebration of family and as a community gathering. The VFC is hosts this celebration to provide the local Mexican farm worker community with an opportunity to maintain vital ties to their living cultural traditions. In addition, this event serves as a cross-cultural opportunity for Vermonters to learn about the traditional practices of migrant farm workers from Mexico living in Vermont.
The 2013 Día de los Muertos celebration is a partnership between the Vermont Folklife Center, the Addison County Farmworker Coalition, Middlebury College Juntos! and the UVM Extension Huertas Project. Support for the event has been provided by Phoenix Feeds and Nutrition, Misty Knoll Farm, City Market, and the Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op.
The Vermont Folklife Center is at 88 Main St. in Middlebury. For more information visit the VFC website at www.vermontfolklifecenter.org.

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