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Dia De Muertos

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Tiffanie Owen Photo Painting the face with a marigold covered skull mask is traditional for celebrating Dia de Muerto.

Historic Lincoln celebrates history and those who came before

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

The fifth annual Dia de Muertos celebration takes place throughout the Village of Lincoln on Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“AnnMarie LaMay owns Annie’s Little Sure Shot here in town and is the one organizing the event,” spokesperson for the Lincoln Merchants Association Ashley Roberts said. “She wanted to create an event that celebrated local cultures in a fun, educational and respectful way. It’s fun to see the large contingent of Hispanic families come to town to celebrate and enjoy the music.”

Dia de Muertos is observed throughout the world and is celebrated in many ways. The translation means Day of the Dead, but despite the gloomy name it has nothing to do with sadness or mourning. Instead the celebration includes joy in remembering favorite things and stories about loved ones who passed on, the decoration of graves and the building of ofrendas (altars) for the deceased.

These ofrendas are decorated with flowers (paper or real marigolds), food offerings, photos and mementos of loved ones who have passed.

The celebration of Dia de Muertos expresses the idea that death is not to be feared, but embraced as a part of life. Communities and families await the annual return of lost loved ones with food, music and fun.

This tradition is based on the belief that one day of the year the deceased return to be with their families.

Legends say that the spirit of Billy The Kid — riding his black horse — is seen on this day in Lincoln; his spirit might get some help by a local actor personifying the famous outlaw.

The event in Lincoln is free of charge. Family activities include kids’ craft projects and face painting by local artists, and the displaying of the newly created ofrendas. There will be live music, arts and crafts vendors and a historical presentation.

Featured speaker Cynthia Orozco will build an ofrenda while discussing the history of the observance of Dia de Muertos by indigenous people of Mexico, Europe and the U.S.

Orozco has taught New Mexico, Lincoln County, U.S. history and the humanities at Eastern New Mexico University for 21 years. Born and raised in Texas, she has personal experience with Dia de Muertos.

These events will occur throughout the town of Lincoln. A schedule will be posted at various merchants’ locations.

Entertainment is provided by the band La Ultima from Carrizozo, Mariachi Unido from Carlsbad, Kamikazi Elk from Ruidoso and the Los Galleros Mariachi Band from Lubbock, Texas. Music will be performed the entire day throughout Lincoln.

“Lincoln’s eateries, brew pub, coffee house, gift shops and galleries will be open including the historical sites and museums that make Lincoln famous the world over,” Roberts said.

Lincoln is located 57 miles west of Roswell; 12 miles east of Capitan, on Highway 380, Calle La Placita. For more information, call 575-653-4045.