NE Portland church hosts 15th annual Día de los Muertos celebration

Día de los Muertos celebrations are underway at Portland’s St. Andrew Catholic Church this weekend, and so far the Day of the Dead activities have been a great success, according to event organizer Armando Gonzales.

Sunday’s festivities kicked off at 806 NE Alberta St. at 2 p.m. with music, and are slated to end at 9 p.m. Adult entry to the event is a $15 donation to the Immigration Counseling Service, a nonprofit law firm based in Portland. After that, everything inside is free, Gonzales said.

The holiday originated in Mexico and is a time for families to honor the souls of dead relatives. It is celebrated over several days, generally from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.

The church will host several altars — or ofrendas — for families to connect with dead relatives and loved ones. The event also features a variety of Mexican food, face painting, mask coloring and sugar skull decorating, as well as Portland dance groups Son Huitzilín and Ballet Folklórico.

This is the 15th anniversary of the event, which started as a family celebration, Gonzales said. It’s now produced by Muertos PDX and Mandos Mundo Entertainment.

“We started with just our family, and then we started to invite friends, and pretty soon by the third year it got too big,” he said.

– Austin De Dios;; @austindedios; (503) 319-9744

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