Story and Photos by Ty O’Neil
Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead for non-Spanish speakers, was celebrated this Sunday, Oct. 30 at the Joe Crowley Student Union on the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) campus. The event was organized by the Latino Research Center in cooperation with the City of Reno. This was the eighth year this celebration has been held in Reno.
Dancers and singers were plentiful, offering both crowd-pleasing performances and a few encores. Good pacing kept the dance floor busy and the audience entertained. Other activities included catrinas-style face painting, sugar skull decorating, an altar exhibition, and a sampling of traditional Mexican treats.
The event was presented almost entirely in Spanish, leaving some non-Spanish speakers in the crowd somewhat confused. However, everyone politely clapped and cheered even if they weren’t quite sure what they were clapping for.
A procession was planned to take place from the Reno arch to the UNR campus but winter weather forced organizers to cancel that portion of the event. Despite the weather, a sizable crowd still attended the indoor events, though attendance fell a little short of the 700 people that attended in 2015.
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Ty O’Neil is a lifelong student of anthropology with two degrees in the arts. He is far more at home in the tear gas filled streets of war torn countries than he is relaxing at home. He has found a place at This Is Reno as a photojournalist. He hopes to someday be a conflict photojournalist covering wars and natural disasters abroad.