Students celebrate Day of the Dead downtown and on campus


    University of Louisville students have been studying the diverse ways that the Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout Latin America – and they are sharing aspects of the annual custom with the public on campus and off campus.

    A downtown celebration plus public displays in UofL’s Ekstrom Library will mark the Hispanic custom of El Dia de los Muertos, which features social rituals of families honoring the cycle of life and death and remembering loved ones. The autumn events often feature personalized altars to commemorate the honorees.

    Here’s an overview of Day of the Dead activities organized by the Latin American and Latino studies program and the Spanish section of the classical and modern languages department:

    • The South Fourth Street Day of the Dead Celebration is co-sponsored by the Latin American and Latino studies (LALS) program, whose students will volunteer with children’s activities Nov. 2 during the Republic Bank First Friday Hop, 6-10 p.m. Activities in the annual family event along Fourth Street near the Chestnut Street corner will include music, dancing, coloring, costumes, face painting, refreshments and the traditional crafting of tissue-paper flowers and decorating of sugar skulls.
    • Spanish language students will display decorated altars and exhibits Nov. 2-6 in Ekstrom Library on UofL’s Belknap Campus.  As part of the public exhibit spanning Latin American customs, student projects will represent traditional seasonal elements such as giant kites (Guatemala), cypress wreaths (El Salvador) and votive offerings (Mexico).

    For information about the downtown events, contact Rhonda Buchanan at 502-852-2034 or For information about student altars at Ekstrom Library, contact Melissa Groenewold at 502-852-4748 or


    Judy Hughes
    Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.