Students work on downtown, campus Day of the Dead celebrations Trolley hop Nov. 4 includes South Fourth Street festivities


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Decorated sugar skulls, paper flowers, tributes, flags and giant kites – all those colorful elements will come together in University of Louisville students’ participation in the annual Day of the Dead celebration honoring special people.

                A downtown Day of the Dead celebration plus public displays in UofL’s Ekstrom Library mark the Hispanic custom of El Dia de los Muertos, marking social rituals of families celebrating the cycle of life and death and remembering their dead. The autumn events usually 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 during the family-oriented activities Nov. 4 during the First Friday Trolley Hop 5-10 p.m. Activities in the fourth annual event along Fourth Street between Broadway and Muhammad Ali Boulevard will include music, dancing, coloring, costumes, face painting, refreshments and the traditional crafting of paper flowers and sugar skulls.

    –Spanish language students will display eight decorated altars Nov. 2-3 in Ekstrom Library on UofL’s Belknap Campus. As part of the exhibit, student projects will represent traditional Day of the Dead elements such as 100 giant kites, 50 sugar skulls, 50 votive offerings and special bread.

                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.