Students work on downtown, campus Day of the Dead celebrations First Friday Hop Nov. 3 includes South Fourth Street festivities


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — University of Louisville students will help enliven campus and local celebrations of the annual Day of the Dead.

    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, which features social rituals of families celebrating the cycle of life and death and remembering their special 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 during the family-oriented activities Nov. 3 during the Republic Bank First Friday Hop 6-10 p.m. Activities in the sixth annual event along Fourth Street between Chestnut and Guthrie streets will include music, dancing, coloring, costumes, face painting, refreshments and the traditional crafting of tissue-paper flowers and sugar skulls.

                –Spanish language students will display decorated altars and exhibits Nov. 4-7 in Ekstrom Library on UofL’s Belknap Campus. The students have been studying the diverse ways that the holiday is celebrated throughout Latin America. As part of the exhibit, 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.